Author: paedwards

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 12, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 12, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Following the stress and skyrocketing emotion that we are all feeling following this year’s presidential election and, more recently, the mandates necessitated by the spike in COVID-19 deaths across the nation that all but cancel Thanksgiving, we are all desperately looking for rainbows. I’m hoping to distance myself for a few minutes and bring a bit of much-needed humor in this week’s column by sharing a story I wrote many years ago that kind of fits the holiday season and, even better, has no political implications…

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Buzzard Duck
By Pat Edwards

Buzzard Duck was a member of that large mute breed of black and white duck that looks like it has a hamburger patty wrapped around its face… the Muscovy Duck. He came to live on our farm many years ago when someone gave him to us (that’s one of the “perks” of living on a farm… you get all of the animals that your friends and acquaintances no longer want!).

Buzzard Duck had the run of the barnyard along with an assortment of chickens and a pair of turkeys. Because he didn’t have a mate, he had to use his imagination. He took a shine to his own image that reflected from a piece of bright, polished aluminum that patched a large hole on the bottom of the barn door. B.D. stood before his reflection for hours on end, whispering sweet nothings to it in duck-fashion, and caressing it’s smooth surface with his head and beak. He was so enamored with his own image that we didn’t think that any of us existed in his mind. But, apparently, he did feel he owed my husband, Jim, a debt of gratitude for feeding him each day.

One day, Buzzard Duck was in rapt discussion with his reflection, as usual, while Jim was hammering away on a piece of equipment in the barnyard. Jim was completely oblivious to the fact that our huge Tom Turkey was nearby. Tom, who had long before instilled terror in the hearts of our 4 children, especially our youngest daughter, Kelly, by chasing them across the barnyard whenever they ventured near, began to circle Jim, preparing for a full charge.

Then, with wings spread and neck extended, the turkey sped (as fast as a 50 lb. hunk of white meat can speed) straight towards Jim. Jim was at first unaware that he was a target, but when he heard the rustle of feathers, he looked up to see a black and white duck streaking past him. When he turned around to see where Buzzard Duck was going in such a hurry, he saw what looked like a potential game of “Chicken” between a turkey and a duck. It was the turkey that put on his brakes and made a retreat for the far reaches of the barn lot with a very mad Buzzard Duck in fast pursuit. When B.D. figured that Jim was once again out of harm’s way, he calmly returned to courting his aluminum mate.

It was not too long afterwards that we found someone who had a female Muscovy who was looking for a mate. It was to be Buzzard’s reward for saving the dignity of his benefactor.

And a few months’ later, it was Thanksgiving—no, we didn’t eat Tom, but we did find him and his mate a new home. Kelly and her sisters and brother were able to cross the barnyard… unarmed once again, and they all are living happily ever after.

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 6, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 6, 2020
By Pat Edwards

On this early morning of Friday, November 6, I woke at 6:30 a.m. with only about 5 hours of sleep. I have been struggling to know what I can write about in this column—what I could say that would mean anything. As with almost everyone in our country, the presidential election has held our attention these past days. It is still undecided, but we are on the brink of the remaining votes determining the outcome. At this point, approximately half of my friends, family and neighbors are full of hope, while the other half are hurting badly and/or are full of rage. It’s been a close race and it’s obvious that the effects, regardless of the eventual outcome will affect all of our lives for quite some time to come.

I firmly believe that whether red or blue, we are a nation of good people who truly love our country. Somewhere along the way, we have lost track of how to talk—and LISTEN—to each other, and that is going to have to be something that we must all adopt as our main priority as we move on.

On election day, I found a famous quote that I shared on my Facebook page:
“United we stand; divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy the union upon which our existence hangs.”According to Wikipedia, Patrick Henry used the phrase in his last public speech, given in March 1799, in which he denounced The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, but it is generally attributed to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop, both directly in his fable “The Four Oxen and the Lion” and indirectly in “The Bundle of Sticks.” Sadly, it applies so aptly to our nation today.

We must allow our democracy to work. We must begin listening to each other in order to learn how we can begin to resolve our differences.

Let’s move forward. Our family, friends and neighbors are still the wonderful, good people we have always known they are. We can no longer be black, white, brown, red, blue or green. We live in a beautiful, technicolor world, but we must remove the color labels we’ve put on each other and let our love and respect wrap us with the many beautiful things we share and shield us from the differences that separate us until we can peacefully find a way to make them positive influences in our lives. Whatever happens from here on, we must do whatever we can to heal our wounds and become one nation again.

God Bless America!

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 29, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 29, 2020
By Pat Edwards

I begin this week’s column with a heavy heart. Two days ago, we learned of the sudden and tragic death of a good friend. Life-long Lorane resident, Charles Drullinger, was killed in a farming accident on October 27. Charles and his wife Phyllis have two adult children, Jeff and Jan, who went to the Lorane and Crow schools with our own daughters and son. Jim and I have attended many football, volleyball and basketball games, track meets, school carnivals and programs, 4-H club meetings and other social events with the Drullingers over the years.

Phyllis and Charles Drullinger; Long-time members of the Lorane Grange

Before his retirement, Charles was a department manager for Sears Roebuck when it was located in downtown Eugene before later moving on to work at Jerry’s Home Improvement Center; Phyllis was a pediatric nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. He was a kind, gentle and quiet man who was deeply respected by those who knew him. Both he and Phyllis have been active members of the Lorane Christian Church for many years—most, if not all, of his life, in fact. Charles, with his best friend, Bob Hing, was an avid sports fisherman, and they spent many years together, drowning worms.

Charles will be sorely missed and my heart goes out to Phyllis, Jeff, Jan and the rest of their family this week.

A lot of progress is being made on the Territorial Highway Project at Stony Point the past few weeks. A traffic light has been installed and a concrete barrier has been erected so that one way traffic can proceed in a single lane around the worst part of the existing road that has no shoulders. What they are calling “the big fill” is showing some progress below where the new, less curvy route is being built. The new arrangement has alleviated a lot of our nervousness in driving in the area where there were not only any shoulders, but where traffic had to be navigated at the edge of steep drop-offs just on the other side of the fog lines. Thank you, Lane County!

Lorane residents have been commenting all week about the thousands of blackbirds and starlings that have been lining all of the utility lines and ground along the straight stretch of Territorial as it passes the King Estate Winery. We discovered that their presence was also related to other comments from many of us that our power was breaking off almost every day for a couple of seconds at a time—just long enough to make us have to reset our clocks each time. It seems that the birds have been attracted to the grapes at King Estate that were not picked this year because of being tainted by the wildfire smoke and ash in September. We’ve been told by Lane Electric that the weight of so many of them sitting on the lines have been shorting things out. Apparently the smoke-flavored grapes could not be used for wine, but the birds didn’t seem to mind at all.

After working on this year’s 2020 Groundwaters anthology (“The Year of Crises” issue) since August, Jennifer Chambers and I have finally been able to send it off to Amazon.com for distribution. The huge project this year contains the work of 79 local writers and poets and many of the stories and poems were about the pandemic, protests, wildfires and general difficulties faced this year by all of us. I offered to donate one to the BRING Recycling “100-year Time Capsule Project” and they eagerly accepted it. It will be buried in the time capsule with other memorabilia from 2020 by BRING and won’t be dug up and opened until 2120. How exciting!