Category: Newspaper Columns

Newspaper columns that I have written for the Fern Ridge Review in Veneta, Oregon and the Creswell Chronicle in Creswell, Oregon. I began writing them for the Fern Ridge Review on August 4, 2010; on December 6, 2012, the Creswell Chronicle began printing them, as well. I am still the Lorane columnist for both papers.

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 14, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 14, 2021
By Pat Edwards

I am heartbroken. The attack on the United States Capitol building and members of our House of Representatives and Senate was too fresh for me to write about last week. As I watched the horrible attack unfold, besides being heartbroken, I was furious that something like this was happening in our country by our own citizens. At the same time, I knew that people close to me—good friends, and even, some family members—supported, and still support, the reasons behind it. I doubt that any of them, except one, support the violence and mob destruction of one of our most beloved institutions and the democracy that it stands for, but several continue to support our twice-impeached President who incited the violent attack.

One of my extended family members, who lives out of state, belongs to a far-right extremist group, but the others I speak of would never take part in the violence and destruction that occurred on January 6. For years, most of them have listened to the “conspiracy teachings” of the far-right media and social media rants. Their rhetoric seems almost scripted.

I have long been just a bit more conservative than liberal in my own heart, but I feared the sharp right turn that the Republican Party took over four years ago. It left me—I didn’t leave it.

I am aware of some of the basic concerns the “non-radical” conservatives hold that have caused them to doubt the path our country is on. I don’t agree with some of those concerns, but I truly believe that they love our country as much as I do. Most believe that some of their freedoms are being taken away. They fear too much government and what they are labeling as socialism by the far left. I also believe that those who are much more liberal need to adjust some of their own behaviors to win these people back to the conference table.

We are going to be a divided nation until we can learn how to talk to each other. In the meantime, I’m praying that all extremist groups can be overwhelmed and dealt with by those of us who despise what happened on January 6. I want my friends back; I want all of my family back. I don’t want to leave our grandchildren and great-grandchildren this kind of legacy.

May God Bless America and may our hearts, minds and souls be healed before my time on earth is done.

Sweet Lorane Community News, December 31, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
December 31, 2020
By Pat Edwards

In the summer of 2018, my sister and brother-in-law, Barbara (I call her B.J.) and Dwight Isborn, moved from their beautiful home above Cottage Grove Lake to an equally beautiful home in Redmond, Oregon, where they’ve always wanted to live—out of the rainy winters into the cold-but-sunny, snowy ones. The problem with that is, they left family behind in Lane County and none of us enjoy driving the snowy passes between here and there during the winters. As a consequence, we haven’t spent any of the winter holidays together since. With the arrival of the pandemic in 2020, we haven’t gotten together as a group for a year now and even though we are relatively close in distance, they might as well be living on the East Coast. B.J. did make it over the hill this summer for an outdoor, socially-distanced, memorial service of an extended family member, but she drove home the same day, and one day during the early part of spring, before the mandates, she and Dwight came over to see their daughter and we all had lunch together in Cottage Grove, all properly masked.

This Christmas, I made B.J. promise me that she would rein in her gift buying for us. I promised to do the same, as I had decided that we would mainly just get gifts for our little ones in the family. She reluctantly agreed and a week before Christmas, a package arrived in the mail from them. I was late in sending theirs because I had been waiting for an on-line order. When it hadn’t come in time, I put together a couple of token gifts for them—a jigsaw puzzle for her and 3 pairs of socks for Dwight—as promised. When we opened their package on Christmas day, we had a good laugh. They sent me a jigsaw puzzle and Jim 3 pairs of socks. We thanked each other for the great gift selections and came to the conclusion that we could have saved a lot of postage if we had just kept the ones we bought.

The Isborns and Edwards on a 2014 trip to Alaska. Dwight and Barbara Isborn (back); Jim and Pat Edwards (front). We’re looking forward to another trip with them soon.

 

I miss them.

Like so many others, I am anxious for the people of our nation to get enough vaccinations so that we can once again lower the restrictions that are keeping us from our loved ones, our jobs, our schools and our good friends and neighbors.

I want to get away from the television news shows with their reports of political divisiveness, the occasional days of wearing pajamas all day, taking naps in the afternoons, trying to focus on the various projects I have taken on, and eating way too much.

I want to get on with the pending sale of our store; to be able to travel while we’re still able; to once again be able to research and work on the book I put aside in 2020. Most importantly, in 2021, I want to freely hug our family and friends in greeting, take caravan vacations, and go to chick-flick and Disney movies with my daughters, granddaughters and great-grands. (We do invite any male family member along who wants to go, too.) I want my great-grandchildren to experience what “going to school” is really like—the excitement of walking into that pre-school or kindergarten classroom for the first time to take that first step of independence. I want to be able to eat out again.

I think that what I wish most for our country is for the huge, deep wound of division to begin to heal; that our leaders in all branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—reach out to us in kindness and concern, regardless of party, and to each other in order to not only heal that wound, but to make any remaining scars fade.

Happy New Year—2021, and God Bless America!