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, December 5, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
December 05, 2019
By Pat Edwards

I have a huge apology to make to my editors again this week. With the busy-ness of the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and the wonderful day, itself, I let the deadline for my column pass me by. A gentle reminder late on Saturday Miss Calliopebrought the realization that my ability to multi-task these days is definitely slipping. I quickly wrote a column and submitted it on Sunday morning (three days late), with the instructions to use it this week if it could not be squeezed into last week’s paper, in time. So, if you are reading this one, then you already know that Jim and I have been blessed with a beautiful new great-granddaughter, Calliope Jean Stevens, who was born on Thanksgiving Day. Her name is unusual and we’ve had many comments on it. Our grandson, Kevin, picked it out from the long list of baby names he and Jazmine scoured when they found out they were having a girl. I have no doubt that she will be called “Callie” or “C.J.” as she grows, but for now, she’s our little Calliope.

I want to quickly update you on my participation in the Fern Ridge Community Choir and our plans to do a holiday sing-along concert the week before Christmas. A few columns ago, I told you how difficult it was for me to learn choir parts of the beloved Christmas carols I have sung all of my life. I don’t read music and being an alto, the harmony parts don’t come very close to the melody. I vowed, though, that I was going to stick it out and make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

Well, I’m progressing and am really enjoying the experience of doing something out of my comfort zone. There are only a few songs that we are singing harmony on as our rehearsal time is limited, so I’ll be able to sing the melodies on most; but I’m catching on to learning the alto parts of harmony with the help of YouTube. I found I can sing along with one of the various alto samples of “Carol of the Bells” while sitting at my computer. It’s wonderful!

The choir will sing quite a few of the other beautiful, familiar carols and at the end, the audience will be invited to sing some of the rollicking favorites with us—“Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” We’ll be holding the performances at the Applegate Regional Theater, 87230 Central Rd, Eugene, OR 97402 (the corner of Central and Fleck Roads) at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, December 20 and 21, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 22. I hope that we can fill the house. It will be so much fun!

The Angel Trees are now in place at the Lorane Family Store in Lorane and at the Crow Middle/High School in Crow for those who want to buy holiday gifts for local children of families in need. Be sure and stop by and select one or more ornaments that give ages and needs or wants of each child from the trees and bring back a new, unwrapped gift for that child. The gifts will be wrapped by volunteers and delivered to the families by Christmas.

The food boxes are also in place throughout Lorane… at the Grange, the Lorane Family Store, the Lorane Deli, and the Lorane Christian Church.

Let’s all be generous in our giving again this year so that each of us, no matter our circumstances, can enjoy this holiday season!

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 28, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 28, 2019
By Pat Edwards

The holiday season seemed to come swooping in this year. It seems that once I passed 50 or so, the days, weeks, months and years seem to have taken on the speed of an express train. Once the 4th of July is over, summer seems to fly by and before we have time to complete summer projects and take the trips we hope to go on, fall has arrived and right on its heels, winter.

This year was no exception—in fact it seems to have taken on more urgency. But, for some reason—maybe the fact that I am feeling so much better physically since my recent surgery, or maybe because I decided to forego sharing a booth at the Holiday Market this year with Joe Blakely—I have felt more relaxed and less stressed. I signed up for tables at the Creswell and Fern Ridge Holiday Bazaars to sell my books on two different days; I’m still rehearsing with the Fern Ridge Community Choir each Tuesday night; and Jim’s last epidural injection seems to be working (knock-on-wood!) and his back and leg pain has diminished considerably. So, I have much to be thankful for this year.

I was able to prepare for Thanksgiving in small increments this year. Our family is quite large and we usually host a gathering of 20-plus family and friends to feast on turkey, ham and all of the salads, sides and desserts that go with it. I was really looking forward to seeing our two little one-year-old great-grandchildren toddling around the house. Both Sawyer Scott Haxby and Shiloh Kate Furlong, who are only 2 months apart in age, have just learned to walk. Our two older great-granddaughters, Harper Lorane and Hayden Rae Furlong were going to be there, too. Harper and I have a special bond whenever she visits, putting together her jigsaw puzzles which she loves as much as I do. I had new puzzles and activity books ready for both girls and we were able to sneak off and work on them during the day.


The most exciting part of our Thanksgiving, however, was the news, at 5:00 a.m. that morning, that our newest little great-granddaughter, Calliope Jean Stevens, was on her way. Our grandson Kevin and his partner Jazmine were at RiverBend, ready to deliver this beautiful new addition to our family. I wasn’t able to greet her in person that day, but my heart was with with her mom, dad, and grandmas, Gloria and Karen, when she arrived that afternoon.

Lil Papoose

Threesome 2Threesome

The next morning, instead of joining the hoards at Black Friday events, Gloria picked up Jim and me and we headed to the hospital to meet our little girl. She’s beautiful and healthy and will be the one toddling around our house next Thanksgiving. There’s so much to look forward to.

Jim Calliopie and meCallie and Me

I am truly thankful!

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 21, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 21, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Thank you to Nanette Bordner, the Lifestyle Director for the Junction City Retirement and Assisted Living Center, for inviting me to give a talk on the history of the Pacific Highway, U.S. Highway 99, through Oregon last week. It’s one of the first solo talks I have made since my co-author, Jo-Brew passed away over a year ago. The audience was quite impressive and very interested in the stories I told and those memories they evoked were shared with the group.

Public speaking is not easy for me. I usually read much of my material so that I won’t leave out some of the important information I want to impart. I intersperse my reading, however, with side stories to support the history and we all seem to relate to each other—not as a speaker and an audience, but as a group of friends sharing our stories and memories. That’s what makes it so special to me. I miss being able to share these wonderful experiences with Jo, but this was fun to do again.

Jen as AbigailI was able to attend the play, “An Evening With Three Great Americans” at the Applegate Regional Theater recently and I am so glad that I did. It was an enjoyable way to be immersed in history and “meet” some of the history-makers. Jennifer Chambers portrayed Abigail Scott Duniway who was a prominent suffragist, advocating for women’s rights to vote in Oregon and the Northwest. Jen is the author of “Hesitate No Longer” about Abigail and Susan B. Anthony who joined together to garner support for the cause, and her presentation was very enlightening and professional.

Dan Schmieding then came on stage as Samuel Clemens, more widely known as Mark Twain, to talk about how the cultures of his time were so different than they are now, adding a humorous touch to the program… “Wha’ ya mean that I can’t smoke my cigar in public?”… “You’re citing me when I throw my line in the water to catch tonight’s dinner because I don’t have a… what?… fishing license?”

Steven HolgateThe last half of the program was taken up by a mesmerizing conversation with Abraham Lincoln who was portrayed by Steve Holgate, a retired career U.S. diplomat, who has perfected his Abraham Lincoln persona so well over the past 20 years that all of us in the audience felt we were really in the presence of greatness. The emotions were raw as he talked about his struggles to end slavery and about his and Mary’s loss of their child. He talked and looked the part exactly as I would have pictured Abe.

A friend, Sandy Diess, who attended the matinee performance on Sunday commented afterwards that she had seen Hal Holbrook’s portrayal of our 16th president, but she felt that Steve Holgate’s was just as good if not better.

I just wish that some of our school children and more of the community would have been able to witness this exceptional program. Thank you to the board of the Applegate Regional Theater for providing us with the opportunity.

Here’s a message from Marissa McNutt Cooper of the Lorane Community Association:
“Its that time of year again. We are gearing up for our annual Angel Tree and holiday food boxes. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance this holiday season, and you live in the Lorane/Crow area, please contact me. Looking forward to another successful year! My goal is to get the trees up the week of Thanksgiving.” Contact her at 541-517-6608.