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

Souvenirs

“Broken hearts and dirty windows Make life difficult to see.” From Souvenirs by John Prine This photo, from the early 30s, shows the Sherwood children. My mom is bracketed by her brothers and sister: L to R are John, my namesake, Lillian, my mom, sister Edith and brother Stan. They grew up in rural Wisconsin. … More Souvenirs

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

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

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