Recent memoirs

Some highlights and lowlights as of late

From the last month:
- Highlight(s): Going to Cour de Alene with Toyota and "The Lion King" with Ashley
- Lowlight: leaving Toyota Service Department and starting all over at Chevy Service Department

From the last 3 weeks:
- Highlight: 4th of July in Neskowin. Duh
- Lowlight: Working on the 5th of July when everyone else had it off

From the last 2 weeks:
- Highlight: Running 16 miles on a Saturday morning with my Mom and Uncle
- Lowlight: Running 16 miles on a Saturday morning with my Mom and Uncle

From the last week:
- Highlight: A weekend in Cannon Beach with great friends drinking amazing wine
- Lowlight: Drinking too much amazing wine

From this week:
- Highlight: Getting to hit golf balls at lunch
- Lowlight: Realizing that I need to hit more golf balls to stay good at golf

From today:
- Highlight: Dinner tonight with Ashley (Spicy Mustard and Brown Sugar Salmon with Cilantro/Ginger Rice.....and wine)
- Lowlight: Pulling a 75 year olds dentures out from in between his seat in his Cadillac.

Looking forward to next week:
- Highlights: Heading to Laguna Beach for a wedding!
- Lowlights: Work next Monday

Looking forward to next 2 weeks:
- Highlight: Oregon Best Ball golf tourney with best friend Matt and the highly anticipated Marra-Harding wedding!!! Can't wait!
- Lowlight: Missing Oregon Brewers Fest this weekend

Looking forward to next 3 weeks:
- Highlight: Another great friend's wedding in Bend! The Robinson-Cowart Nuptuals. Can't wait!
- Lowlight: Another weekend that we are gone from beautiful and exciting Portland!

OK that should catch you up on what is going on in our lives. And what we are looking forward to. What are YOU looking forward to? Any interesting lowlights as of late? Would love to hear some feedback! Until next time, don't get caught like a deer in the headlights! Or maybe you should...maybe it would be a great story...


A Tradition Like No Other

We all have our traditions, whether it be breakfast in bed for Mom on Mother's Day, camping over Labor Day, the summer trip with just the guys (or girls) or just coffee every morning with your wife. Tradition is a strong word that for many can conjure up great feelings. For me (and now Ashley), there is one tradition that we were just involved in that will forever be something we look forward to doing again. That is the infamous Neskowin 4th of July weekend celebration.

Neskowin turned 100 this year. It started as a small community of houses on the Oregon Coast and is now a haven of fun, family and rest. They have a small golf course, Proposal Rock, long beaches and exquisite views of the Pacific. There is one restaurant - Hawk Creek Cafe, which has the best cinnamon rolls and wood fired pizza on earth. There are signs everywhere made by children asking you to slow down. Practically every house could be in a magazine and the feeling you get going there is indescribable. But when 4th of July rolls around, everything changes. Everyone shows up and everyone goes America to the gills.

On the morning of the 4th it is go time. We wake up and Uncle Chris makes his famous Blood Mary's - complete with American Flag stir rods. Lots of people have caught on to this tradition and they show up around 8:00 to cash in on the free drink. You then gather the crew and costumes and walk down to the Flag Pole where the entire community gathers. The judges, who can be persuaded by six packs of beer or bottles of wine, walk around to every float and talk to the families and begin determining who is going to win the prizes. We, of course, put on the full show in the parking lot to tip the scales in our favor. At around 10:00, the parade begins. The funny thing is we are just parading for ourselves. No one really shows up for this other than the people who are there for the weekend. I like that.

As the parade rolls thru Neskowin, people are dancing and singing, putting on a show, showing off their costumes or cute kids and dressed up bicycles. The Casebeers of course are drinking our Blood Mary's on the float and singing as loud as we can. This year's theme was "Glee" - we had 3 choreographed dances to 3 different songs and man did we do it right!!! Once the parade gets back to the starting spot, everyone gathers at the Flag Pole to sing American Songs a Capella. It is beautiful. Jimmy leads the crowd as we all sing and celebrate freedom. Then the Blue Angels fly over and thunderously rock the town and drown out our voices, but only for a few seconds. We are back to the singing until Kay Kay decides its time to hand out the awards. Her family has been around Neskowin for over 80 years so it is fitting that she decides the winners. There are different awards handed out - Slightly Inappropriate, Best Family, Most American, Best Superheros, and Best in Show. When the awards are over, people begin to disband and most head to Judge Barbers for a complimentary Gin Fizz. Not much is wasted however, because the Sand Castle and Kite Flying contest is about to begin.

Chaos ensues as people scramble back to the house for lunch and getting ready for round 2. As the day rolls on, most awards are given, and by the end of the day pretty much every family or kid ends up with one. Its a feel good story, really. As nighttime comes, various parties are hosted and dinners and drinks are had. We crammed about 20 people in our house that sleeps 4 and waited for the bonfire, cigar and fireworks to end the night.

Leaving Neskowin is a strange feeling. You leave wanting more, you leave feeling like America is the best place to live, and you leave loving family and friends and tradition. You already talk about going back next year. It is truly one of the best traditions I have ever been involved in.

What about you? Do you have unforgettable memories with tradition? I encourage you to be apart of one, or you know what? Go out and create one. I read a book ("A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Don Miller) recently that encouraged me to be a part of a bigger and better story, or just go around creating fun stories. That is what Neskowin is all about. That is what life is all about. Until next time, let your tradition live on.