What Next?

In September, smoke from wildfires shut down activities in much of Oregon. An eerie mustard colored sky shrouded the community of Hood River. The burnt smell of the air created a vacancy reminiscent to March/April’s sheltering in place. Eyes itched and stung; throats seized up dry and scratchy. People were dispossessed of how to pass … More What Next?

In the Oregon Hills

I can’t remember how I learned to read. I don’t recall the teacher’s patience to help me sound out vowels and consonants. Nor the prompts to form these sounds into words. Was I encouraged at home by my parents? If so, there’s no memory. That process disappeared with time. Yet, the gradual step by step … More In the Oregon Hills

Summer Daze

Cancer requires one to slow down and simplify their life. Predictability in ongoing routines helps me to manage an otherwise unpredictable disease. Finding peace in a time of uncertainty is the goal.  Once a month, I receive a dose of immunoglobulins. It’s a support treatment. It doesn’t kill cancer cells. Instead, it boosts my immune … More Summer Daze

Sorry, We’re Closed

I live in Hood River, Oregon. The river for which it is named flows north from the foothills of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Its three forks converge ten miles south of town. My youngest son and his family shelter in place near that spot. From there it meanders through woods, pastures, and orchards before … More Sorry, We’re Closed

Still Lifes

“In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting to stride out of a cloud and lift its wings.” Mary Oliver from The Kookaburras In late August of this year, of the summer when my wildflower garden flourished and yielded a wealth of colorful bouquets, crickets sang each evening their mindful refrain. “Soon,” … More Still Lifes

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

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

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