Last weekend (6th and 7th) meant watching football, eating delicious foods, and seeing some of my best friends.
Saturday started great. I went to a co-worker's house to watch football. In Oregon, there's one nearly unifying belief that stretches from Portland in the north, to the Siskiyou Summit leading to California: The U of O Ducks are the greatest football team ever assembled.
This particular co-worker is a native Oregonian and a huge Ducks fan. I've always sort of liked Oregon. Of course, they're still many steps below Stanford, but they are a fun, explosive team, especially this year. And in Medford probably one in three cars has an Oregon decal or flags attached. It would be like combining all of the shirts, jerseys, and hats of the Giants, A's, Niners, and Raiders fans in the Bay Area, and that's the amount of support the Ducks. It's unreal. Especially since they're currently #1 in the BCS polls.
Anywho, a handful of KDRVers went to Evan's house to watch the Ducks/Huskies game. We brought beer and Evan made delicious bean dip. Breakfast of champions.
Later that evening, I got to talk with my brother, Kevin, for a good hour and a half. Then spent another 90 minutes talking with former co-worker, still friend, and current MidWest resident: Emily Wood. Fantastic to catch up with both of them.
But the catching up was just starting...
One of my best friends from High School as in town. Lauren Lagano, a girl who has been like my sister and one of the people I see most often when I come back to Oakley, was in Southern Oregon for the weekend. She was at a conference at SOU in Ashland, and told me she'd be just a few miles from me. Of course, we made it a point to spend as much time as we could together. Saturday evening, she snuck out of one of her workshops early and we spent time driving around Ashland, eating Wendy's, and talking about everything going on in our lives. Sunday was the last day of the conference and she had a short break between the closing ceremonies and her flight out of Medford and back to San Diego. I picked her up and we went to lunch at delicious Ashland restaurant Standing Stone. It was cool outside, but I showed her around Lithia Park, a beautiful area in downtown. The tree-laden park was just past peak Autumn colors, but there were still many bright reds and yellows and burnt oranges on the trees.
Seeing Lauren was exactly what I needed. It was a nice reminder of all of the support from friends and family back home. It's tough not to be home in the Fall and only getting a handful of days to in the company of the people I love during the holidays, but spending a few hours with her gave me a nice boost that should carry me through the Christmas season. Either way, I'm glad to have seen her and shown her around my new home and very much looking forward to seeing family and friends during Thanksgiving and Christmas.