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

No Other Anywhere

1969 was a hell of a year. Astronauts from Apollo 11 walked on the moon. The Beatles released Abbey Road, their final album. A national draft lottery was held for men, aged 18-26. In Massachusetts, a tragic auto accident occurred on Chappaquiddick Island. Out west, Charles Manson’s cult committed horrendous murders. That summer, thousands flocked to … More No Other Anywhere

Clouds

“You are the sky; everything else is just the weather.” Pema Chodron In late February, with the advent of spring, the prevailing path of storm fronts rotates from east to west. Temperatures rise. Precipitation presents itself as rain instead of snow. Depending on your disposition, Oregon’s default weather forecast is now either partly cloudy or … More Clouds

Star Gazing

Lately, the morning sky has drawn me outdoors before first light. There, under the comfort of a blanket, I recline in a deck chair on the front porch. The planets Venus and Jupiter are prominent out east this month. And, due to the absence of streetlights in our remote part of the Hood River Valley, … More Star Gazing

Choices

In January, I met with Dr. M. Once again, my cancer showed signs of awakening. I feel good. I am not overtly symptomatic. Nevertheless, the myeloma stretched and yawned. After a nearly 2 1/2-year nap, my drug-free remission was about to end. Since last October, we’ve discussed a course of action. I digested statistics from clinical trial … More Choices

It’s Complicated

My iris blooms arrived in May and departed in June. Most of the lavender flowers shriveled unattractively on their stalks and I cut them off. Yesterday, I dug a colony of these bulbs from my perennial beds. I shook off the dirt, storing them in a paper bag. I’ve four more clumps to remove, energy willing. … More It’s Complicated

Unremarkable

Recently, I met with my oncologist, Dr. M. His practice is located in Portland, OR. Each Thursday, however, he travels 60 miles up the Columbia River Gorge to Hood River. Here, he spends the day attending to cancer patients in our small community. He commented that my disease continues to be in “complete remission.” His … More Unremarkable

El Gato del Correos

I returned to work on April 6th following a ten-month absence. I’d taken time off to receive treatment for multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting the plasma cells in my blood. I spent the fall and winter months recuperating from an immune suppressed condition, the result of an autologous stem cell transplant. I am the Postmaster … More El Gato del Correos