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?

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

Stanyan Street

I dislike flying: the herding, the depressing bag of pretzels, and the claustrophobic cabin. It’s a perfect environment for disease transmission and my immune system can’t protect me. Yet, the opportunity to spend the holidays with our oldest son, my brother, and nieces and nephews compelled my wife and I to fly to the San … More Stanyan Street

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

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

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

Things Fall Apart

“There is no goal, but only the path.” Taoist saying   Recently, my wife and I traveled with friends to Glacier National Park. Our journey through the Northwest included a stop at the classic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. From there we visited historic lodges in Montana and Waterton Lake, Alberta. We dined in expansive … More Things Fall Apart

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 …