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

Autumn Slips Forward

Autumn slips into place without a sound. One leaf, then another bleeds color at its edge. At first glance, I wonder, is that tree diseased? On succeeding days, the contagion spreads throughout an entire branch. Silently, the season tattoos foliage with melancholy. Autumn slips forward with the quiet magic of chemistry. Daylight declines and temperatures cool. … More Autumn Slips Forward

Child’s Play

In February, I bought an ukulele. The long winter depressed me. Furthermore, I’d become addicted to the dispiriting politics of our new president. His “amateur hour” buffoonery impairs reasoning. Like many Americans, I could not turn away. Music, I hoped, might help me kick the habit. Early on, my fingers ached. But a friend gave me advice … More Child’s Play

Family Matters …

Early in the winter, successive storms sailed into Oregon. Frigid air stalled their advance and they dropped anchor in the Columbia River Gorge. Walking became difficult. Deep powder clogged the sidewalks and pedestrians were forced to use the street. There, danger lurked as traffic packed the snow and hid slicks of ice. As with most Northwest … More Family Matters …

Notes To My Grandson

On the day you arrived, temperatures dropped into the single digits. A winter storm had battered Northwest Oregon for three days. Feathers of dry snow fell in the mountains and throughout the Columbia Gorge. The Hood River Valley, which is named for the town that would be your home, rested under a thick white blanket. … More Notes To My Grandson

Pictures At An Exhibition

I saunter along Hood River’s waterfront, raising my hand to greet other codgers and dog walkers. Silently, we share the companionship of fortitude. They, like me, are determined to exercise. It’s a commitment undeterred by dreary weather as Oregon transitions from autumn to winter. I do dreary quite well. My recovery from cancer related pneumonia motivates … More Pictures At An Exhibition

Indian Summer

In Oregon, the year’s most reliably pleasant weather occurs during Indian Summer. Today, on the eve of my 70th birthday, I strolled along the waterfront of the Columbia. The prevailing westerlies have lost their enthusiasm. This morning, the river laid flat. Paddle boarders cruised the smooth surface under a cloudless blue sky. Elsewhere, the convergence … More Indian Summer

National Parks

Recently, just prior to my “close call” with pneumonia, my wife and I traveled to Olympic National Park in Washington State. Two friends from Seattle joined us for the trip. We stayed together at Lake Crescent Lodge, which is located just inside the east boundary of the park.  Our history with national parks is long and … More National Parks

Pneumonia

On Monday, July 25th, I circled the drain. Tuesday: I wondered, “Whose feet are these?”  I stared at bloated flesh topped with stubby sausages for toes. Then, I fell in love with a girl named Maureen. No, that’s not right. Her name was Morphine. By Wednesday morning, we were going steady. Accomplises delivered her to my room. … More Pneumonia