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, August 6, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
August 6, 2020
By Pat Edwards

We woke up this morning to some rain, and after the hot days we’ve been experiencing, it actually felt good. For me, rain denotes a slowing down of our days and permission to stay inside and either snuggle into the day or to spend some quiet time on things that have been put aside until “we have a chance to do them.” There’s always a slight feeling of guilt for staying inside any more than we have to during the bright and sunny days of summer.

Our days, lately, have been filled with several “catch-up” doctor’s appointments for Jim, who has been reporting in electronically to his doctors during the earlier part of the pandemic, and a couple for me in addition to servicing our car and making bank and grocery runs for the store. So, life has continued to be busy for us despite temperature checks, masks and social distancing as we make our rounds.

Masks are not our favorite things, but we have learned to automatically put them on when we step out of our car into public areas. One incident provided me with a bit of a chuckle this week. I had been asked to speak at a small socially-distanced writing class at the Lamb Cottage in Spencer Butte Park. We all wore masks and sat well away from each other as I talked and answered the questions about self-publishing in the 8-person class. In my haste to get to the class on time, however, I forgot to wear my hearing aids. Normally, I can get along pretty well without them, but that day, as I was taking happy facequestions from the group, I found myself straining to hear what they were saying through their masks. While doing so, it suddenly dawned on me that I was pulling my mask down a little below my nose in order to hear better. Strangely, it seemed to help!

Hudson Ross Haxby 2This past week was an especially exciting one for us. Little 7 lb. 8 oz Hudson Ross Haxby joined our family on July 30. He was born to our granddaughter, Linsey Kau Haxby and grandson-in-law, Brent Haxby of Veneta. Hudson is their 2nd son and is adored by his big, 21-month-old brother, Sawyer. I’ve mentioned before in this column that boys are a rarity in our family. For the past 3 generations before Hunter was born, there has been only one male born to our family per generation. Hudson broke that tradition and we are loving it.

Linsey’s older sister, Stephanie Kau Furlong, and her husband Chad, have given us four great-granddaughters including little Cora who was born only six weeks ago; our grandson, Kevin Stevens, and his partner, Jazmine, presented us with sweet, beautiful Calliope 8 months ago, and we have another great-granddaughter due in November. I have no doubt that all will be raised more like brothers and sisters than cousins as our own grandchildren were. Each one is so special to us and they all brighten our days during the few times we are able to get together during this pandemic.

I haven’t been able to hold Hudson yet. His brother, Sawyer, had a cold when Hudson was born, and passed it on to his Grammy and Grampy Kau and his mom, so we’ve all been keeping our distance for now. On the day he came home from the hospital, though, Jim and I brought them some wonderful barbecued chicken from the Crow Grange’s annual feed, so we were met at the garden gate in front of their home and able to at least see Hudson in person and “ooh” and “aah” a bit.

We have been so blessed!

Sweet Lorane Community News, July 23, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle

Sweet Lorane Community News
July 23, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Happy summer everyone! Has it been hot enough for you? For me, the 70s are perfect; the low- to even mid-80s are bearable; but once the thermometer passes over that 90 mark, I tend to hybernate in the air-conditioned house, if possible. 

Consequently, I water flowers and Jim does the lawn mowing in the early mornings or late evenings. We expect that more and more restrictions will be put on the use of power equipment as the temperature soars and the vegetation dries out so we’re trying to stay ahead of the game while we can.

With the Covid-19 guidelines in place, we try to spend as much time at home as possible, but we still have a store to run for now, and trips to town two or three times a week are inevitable. Like so many others, we are doing everything we can to socially distance ourselves when out in public, and we are very strong supporters of wearing masks when we shop, go into the bank or have lunch at responsible local restaurants. I’ve embarrassed myself a few times by being distracted as I get out of the car and have found myself walking through the front door of a business only to realize that I forgot to don my mask. I apologize profusely as I run back out to the car with my arm or hands over my face. Jim always seems to remember to put his on, but I haven’t trained him yet to remind me when I forget. 

We try to limit our social activities to family, but there have been a couple of occasions in the recent past that we have felt the need to attend a funeral and a wedding. Fortunately, the funeral was held in a church that had an anteroom where we were able to view and hear it on monitors while keeping our distance in a much smaller group. 

At the outdoor wedding, Jim and I were among the three who wore masks out of over 100 guests, but we were able to sit about 20 feet away from the gathering and still see the beautiful ceremony as the happy couple were united. We left right afterwards after congratulating the mother of the bride. It was not an easy situation for us. We did not want to appear anti-social—some of those in attendance are our good friends and neighbors. We wanted to celebrate with them, but not at the expense of our health or that of others. Many of them who may have noticed our discomfort would be surprised to know that I vote in the same primaries that they do. 

My voter registration has been the same for well over 50 years, but that’s just on paper and I have never claimed to be a voting member of that party. I don’t want to be told how to vote... or think... or act... by any “group.” I vote from my heart and determine with my own intellect, experience, research and moral code what feels right. Nothing feels right these days. I don’t feel that I belong to either major political party... in fact, I don’t feel that I have been represented by either for a long time. The extreme ends of both parties scare the livin’ daylights out of me.  

I love my country and all that it stands for. Like each one of us, it is far from perfect. Its history is not perfect; nor is its present. We are a nation of contrasts—in race, ethnicity, religious and political beliefs, education, lifestyle and so much more—and those qualities, welded together, are what have made it strong and respected throughout the world. If we allow cracks to form and widen as they are now, we are weakened. We all need to work to mend those cracks—to reach out to each other while we still can.

May God Bless America!