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, October 18, 2018

I have struggled this week to figure out what to write for my column without making it a repeat of last week’s submission. I was in the process of filing away and/or shredding some old paperwork this morning when I came across an essay I wrote in October 2012 when the fate of the Lorane Elementary School was hanging in the balance. It is titled “Respecting the Past; Accepting the Present; Looking to the Future.” I never used it in my column, but I thought that it still pertains today and I’d like to share an excerpted version of it with you.

Community baseball game

Although no one has ever told me directly that I need to quit living in the past, I’m sure that the thought has occurred to some… especially with the recent issues that we, in Lorane, are facing regarding the closing of our school. Much of the emotional turmoil that has bubbled up around that reality comes from the fond memories that the school has evoked in those of us whose lives have intertwined with our small rural community, however briefly. The past has impacted our lives in ways that those from other, more urban, communities can’t fathom.

In the past, when life revolved around home and a single bread-winner, we knew our neighbors and shared our lives with them. Social activities were centered in the church, the Grange, the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs… but especially in the school. There were potlucks and dances and smelt feeds and 4th of July celebrations and baseball games. We had Christmas programs in our school where we watched our children perform and we would all join them in singing Christmas carols. Even as recently as a few years ago, large funerals have been held in the gymnasium because no other venue in the community would hold the hundreds who gathered to pay their respects. Our neighbors were many times our best friends and, we generally respected each others’ differing political views and could good-naturedly discuss them without fear of making them an enemy.

In the 1960s, we mothers usually went to town once a week to buy groceries and we frequently scheduled doctor’s appointments on the same day. Lunch at a hamburger stand with the kids on that one day was a big event. When we were lucky enough to lunch with another adult, we actually talked and listened to each other. Unlike today, conversation did not have to be woven around phone calls or while the other person was reading her text messages or playing a game on her phone.

Kids spent their summers building forts and taking hikes in the woods, bucking hay, gardening and playing outside in the sunshine and fresh air all day long. Usually, if they didn’t, they found themselves cleaning their rooms or practicing the piano instead. During the school year, after school and on weekends, they raised livestock or learned to sew or cook in 4-H clubs. Some older boys helped their dads in the woods, learning not only to cut timber, but to build a strong work ethic, as well… and there were always daily chores in addition to homework.

No, it was not an idyllic life. Money was usually tight. Kids usually wore hand-sewn “hand-me-downs” from older siblings or cousins. There were no designer shoes or clothing that separated the “haves” from the “have-nots,” but respect was taught. Usually it was done with love, but, like today, for some, it was taught with a hard hand.

Yes, it is easy to live in the past, but even though I am now a septuagenarian, I am still able to look to the future as well as live and function in the present… I am a realist. Life, as I described it above, no longer exists in Lorane and I realize that we will never get it back. Modern technology is here to stay… Designer clothes, computers and X-boxes, cell phones and texting have taken over our lives so completely that there is no turning back… Only by understanding and respecting the successes and failures of our past, can we move confidently into the future knowing that we have done everything possible to control our own destiny.

Today, in 2018, I see glimmers of Lorane’s past emerging. There is once again a strong feeling of “community.” Young and old alike are working together to make “community” happen in so many ways.

It makes my heart smile.

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 11, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 11, 2018
By Pat Edwards

How exciting! 4-H is coming back into the area… not just an individual club here and there, but a 4-H Community Club is forming in the Crow area. They’ve already held their open house this past Saturday at the Crow Grange—I didn’t hear about it until after I had submitted my column last week—but there’s still time to check out the groups that will be forming for kids K-12.

It brings back lots of good memories… I headed up a 4-H Community Club in Lorane in the 1980s. As community coordinator, it was my job to find out what interests kids in the area had and to find leaders to form groups. We had kids and leaders both signed up for not only livestock and cooking clubs, but sewing, leathercraft, dog obedience, guinea pigs, small engine repair, horsemanship, knitting, etc. Each of these groups met separately, but were all part of one big community club. I put out a newsletter each month telling about what groups were forming and which ones still needed leaders. Many members displayed or showed their projects at the annual Lane County 4-H Fair held at the fairgrounds. Those 10 years were one of the most rewarding parts of my life because I was able to work with so many of the kids and leaders. For more information, contact Jessica Colwell at 458-315-5946.

The Lorane Grange’s Spaghetti Dinner and Bingo is back on Friday, October 19 for a short fall run before the holidays. It begins with dinner at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., immediately followed by bingo. Lil Thompson wants me to remind everyone to “Come enjoy a delicious meal and lots of fun and laughs at bingo.”

Applegate Elementary in Crow is hosting this year’s Harvest Festival on October 26th from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. The fun will include free carnival games, costume contests, trick-or-treating and a haunted house. If you would like to volunteer your time to help set-up, run a booth or a trick-or-treat door, please contact Marissa McNutt-Cooper as soon as possible.

On October 27, the large fundraiser for Cody Tripp is happening at the Crow Grange at 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. There will be a Swiss Steak dinner with homemade pumpkin pie ($18 per adult), doorprizes, and a huge silent auction. Cody, a 2013 graduate of Crow High School, is fighting a recurrence of the cancer that sidelined him in his senior year. Proceeds for the event will help defray some of the expenses incurred by his family. Loranian, Patrick Dearth, is serving as chairman and organizer of the event and can be contacted at 541-520-5383 if you have items to donate. The Lorane, Creswell and Crow Granges are sponsoring it jointly. Connie Suing, President of the Crow Grange, can be reached at 541-556-2609 if there are any questions about the event. Thank you to all who are working so hard to make this happen!

Halloween will be celebrated in Lorane on October 31 with the annual “Trunk or Treat” for kids and adults alike. It is sponsored by the Lorane Christian Church and all are invited to participate. Cars will be lined up in the church parking lot and treats will be made available to the ghosts and goblins that show up from their decorated trunks. For the adults, there is usually hot chocolate or apple cider and snacks. It’s a great way for country kids to be able to enjoy the fun of the holiday without being out on the dark roads in the area.

And, don’t forget… there are always bags of goodies handed out to the costumed superheroes, princesses and those same ghosts and goblins at the Lorane Family Store on Halloween night. It’s been our tradition to do that for the past 41 years.

Congratulations to Lorane’s own Alesong Brewing and Blending for bringing home three medals from the prestigious Great American Beer Festival last month in Denver, Colorado.

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 4, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 4, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Sawyer Scott HaxbyBefore I get back to writing my column for Lorane, I want—need—to announce the arrival of Jim’s and my newest great-grandbaby. Our granddaughter, Linsey Kau Haxby and her husband Brent announce the birth of Sawyer Scott Haxby who was born on October 2, at 8:04 p.m., weighing 7lbs 4oz. and 21 3/4 inches long. Of course, he’s perfect! Sawyer is an anomaly in our family—he’s male. We have populated our family with a large number of strong, beautiful, bright and caring fe43229079_10217015817370574_8404397867443159040_nmales through three generations now, but the males of the family, while equally strong, bright, handsome and caring, are a rarity. We’ve averaged one for each of the three generations that Jim and I spawned. Sawyer is the first of his generation, joining our son Rob Edwards and grandson Kevin Stevens, and it will be interesting to see if others will follow. He has a little cousin on the way, due in early December. Whatever the gender, she or he will be cherished.

Now, I suppose I’d really better get everyone caught up on the upcoming events scheduled this month in Lorane and Crow…

Saturday, October 13, begins the first Lorane Movie Night showing of the 2018/2019 season. The featured movie is “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002). It’s described as a romantic comedy where “the daughter of orthodox Sikhs rebels against her parents’ traditionalism and joins a football team.“

Each monthly movie night begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Lorane Grange with a homemade soup and salad dinner, followed by fun and games at 6:45 p.m. before the movie begins at 7:30. A suggested donation is $7 for adults and $5 for children, 12 and under.

A reminder: The Crow community is holding a fundraiser for Crow High School graduate, Cody Tripp, who is taking on his second battle with cancer. A dinner is being held on Saturday, October 27, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Crow Grange. Check the Lorane and Crow Community Facebook pages for more details.

The Lorane dinner and bingo night sponsored by the Lorane Grange will begin its fall season on Friday, October 19. I believe that the dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. and bingo will get started at 6:30.

2018 Groundwater Anthology FRONT COVERWe’ve just completed the 2018 Groundwaters anthology. We are doing the last proofing at this time and hope to publish it by early next week. We will once again launch it at a special program called Groundwaters LIVE! to be held on Sunday, October 21 , tentatively at 3:00 p.m., at the Applegate Regional Theater on the corner of Central and Fleck Roads, north of Crow. Ten of our 70+ contributing authors will give 5-minute readings from their works. Refreshments will be served and anthologies from all four years will be available for purchase.

We wish to invite the community to join us. This year, we are including some of the poems featured in the first issues of the Groundwaters magazine begun by Judy Hays-Eberts in October 2004. They will include poems written by current and past West Lane residents Sally Spaulding, Pat Gill, Judy Hays-Eberts, Guy Lundy, Terry Brooke, Carolyn Carney and the late Janet Romanek, Reneé Dodds, June Wyant, and Paul Cass. Selections have also been chosen by Jessie Stinson and Jean-Marie Purcell, as well.

We have quite a few new contributors for 2018, too. I have no doubt that you’ll be quite impressed by the quality of talent demonstrated by local authors and poets who share their work with us each year.