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, June 21, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 21, 2018
By Pat Edwards

We have some really big events coming up soon in both Lorane and Crow, so I want to try and cover several of them this week.

Before I begin, I want to comment on how important it is that no matter where you live, we need to support our own communities and the fundraisers and celebrations that are taking place throughout the year. So many of us have concerns about the current national situation, but we all feel so helpless in trying to make a difference. I believe that change starts small—locally—and tends to grow from there. By participating in our own communities, we are able to discuss our differences and work together to build values and to make positive things happen. It just grows from there. So, let’s do it!

First up on my calendar is the fundraiser for Michael and Amber Matchulat on Saturday, July 7. The Lorane community is spearheading the drive. Michael has been fighting Stage 4 colorectal cancer for 3 years now and it has depleted their resources. A community benefit dinner and dance are being held at King Estate Winery where a silent auction, live auction and raffles are also being held. The 150 available tickets for the dinner have been sold out and there’s a long waiting list for cancellations, but raffle tickets are still for sale. The website link is posted on the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page. Thank you to King Estate and the hard work being done by so many people!

The 15th Annual Crow Car Show, scheduled for Saturday, July 14, is being held at the Crow High School football field this year. The proceeds from this very popular event goes towards academic as well as athletic support of all of our Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District’s students regardless of age. The car show is hosted by the Crow Booster Club that has done so much for our schools through the years. There will be a free pancake breakfast, raffles, auctions, displays and activities for the whole family… and admission is FREE!

Saturday, August 4, is proving to be a real challenge for everyone. There are 3 major local events happening that day, but as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, if you want to make a day of it, you can partake in each one.

yard sale psoterThe earliest starting time is the Lorane Community-Wide (Yard) Sale taking place at 9:00 a.m. on August 4. It will run until 3:00 p.m. There will be sales happening at the same time throughout the Lorane area and maps will be provided for those wanting to browse each one. Tables are also being rented at the Lorane Grange and I have made the lawn area around the old Dew Drop Inn, next to the Lorane Family Store, available for anyone wishing to set up tents in which they can display their wares. All rental fees will be donated to the Lorane Grange.

After finding your treasures, you can then head towards Crow were you’ll find some good times, good entertainment and good food and drink for the rest of the day.
The newest event in the area, the Art in the Country Festival, will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the grounds of the Applegate Regional Theater, north of Crow. The site is located on the corner of Central and Fleck Roads and is 2 miles south of West 11th on the grounds of the former Central Elementary School. It runs until 6:00 p.m.

The Art in the Country Festival is described as a “fine art and author” fair and will feature displays and booths with a variety of fine art produced by Oregon artists and with over 20 Oregon authors sharing and reading from their latest books. Members of the theater will offer dramatic readings, as well. It will also have a beer and wine garden, food concessions, live music, 2 entertainment stages and a kids’ fun zone.

Last, but certainly not least, is the Crow Grange’s Chicken ‘n Pickin BBQ taking place from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. that same day. Save room for dinner that includes a half chicken, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, a roll, lemonade or coffee and ice cream. The cost is $10 per person and they are willing to package it “to go.” They will even entertain you with live music!

I’ll need to tell you all about the August 12 Lorane Ice Cream Social in next week’s column.

Congratulations to the Creswell Grange for their recent Ice Cream Social event! I understand it was a lot of fun and that quite a few of our Lorane Grange members were there to support it. That, to me, is what the growth of “community” entails. Supporting your neighbors, whenever possible, as well as your own.

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 14, 2018

I’m writing this column on Thursday afternoon, June 14. My sister, Barbara Isborn (who I’ve always called “B.J.”) and I just returned from an overnight stay in Newport, Oregon to visit with our brother, Jim Burnett, Sr. He was vacationing there with his wife Jonni for three days between chemotherapy treatments. Some of you who were fans of the Groundwaters magazine, might remember him as “Jimminy Cricket.” He wrote the “Philosopher’s Corner” feature.

Jim at NewportIt was a gorgeous day on the Oregon Coast. The sun was out, the wind was light and the temperature was in the low 70s.

When we first arrived, B.J. and I visited with Jim and Jonni for a short while until Jim had to lie down for a nap, so we headed out to take a walk on a beautiful beach within walking distance of our motel where we could see the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse sitting on a distant bluff. The high-tide line on the beach was covered by millions of what we learned were a delicate type of jellyfish called “By-the-Wind Sailors.” They were an electric blue in color with transparent, rounded “sails” sticking up in the air. They live on the surface of the water and are taken wherever the wind blows them. High tide yesterday brought them to Newport.

By-the-Wind Sailor

By-the-Wind Sailor

We walked south to the jetty and then headed back, racking up about 2.5 miles or more (according to B.J.’s Fit-Bit).

The four of us then spent the evening over a 2-hour dinner at the Shilo Inn restaurant which overlooked the beach we had walked on.

It was a special time… one of sharing our memories as children, the good times and the not so good, but mostly the funny, and sometimes awful things we did as kids… like roasting apples over our Halloween jack-o-lanterns, and taste-testing our sweet collie, Ginger’s “Gro-Pup” ribbon-like dog food. We quizzed each other about details of our grandparents’ ranch that was located on Powell Road, between Lorane and Crow, that only Jim was old enough to remember well… and we expressed our sadness that there was no one left who could provide us the answers.

Jimmy & Jonni at Newport

Jim and Jonni Burnett

Jim’s cancer is Stage 4 and he has just finished his first round of chemo and will begin his second on Monday. The outlook for him, at 80 years of age, is not good, but he wore a calm serenity during our whole visit as the sun shone on us through those panoramic windows of the restaurant last night. As expected, he was still sleeping when we left the motel this morning. We had said our good-byes the night before. They planned to spend another night in Newport and then head home to Vancouver the next day and we hope to make another trip to see them soon.

I will long cherish the memories we made yesterday and know that whatever happens with his treatment, those memories will forever bind us together and define our love and respect for each other as siblings. Godspeed, Jimmy!

I’ll update everyone on the upcoming summer events planned for both Lorane and Crow in my next column. I want to dedicate this one to brothers and sisters everywhere, but especially to my own.

In the meantime, I hope that each of you has a wonderful summer planned.

Sweet Lorane Community News, May 31, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 31, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Springtime brings on the joy contained in that Lesley Gore song of long ago… “Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, everything that’s wonderful…” I’ve got the teeny-boppers scratching their heads and saying, “Who? What’s she talkin’ about?” but those of us who were around in the 1960s have probably now got that tune stuck in our heads for at least the rest of the day. (And yes… I know that I referred to that same song in this column a year and a half ago.)

I probably work harder and perspire (okay—sweat!) more profusely this time of year than any other, but it’s my favorite season. I come in the house, aching all over, but I feel good to be working muscles that are becoming more and more passive as my lifestyle slows down.

My war on out-of-control grass and weeds is finally making a degree of headway, in my favor. Oh… I still have a ways to go, but I’m seeing and feeling progress.

33732032_10155644700510784_6336980175141470208_nThere’s a big event coming up in the Lorane and Crow communities that I’d like all of our friends and neighbors to participate in, even if you don’t live in either community. A group has taken on the task of raising enough funds and volunteer time and labor to try and build a home for one of our favorite young area couples. Michael Matchulat and his wife Amber, bought property in Lorane near King Estate Winery, that had on it a small, single-wide mobile home needing more repairs than it’s worth. Their intent when they got married almost 3 years ago was to replace it with a modest home. At about that time, however, Michael was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. It’s a hideous disease that has so far involved many, many surgeries, chemotherapy programs, poking, prodding, cutting away and tampering with various parts of his body and causing a great deal of pain and discomfort. Michael has faced each procedure and decision to try something new with unwavering courage. He’s not a dreamer; he’s a realist who knows he has no choice but to face whatever fate awaits him. He’s voiced his fears, anger and frustration with us and has allowed us to accompany him on the journey that he’s been on through blog-type postings on Facebook. Many of his entries are written with tongue-in-cheek humor, but the tragic circumstances are visible just below the surface and the reality of it is gut-wrenching. I’ve included some of those journal entries in this very column in the past, so many of you have met him through these pages, too.

Michael’s future is uncertain. He, more than anyone else, knows this. He worries about leaving Amber and works at whatever jobs he can between treatments. He was a well-respected deputy sheriff until cancer brought everything to a screeching halt. The medical bills have eaten away what insurance coverage they have as well as the proceeds of an earlier GoFundMe drive.

Now, a group of can-do residents and friends in Lorane and Crow are working to raise the funds to at least put a down payment on the building of a new home on their property. A major event is being planned in Michael and Amber’s honor. It’s a community benefit that will include dinner, live music, dancing and an auction of some great donated items. It will be held at King Estate Winery’s Vineyard Pavilion on Saturday, July 7, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for both the dinner/dance ($25 per person) and a raffle ($2 each or 11 for $10) that they will be holding, as well. You do not have to be present to win the raffle.

There is a website set up where you can buy the dinner tickets on-line or you can purchase them directly from one of the organizers. Go to the Matchy Kick Ass Party Facebook page to get the link to the website, as it is too long to include here.

The Lorane Family Store also has a limited supply of the 2,000 tickets that are being sold for the raffle. For more information, donation offers or tickets, contact DeAnn Butterfield Jahnke via the FB page or Marissa McNutt Cooper (541-517-6608).

Happy 54th anniversary to my husband and best friend, Jim Edwards!