We made it. Yes, the Langleys have been to Oregon and back again. One flat tire, a few panic attacks, some sleepless nights, but otherwise unscathed. The flat tire wasn’t that bad. It went flat over night while we were staying at Cascadia and Silas was able to drive it to a nearby station where they fixed it for free. The panic attacks, that was Joseph. He had one during the first 20 minutes of our 13 hour drive, and also Sunday morning, because his bagel wasn’t buttered properly (but I suspect it was really because of emotions churned up by seeing his Portland friends again). I got hit a few times and called “a sorry excuse for a mother,” but I’m mature. I know he didn’t mean it. The sleepless nights, that was Peter. He was “sleeping” in the guest room on the other side of the wall from us. He banged on the wall at 4:00am one of the nights. He needed to talk. Then he slept from 5am until 2:00 or so. But we worked around that.
Did anything nice happen, you ask? Yes. Plenty of nice stuff. We saw many dear friends, and enjoyed being with them. We revisited favorite places in Portland. We enjoyed the greenery and flowers in a place not suffering from a horrible drought. And Peter did not explode at all, though we couldn’t drop our guard, not knowing if he might loose it at any time. Playing board games with old friends almost put him over the edge. When he loses a game, that is sometimes all he needs to conclude that he’s retarded and wish that he was dead. But thankfully he didn’t fall into that.
My lingering memory seems to be of Saturday night, when our former neighbor, Rufus, got out his expensive new telescope and we all stood out in the cool night looking at Saturn, rings and all. All of us together, focused on something beyond ourselves, something beautiful and awesome.