Oakland Noir

Three of the last five years, my wife and I have Christmased in the San Francisco Bay Area. We visit our son, my brother, and a niece. Our routine is similar: movies every night and dinners at an eclectic collection of restaurants. We choose to stay in Oakland near the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or … More Oakland Noir

Summer

Summer came and went. It left behind a northwest parched by a succession of hot spells so extraordinary that even climate change deniers had their ‘come to Jesus moments’. Rain arrived, at last, in early October. The dire predictions retreated, forgotten along with admonitions to floss our teeth, avoid sugary drinks, and quit smoking. We are … More Summer

Perspective

“I had an inheritance from my father, It was the moon and the sun. And though I roam all over the world, The spending of it’s never done.” Ernest Hemingway I am an early riser. I don’t sleep all that well these days. Illness, late middle age, and my adorable, annoying cat conspire to disturb … More Perspective

Hallelujah

          Hallelujah The primary colors of tulips brighten my yard. Grass sprouts between the bricks of the path. Manic behavior infects the bird life. They chatter about coupling and food, warmth and territory. Rivals join the juncos and towhees at the feeder. Finches and song sparrows visit. The numbers increase, but … More Hallelujah

Divisive Devices

Recently, my iPhone began to act erratically. New iterations of its operating system had rolled out. But the device could not effectively process the changes. Family and friends blared the horns of their newer models as they passed me on the digital expressway. The time had come to upgrade. I visited the store of our … More Divisive Devices

Books

Oregon’s reputation for tough winters suffered a setback in 2017/18. November, December, and January stretched like lazy cats across the blanket of the Northwest sky. They shed rain but mild temperatures prevailed beneath their sleepy overcast. On Mt. Hood, skiers lamented the lack of snow. In the valley below, orchardists fretted. They prefer harsh conditions … More Books

Why Things Happen

Why Things Happen For J. D. Riso   I listened to the rain fall for hours And read a mystery next to my cat, Both of us dismayed by the dark, wet sky.   I listened and read and accrued the clues Of how and who as to why things happen. I heard rainwater scampering … More Why Things Happen

Too Old To Die Young

“It’s just … it’s like it’s always right now, you know?” Mason from Boyhood  An inversion layer spreads over the Hood River Valley. Temperatures drop to the high 20s at night and creep into the mid-30s during the day. At elevation, upon the slopes of Mt. Hood, sunny skies prevail. But here, in the foothills, … More Too Old To Die Young

Wet Weather

“Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu In early November, wet weather arrived to cleanse the Hood River Valley. Seasonal debris in our yard glistened with rain. Oval blades of lilac nested with the serrated ellipses of cherry. The lobed margins of oak leaves tucked themselves into … More Wet Weather