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, September 2, 2021

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
September 2, 2021
By Pat Edwards

It seems like life has suddenly become a major challenge these days for many of us. What happened to the days of sitting down in the evening to watch the local news before “Wheel” or one of our favorite comedy or detective shows came on?—We used to spend our mornings before heading for work or tackling home chores by sitting down with a cup of coffee to read our substantial local daily newspaper to see what has been happening in our communities. It didn’t just contain vast amounts of international and national news with just a smattering of local news and obits as it does now. Yes… it detailed the news of horrific crime and tragic events close to home, but there were a lot of other “feel-good” stories of the exceptional talents and imaginative goals set by the people in our own Lane County community. Once the paper was read, we were able to put it aside and go about our personal lives and relationships each day.

In today’s world, we have allowed our lives to be enveloped by “the news”—24-hours a day. We’ve become slaves to our cell phones, computers and television with their “on the spot” coverage and endless discussions of what’s going on in our world. We’re deluged by opinions of others in the form of social media, talk shows and biased political networks that, despite their views, are encouraging us to “pick sides” and, collectively, are dividing us as a nation.

Is it too much to wish, despite all of the many advances in technology, that we can begin to realize what its overuse is doing to us as a society? Can we begin to back off a bit on our dependence on it?

As I write these words, a thought occurs to me—How can I justify advising others about their dependence on “instant” news when I’m guilty of it myself? After all, I am one of the administrators of the Lorane, Oregon Facebook page and, like others, I find myself not only scrolling through its postings, but also those of our neighboring communities. These community pages are beneficial, I believe. When used, as they are intended, in finding lost pets, connecting with neighbors, warning of hazards on roadways and updates on road construction, they provide a service to its members. As administrator, it’s my job to monitor comments to make sure they stay respectful and non-personal. For the most part, they are, and fortunately the negative ones are well in the minority.

I also love to follow Facebook as a means of connecting with family and friends who I don’t see often… hearing about their families, activities and travels and, best of all, seeing pictures that illustrate their stories. I love to share my own stories and be able to wish the special people in my life a “happy birthday” or “congratulations.”

What I object to most is that many are using social media, especially, as a means of spreading discontent with anything that they don’t agree with. For them, it’s become very political and combative with no room for compromise and, unfortunately, many are jumping on their bandwagons.

I want to use this means to express my appreciation to the weekly newspapers that carry my column, for the service each is providing to our local communities. They put faces to the names of our community members and keep everyone apprised of what’s happening in not only their own communities, but with their schools, organizations, businesses and residents. They reach out to neighbors and cover events that appeal to many in our rural communities and provide a breath of fresh air to their readers.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.

Sweet Lorane Community News; August 26, 2021

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
August 26, 2021
By Pat Edwards

The recent cool mornings and milder days these past couple of weeks are a welcome change. I haven’t had to worry about having to go out, either in the early mornings or late evenings, to water plants because of the heat. Some of my plants have gotten a bit sunburned because I was forced to water them mid-day a couple times. It was either that or not water them at all when they needed it.

Thanks to our neighbors who have been following the restrictions and taking care during this extreme fire season, we have not had any major fire scares closeby. There were a few small fires that were quickly put out and I think we all owe our local fire fighters a big ‘thank you’ for being so well-prepared. Of course, it’s not over yet, but it almost feels as though an early fall is beginning to settle in on us. Goodness knows, we could use some good rain showers. It seems that the East Coast has a monopoly on the rain right now, though.

The road construction on Territorial Highway at Stoney Point is progressing nicely. We can now see the route that the new road will take us as we slowly work our way through the flaggers and gravel detours that keep changing on us each day or week. There are still some long delays at times to allow drainage work to be done in areas next to the road and most of us who travel Territorial often know that we need to tack on an additional 10 to 20 minutes to our travel time if we need to be somewhere at a certain time.

The other day, I had an appointment in Cottage Grove, but was late in leaving the house. Normally, the 30 minutes I allow myself for travel time would have been enough, but as I approached the construction zone, I decided to head over the hill to Creswell instead of chancing being held up too long at Stoney Point. Even at that, I was 10 minutes late to my appointment and had to call ahead to let them know I was on my way. The lab tech was not too happy, but I was eventually forgiven. Today, I had a 7:00 a.m. appointment in Cottage Grove and allowed myself 45 minutes. This time I decided to go through the construction zone and take Cottage Grove-Lorane Road since traffic was not too heavy going south and it was being controlled by traffic lights at Stoney Point. I got to my appointment with time to spare.

We all need to plan ahead and adjust our lives to the constrictions we feel each day from construction zones, speed limits, mask mandates, and unforeseen circumstances that might interfere with or interrupt our plans. We’re all in this—whatever “this” is—together. Getting angry, frustrated, belligerent or placing the blame on others is only going to complicate our lives. If we are always looking for the thorns, we will miss the beauty of the roses.

Looking back at my years on earth… and that’s almost 79 of them… I’ve experienced many more roses than thorns. Even the thorns are important, because they make me realize how beautiful the roses were (and are), and how blessed I have been.

Let’s strive to be kind to each other.