Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 18, 2018
By Pat Edwards
Bill Becker of Crow notified us that his brother-in-law, Jerry Robertson, recently passed away. Jerry was from Crow originally. His brothers, Gene and Alva, also from Crow, preceded him in death. He was married to Bill’s sister, Caroline Becker, also of Crow. Jerry and Caroline moved to La Grande in 1967 and have lived there ever since. Our condolences go out to Jerry’s family.
Remember: Lorane Grange Dinner and Bingo Night is to be held on Saturday, January 27, 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.
The Oregon Department of Forestry, Western Lane District, is announcing its “Fuels Reduction Grant Program” that offers to provide defensible space around your home, reducing the risk of wildfire on your property. They still have room for landowners to sign up for the program. It currently centers around the Lorane area (Coyote Ridge Communities) and maps are posted on the Lorane Facebook page so you can see if your property is eligible. Best of all, it will be done at no cost to the landowner. The Fuels Reduction Crew will create a 30′ to 150′ safety buffer around your home and surrounding structures to increase the chances of saving your home in the event of a wildfire.
You are encouraged to contact their Fire Planning Coordinator, Casey Smith, with any questions or to schedule an on-site evaluation visit (541-935-2283 x244 or email, Casey.A.Smith@oregon.gov). Lorane resident, Shane Kronberger, commented that “This is a great program. ODF and Lorane RFPD have already utilized this program on one property in the community and it turned out great!”
In a column last June, I included a message from Michael Matchulat who wrote about his 2-year-long battle with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Last Wednesday, he took another significant step in his continuing battle with the disease. He’s been on a bit of a hiatus this summer while a new program and new strategy was worked out by his team of doctors at OHSU. Wednesday was the beginning of what Michael described as a “chemically-induced hell” to rid him of the tumors that have been growing in his lungs.
Afterwards, he reported that the new direction in his treatment was rough.
“As my crushed body observed joy in everything at home, surrounded by my community, family and church, I was forced back to why I started this journey in the first place… Love. I’m living in a microscope again and I have to be careful of the petri dish of the mind and physical world around me. My thoughts must focus on goodness and optimism, which are easy goals right now as opposed to feelings produced by the ‘I-don’t-want-to-go-there’ thoughts. The list of things I can do has shrunk, but it will be replaced with another list of how to do things a new way.” (I’ve paraphrased a bit.)
In the meantime, Michael’s family, friends and community—those who have been with him from the very beginning—have, indeed, continued to reach out to him, offering up prayers and positive thoughts and, most of all, love. Even if you don’t know Michael, please add yours, as well. He is a fighter and I so respect the grit and determination that he has used to face his enemy head-on while sharing with us the real fears and uncertainties that every warrior has felt during life-and-death battles throughout history.