Keeping Up With the Family (In Retrograde)


It’s hard not to start out with a shot of Mt. Hood. So, here’s a shot of Mt. Hood from beneath the apple, peach, pear, and plum trees at Mt. View Orchards in Parkdale, OR. 

Right after I moved west, I started hearing people saying that “Mercury is in retrograde.” I had never heard this before and when I asked what it meant, I learned that it has to do with the positioning of the planets—especially Mercury—and that when planets are in that alignment, gadgets have a tendency to break. Well, can somebody tell me what the excuse is now that Mercury isn’t in retrograde? Because dang it if stuff isn’t still breaking down. For example, my cell phone that died like a rock on Monday afternoon. Or my body that keeps trying to break down. Just this week, I’ve had fevers, chills, headaches, a pretty severe asthma attack, and managed to slice open the roof of my mouth. (Dear LORD, please don’t let anything else fall apart—including me!)

Before I move on to the fun part of the update, I would like to take a couple of serious moments…

First, I’m sad to share that my little traveling buddy—my friend Cari’s little dog, Sarah—passed away unexpectedly last weekend. Right after I moved—when I was still missing my Sadie so bad I was crying for her—I went up to visit Cari and totally fell in love with her little dog.

Sarah instinctively seemed to know that I needed doggie lovin’s. She spent most of that weekend in my arms or on my lap. And when I went to bed that night, she hopped into bed with me, burrowed under the covers, and cuddled into the curve behind my knees.

And you may recall that I recently wrote about taking her offroading with us. I’m very sad that she’s gone and I couldn’t imagine not mentioning it. I’m just grateful that she didn’t suffer. Cari, I’m so sorry for your loss!

Secondly, I know I have a number of prayin’ folk that drop by here. I’d like to ask y’all to pray for the sick folks in my family and extended family… For the family I live with, who currently has sick family members… For my uncle who has serious, untreatable cancer… For his wife who works far beyond her strength, trying to make ends meet… For other friends and family members going through things that I won’t mention here… Please pray. My prayer is that even in these hardest of times, they would know peace—that they aren’t alone and that they are loved.

Lest you think that life has been boring, I would love to share an update on the exciting stuff going on…

I get more questions from my family and non-PNW friends about the progress at the new restaurant—Twilight Pizza Bistro at 192nd—than anything else I write about. And I understand, because it’s such an exciting thing! This past week, we got the lights cut on in the building and ever since then, it has been non-stop work. Shelves are being installed, equipment connected to gas lines, glassware chosen for the bar, training of the new staff—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We are hoping to open around the third week of this month.

My job is fantastic. I have just finished my eighth week and have so far successfully survived a Board of Trustees meeting, a program’s graduation ceremony, a crucial 156-page report that had to be edited and submitted, the complete redecoration of our office, and the inventory of our catering kitchen, plus an overhaul of the kitchen procedures. When I say I’m busy, I don’t mean maybe! But the days go quickly and my co-workers are kind. I could not be more grateful for this gift God has given me.

Two weeks ago now, I got up on a Saturday morning and headed up the mountain to hang out with Cari. Once there, I hopped into her backseat with her kids and we headed off to Hood River to go fruit picking. Cari does this pretty much every year. She heads up to Hood River, picks a mess of apples, and makes a bunch of homemade apple butter. Well, this year, she decided she wanted to make peach butter, too. We tumbled out of the truck, found a cart, and commenced picking. Cari’s oldest was our designated cart-puller.

I rewarded her with a short break and pulled her for a while. Cari’s youngest was my extension-picker. Whenever the peaches were too high for me to reach, I’d pick her up as high as I could and she would pick the peaches. I don’t think anybody would be surprised to know that the three of us slept all the way home from Hood River, huddled and snuggling under my oversized hoodie. And when we got home and unloaded, we found that we had picked a heck of a lot of fruit.

The leaves are turning and the weather’s becoming brisk here. I’m told that the rain should begin by Halloween. How are things where you are?

About Sarah Salter


  1. Barbara Capps says:

    Thanks for the update… Still miss you.. and don’t forget I am family too.. Does that mean it starts raining at Halloween and don’t stop?? Just curious.. Glad all is well.. Love you Sista Sarah..

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    Barbara, the Pacific Northwest is known for it’s humongous amounts of rain. They say it rains nearly 9 months a year. It starts at Halloween. PS – Someone should probably send me a rubber ducky. 😉

  3. Uncle Lee says:

    Glad to read your lattest. You look sooo happy in your picture. Thanks for getting someone to take your pic. Cari’s dog and daughter look sweet. Sorry about the dog. Aunt Becky, Rachel and I are at the “Little House” right now. We went to the opening of the Seafood Festival yesterday. Really makes us miss family members, especially Grandmom. Of course, we miss you too. But, at least we can communicate with you. Keep the updates coming. We love you. Uncle Lee

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Uncle Lee, I had Cari use my camera to take that picture. I said, “My Uncle Lee wants a picture with me in it.” Really. I said that. LOL! Cari’s whole family is sweet. And they’ve adopted me… Invited me for Thanksgiving since I can’t return to NC for the holiday. 🙂

    Enjoy the Seafood Festival! Did you know that the last time I talked to Grandmama was a Seafood Festival weekend? All of y’all were down there, but I couldn’t come down that weekend. So, that Friday night, I called and y’all passed the phone around. When the phone passed to Grandmom, she laughingly told me that y’all were picking on her because she had forgotten something. I said, “Don’t worry, Grandmama. Forgetting things just means that you’ll always be learning something new and exciting.” And she laughed… This week, when my cell phone died, I knew that there was a good chance I’d lost some or all of the contacts in my contact list. (I did. I didn’t lose your number, but I lost Aunt Becky’s. If you or she could text me with that number sometime, I’ll put her back in there.) But when I got my phone back from Verizon, the first thing I looked for was if I’d lost Grandmama’s contact. I was SO relieved that I hadn’t. I know that she’s not at the other end of the line anymore for me to call, but I can’t bring myself to take her out of my contact list. It’s almost like saying she’s not important to me anymore. And she really, really is…

    Y’all have a good time at the Festival! Love y’all! Hugs to Rachel! 🙂

  5. Jody Lee Collins says:

    Sarah, I think we’ve communicated before…..but it’s been awhile. I read Glynn’s post today and saw your name again and clicked on over. I had no idea you were in the Pacific Northwest.

    I’m in Renton, 30 minutes from Seattle. I googled the Twilight Bistro and found out (I think) that you’re in Vancouver. What a small world. My son and his family live down there–he works at Fred Meyer. Smile.

    Hope we can keep in touch.

    p.s. I had NO idea what ‘Mercury in retrograde’ meant and we’ve lived here for 20 years. And just for the record, in 20 years it’s never been this warm and dry this long. Rain is usually here LONG before Halloweeen. So glad you’re here to enjoy the lovely days. I love Fall!

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Jody, thank you for coming by! You’re always welcome here! Glynn’s post that mentioned me was such a huge surprise. I had no idea it was coming. Thanks for clicking through and coming to visit! I’ve heard of Renton, but never been there. I’ve visited briefly in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. I also took the train up to Seattle for a day last summer (when I was still visiting out here and living in NC). I’d love to see MORE of Washington. And I’m sure I will. Just takes a little time. 🙂

    I am living in the Vancouver area and working across the river in Portland. My feeling is that eventually, I’ll end up in Portland. I love my job and I just can’t see commuting back and forth forever. But for now, I’m loving Vancouver and in no great rush to leave it. 🙂

    Please feel free to keep in touch! And if you’re ever in town, please let me know and we can meet at Twilight for dinner!

    PS – looks like the rain is heading in this weekend! Stay dry!

  7. Sarah, you are really living!! So behind on your posts with all that is going on but tying to remember to check in! It’s late nights like this when I cant sleep that I seem to check on ya! So sorry about Cari’s dog. 🙁

    Life has had a lot of downs here lately but trying to take the high road and keep truckin! If the teen years don’t kill me it will be a miracle!

    Love ya!


  8. Sarah Salter says:

    Mary, I’m so thrilled that you took a few minutes of the very little spare time you have to come by! HUGE hugs to you, Sister!

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