Author: paedwards

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 3, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 3, 2021
By Pat Edwards

I am writing this today from our comfy motel suite in Boardman, Oregon, on the Columbia River. My sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Dwight, are across I-84 in a beautiful RV park, situated next to the Boardman Marina and one of the prettiest city parks that I’ve ever seen.

Several years ago, we had our own RV and discovered this beautiful park with B.J. and Dwight when we spent two nights here on the way to a vacation at the Wallowa Lake State Park. Prior to that, Boardman was just an unimpressive town along I-84 that we passed almost every year for 10 years straight on our way to the OSAA 2-A Girls’ Basketball Tournament in Pendleton to watch the Crow Cougars play. Our daughters, Gloria, Michele, and Kelly, were on those teams during that time, and the trek to Pendleton each year was not only a family tradition, but one that was well-attended by many Crow High School fans. (I can’t help but mention here that Gloria still holds the all-time 2-A rebounding record of 26 rebounds in one tournament game against Joseph High School in 1983… that’s another story in itself.)

Entrance to marina

Anyway, jumping back to the present, we were pleasantly surprised to learn about the hidden gem in Boardman. The RV park is about 20 acres of beautiful green lawns on the banks of the Columbia. As we watch barges plying their ways to ports both east and west, we try to imagine the conditions and wonder experienced by the Lewis and Clark Expedition that traveled through here almost 220 years before. Right next door is a marina with sailboat slips and ramps. As we walked there yesterday morning with our dogs in 95-degree heat, we passed a giant board where entrants and results of the annual Boardman Fishing Derby is recorded. Walking past the marina, we saw many more acres of beautifully manicured lawns on

Boardman Park wading area

Jim and Toby

Boardman Park

Pat in the Park

which we could see a children’s playground; a shaded area of championship-quality horseshoe pits; a well-maintained baseball field; and a lovely white gazebo sitting next to a panorama of the river and the Washington shore in the background where, I’m sure, many weddings have taken place. Fishermen, with poles in hand walked the black-topped paths to find their favorite fishing beaches. There’s a swimming hole in one area for those who want to swim in the calm, sheltered portion of the river and, best of all, in a large, finger inlet, is a huge, roped-off wading area for children and dogs on leashes.

B.J. Levi and Megan on walk

Pat and Toby on a walk

Above the wading pool, my eye kept wandering to the big, sturdy, adult-sized swing set sitting by itself on the green lawn. Memories of my childhood kept pulling at me… Finally, I gave into them, and I made my way there. I handed Toby’s leash to Jim, who came on our “walk” with us on his electric scooter, and picked out one of the swings that I could mount. Once seated, I was pleasantly surprised that the worn trench in the lawn beneath the swing kept my feet from dragging, and I began to pump and soar… just as I remembered doing throughout my childhood.

Swingin’

As I pumped higher and higher, the memories flooded in. I was a child once again. The wind through my hair was so familiar, as were the movements to keep myself airborne, and I felt the same sensations I did just before when, as a child, I prepared to bale out. This time, however, I knew that there would be no tumble to end my ride. Instead, I stopped pumping and allowed the swing to come to a gentle stop. As I dismounted, I reluctantly left my childhood behind once again, but I will always remember that flight as the highlight of this particular trip.

Today is our last day before we head home. We will celebrate Dwight’s birthday this evening (Happy Birthday, Dwight!), and probably take one more walk to the marina before the temperature gets unbearable. It reached 103 degrees yesterday afternoon, but I understand it was in the 90s at home, too. Hopefully, when we reach home after the long drive tomorrow, the weather will have tempered a bit and we can return to what will always be for us, “Home Sweet Home.”

Sweet Lorane Community News – May 27, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 27, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Mother Nature is being kind to us these past couple of weeks in Lane County. Not only has she been generously giving us a spring filled with warm, sunny days, but has interspersed them with welcome showers to keep the flowers happy and the earth moist and green. I marvel at how our Oregon springs can regenerate the soul as well as the flora surrounding us.

B.J., Dwight, Jim and me at Honeyman State Park in 2016

Jim and I are looking forward to a mini-vacation soon with my sister and brother-in-law, Barbara (B.J.) and Dwight. It will be an RV-camping vacation along the Columbia River for them and, because we are no longer able to use our RV, Jim and I will spend it with them at a nearby pet-friendly hotel. We’re going to take our Toby with us so that B.J. and I can take long walks with the dogs while Dwight rides his bike and Jim drives his electric scooter on the many bike trails that run along the beautiful river.

I’ve longed for this time together. Since they now live in Central Oregon after moving there from Cottage Grove a couple of years ago, we have had very few in-person visits during the pandemic. The stress of the COVID-19 restrictions and the political tensions that have made it so much worse, have taken their toll on close family and friend relationships for many of us this past year. Almost everyone I’ve talked with has mentioned the strain they feel in trying to hold on to the really important blessings we have built into our lives for so long.

I strongly believe that spring is an excellent time to turn off the 24-hour news channels and radio stations—all of them—that many of us have been glued to, and use social media only to connect with the people who really matter in our lives. We need to focus on those we love—despite their politics—and count all of the blessings we have built with them,  together. We must all put the animosities aside; stop taking offense; look for the positives in the world around us for a change instead of being so obsessed with the negatives and the difficulties we’ve all faced equally during the pandemic. For the most part, each of us possess many of the same qualities —kindness, generosity, respect, compassion and reverence for all that is good, kind, generous, respectful, and compassionate. We love our country passionately. Patriotism may be held in our hearts in different ways, but it is present in all but those who want to destroy it.

So, let’s take advantage of Mother Nature’s freshening of our souls this spring and concentrate on everything that we have been blessed with. Rediscover the good that drew us into friendships and relationships in the first place; put aside the mistrust, cynicism, and hate that have been incited and allowed to build up over this past year regardless of what political label you want to claim.

When election time comes around again, vote your own heart and convictions—not someone else’s. If you want to work towards a particular goal, volunteer your time and make a difference, but don’t push away the special people in your life who have brought you friendship, love and blessings if their viewpoint doesn’t quite match yours.

Let’s bring back the warmth and joy in our own lives and let it encompass each of those around us… not only for their sakes, but for our own, as well.

The Content of Our Lives

By Pat Edwards

(written in 2014)

How can any of us really evaluate the content of our lives? There are so many facets!
I’ve found that, in the 72 years of my own life, my experiences, mistakes, achievements and each segment of it along the way has contributed to the person I have become – the good and the not-so-good elements.

As a young child, I was quiet and shy, and so very innocent. As a teenager, I still was. I never had the confidence or self-esteem that would allow me to emerge from my comfort zones. Today, I am still shy and even somewhat reclusive, but I’ve come to the realization that I was blessed with the ability to write my thoughts and my feelings in a way that I could never speak, vocally. Working and fighting my way through that shyness and self-doubt was a long, arduous journey that I could not have undertaken without the support of the one person who has been by my side for almost its entirety.

This story stems from recent reflections I have been having as my husband Jim and I celebrate the year of our 50th wedding anniversary. On May 30 of this year (2014), we were aboard a cruise ship heading for Alaska. With my sister, Barbara, and her husband, Dwight, we booked the 7-day cruise and a 3-day excursion by bus into the Denali just for that purpose.

How can 50 years have already gone by since that Memorial Day in 1964 when we said “I do” in the gymnasium of the St. Alice Catholic Church in Springfield? “Why a gymnasium?” you might ask. Because at the time, St. Alice, where Jim’s family were members, had just been torn down to make way for a spectacular new church that was in the process of being built – but, alas! not in time for our wedding. The church services and masses were, at the time, being held in the school’s gymnasium and it was apropos for the two of us to have basketball hoops visible in many of our wedding pictures.

Jim n Me 05-30-1964

We met two years earlier after Jim had returned from a 4-year stint in the U.S. Army in Germany… during the time when the Berlin Wall was being built. He was recruited by my co-worker and his friend, Jerry Cyphert, to play basketball for Jerry’s AAU team. Jim and his friend, Rick Herman, had spent much of their time in Germany playing basketball and football for the U.S. Army against neighboring bases. Part of their duties, too, was to maintain the gyms. At 6′ 4″, Jim had played with Rick on the 1958 Springfield High School championship basketball team as well as its football squad.

So, it now seems providential that Jerry Cyphert talked me into keeping score for his AAU team. Even though I was not an athlete, it seems now that basketball was ordained to be a part of our lives.

The purpose of this story is dedicated to Jim and to our 50 years of marriage. I’ll begin with the letter I wrote to him the day before our anniversary date:

Well… tomorrow, it will be 50 years… a half of a century! Can you believe it?
Throughout those 50 years and even before, you have always been there for me… always. You’ve never waivered in your devotion and dedication to not only me, but to our family, as well.

Together, we have somehow managed to raise the most wonderful children that either of us could have imagined.

We made mistakes… oh yes!… we made plenty! But, despite those mistakes and our ‘trial and error’ methods of parenting, we evidently instilled in them the values that each one of them exhibits today and they, in turn, have instilled those same values into their own children. What a legacy we have built… together!

One of the most tender moments I have of our relationship were those hours in 1983 when you sat next to my hospital bed, quietly holding my hand and placing cool washcloths against my forehead. The doctors were trying to tame the raging fever that had enveloped me so that they could remove what we all believed to be a malignant tumor that had enveloped my kidney. I know that you were frightened… I was frightened… but you never left my side and you willed your strength into me. Fortunately, against 80% odds, the tumor was benign and although my kidney was removed, the other has continued to provide for me well.

Remember? I wrote a story of that experience several years later, in 1987. I submitted it as an entry in a contest called “Always and Forever” (the name of Randy Travis’ new album) sponsored by KUGN-FM radio in Eugene. My letter was chosen as the winner and we were treated to a wonderful evening at the Hult Center, meeting and visiting with Randy Travis in person in his tour bus for about 20 minutes. At the time, he presented me with a beautiful handcrafted gold necklace with an open umbrella as its pendant. A tiny diamond raindrop dangled from one of the spines of the umbrella and I wore that necklace for years afterwards.

You’ve always been my Superman – my hero. There was never anything that you couldn’t do. You had the strength of a bull and a stubborn determination to accomplish whatever needed to be done. And, you always succeeded – not necessarily the way I was hoping it would be done, but if it was for me, I knew that it was done with love.

We’ve had disagreements; the road has been rocky in spots, but neither of us had any desire to take a different route, and that determination has reaped so many rewards.

So, here’s to our journey towards the next 50! I don’t know how far we’ll get down that road, but however far it takes us, we’ll continue to do it together… Always and Forever! Happy 50th Anniversary my Love!!

So, the content of my life has indeed had many facets, but the most important ones in the past 50 years, especially, have been family and home and they will always take precedence over everything else in my life.

Printed in Groundwaters (Volume 10 Issue 4; Summer 2014)