As you may remember, when Steve resigned as middle school principal this summer, one of the first things we wanted to do with our more flexible schedule was spend some quality time with our parents. We took his mom and dad on a week-long trip across Nebraska in July and this month, we’re traveling with my mom, Carol, to the Pacific Northwest.

Steve and I have never been to this part of the county (not for more than a few hours, anyway) and we’re excited to see the trees and mountains, drive along the coastline, and visit Pinot Noir wine country. Oh, and our beloved Nebraska Cornhusker football team is scheduled to play the Oregon Ducks on Saturday in Eugene.

Sadly for many, several states on the west coast of the U.S. are battling forest fires after an unusually dry summer. When we arrived in Portland yesterday, the sky was an orange/pink color and we could actually see and feel ashes falling from the sky.

Alaska Airlines flight into Portland, Oregon.

Alaska Airlines flight into Portland, Oregon.

We are headed to the coastline for the first few days of our trip and hopefully away from the worst of the smoke. We’ll continue to pray for rain and the for the fires to be controlled to minimize the loss of life and property.

Natural disasters like this are so sad to see. Especially in such a beautiful place.