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, November 15, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 15, 2018
By Pat Edwards

I know that my last column was heavy-duty, but I wanted to share my brother’s experiences with you. Jim and I went to see him again yesterday (last Wednesday), and Jimmy is in a hospice care center. Although he was visibly more frail, his spirit was as strong as ever. I’m not sure that he will still be with us by the time you read this, but he has taught me so much about how important it is to be open with your loved ones and share this final journey with them. We will grieve when he has gone, but he has instilled so much of himself in our lives these last days, that letting go will be much less traumatic. I have been blessed to have him for a brother throughout my life and, oh, how I will miss him.

Now to get back to some community matters that I need to share with you…

The Grange Thanksgiving community dinners for both Lorane and Crow have already been held, but knowing how good they are each year, I’m sure there was a nice turnout for each. I didn’t get word of their dates until it was too late to include them in my column. I apologize if some missed out who hoped to participate.

The 9-member Crow High School Band has returned from its trip to Washington, D.C. It had the distinction of being the only band in Oregon to be invited to participate in the Veteran’s Day Parade of Heroes on Saturday, November 10, and a ceremony at the Iwo Jima U.S. Marine Corps Memorial on Sunday, November 11.

Band member and trumpet player, Mark Simonsen, was given the honor to play “Taps” at the memorial ceremony in the nation’s capital.

I’m told that despite the very cold weather, the band members and its director, Pat Dixon, represented their school and state admirably. They not only fulfilled their obligations at the events, they all worked very hard for months to raise the needed funds to pay for their travel expenses while they were there. Thank you to Band Director, Pat Dixon, the Crow High School band and the community members who helped make such a fantastic experience happen. We are proud of each of you.

Several video recordings are posted on the Lorane and Crow Facebook pages for any of you who want to experience snippets of their performances.

Collection boxes are being placed in many of Lorane’s businesses and organizations for donated canned and non-perishable food items. These will be used for holiday baskets and provisions for those in our community who need them. Let’s all be generous enough to fill them multiple times during the holiday season so that each of us can enjoy our own celebrations with family and friends. Contact Marissa McNutt Cooper or Roberta Pietila Miller if you have questions or suggestions about what might be needed most or to nominate a person or family who would benefit.

I hope that each of you enjoys a warm and happy Thanksgiving Day this year. We really need to take time to stop and reflect on all the good things in our lives that we sometimes take for granted.

Blessings to each of you.

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 8, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 8, 2018
By Pat Edwards

My brother, Jim Burnett Sr., aka Jimminy Cricket in Groundwaters, is dying. He’s in the end stages of terminal esophageal cancer and has been told he has only a short time remaining.

Yesterday, my sister Barbara (I call her B.J.) and I drove to Vancouver where Jim and his wife Jonni currently live, to spend some time with him. He is no longer able to eat or even swallow and has not eaten anything considered “food” in about 2 weeks. He’s been existing on ice chips and up until yesterday, occasional sips of warm tea. Yesterday, the tea would no longer go down.

Despite all of that, we spent those seven hours talking, laughing, crying and sharing portions of our lives together that we have either kept hidden or have just not shared until now. Most of the talking was done by Jimmy. He seemed to need to open up and talk about his life and the parts of it that he has carried with him during his 81 years… his blessings, his regrets, his feelings of inadequacy, his proud moments, his sorrows and above all, his love for us, his family, and the many friends he has gathered over the years.

He talked about his frustration that none of us get a chance to take part in our own celebrations of life, and how he is reaching out to as many of his special people as possible via phone calls and emails to touch upon these special relationships one more time. He showed us pages of printed email messages that have begun to pour in to him from former co-workers, people whose lives he touched as a minister, and others he has not seen for some time. He sent them messages, telling them how each has touched his life in special ways and, in essence, to say goodbye.

Jim shared with us not only his acceptance, and even, excitement, of the journey he is about to take—“It’s time to set out on a new adventure.”— but also admitted to his nervousness about the actual process of dying.

Next Tuesday, he will be moving into a beautiful hospice center located close to his and Jonni’s home in Vancouver where he will be lovingly attended to until he is called home.
Just before B.J. and I wrapped ourselves in his wonderful hugs and said our “See you laters!”— not “Goodbyes”—he began to ask me to send word to our Groundwaters family of his great appreciation for the experiences that Groundwaters has given him over the years. While trying to get the words out, he broke into tears. Taking on the persona of Jimminy Cricket in the “Philosopher’s Corner” of each quarterly magazine and now the annual anthologies gave him a voice and a connection to each of you that he has long carried in his heart.

The only gift I brought to him yesterday, besides my presence, was the newly published 2018 Groundwaters anthology which he lovingly looked through as soon as I presented it to him.

I know that he would love to hear from any of you in a message sent to his email address of dadburnett13@gmail.com. In that way he can feel that he is participating in his own celebration of life.

Thank you all for your kind words to me and the concern that you have shown for his well-being. He’s in good hands.

Godspeed, Jimminy Cricket—Jim Burnett Sr.—my brother!

Sweet Lorane Community News, November 1, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 1, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Now that Halloween has passed, we can all begin settling in to winter and the fast-approaching holidays.

The second Lorane Movie Night of the season will be held on Saturday, November 10.
A soup, delicious bread and salad supper will be served at 6:00 p.m. This one will be “pie night,” so be sure to bring a pie to share! Then at 6:45 p.m., a silent, short cliffhanger—“Perils of Pauline,” will be shown followed by door prizes and popcorn refills. At 7:30 p.m., everyone can settle in for the featured movie, “Hidden Figures,” a 2016 biographical drama about Katherine Johnson, one of the human computers at NASA whose skill with mathematics enabled the early U.S. space program to take flight. Kevin Costner plays the NASA supervisor who recognizes her genius.

The next spaghetti dinner and bingo night at the Lorane Grange is scheduled for Friday, November 16 starting with dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Crow Grange’s dinner and bingo nights are on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month.

The fundraiser for Cody Tripp, held at the Crow Grange recently, was reported to be a huge success. The amount of participation and love shown was very much appreciated. It’s heart-warming to see how generous our small, rural communities can be.

The Crow High School Band leaves on Thursday, November 8, for its trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Parade of Heroes. The band was honored to receive an invitation to represent Oregon in the Veterans’ Day celebration in our nation’s capital. Loranian Mark Simonsen, a student at Crow High School, has been given the honor of playing Taps at all three memorial celebrations on Saturday, November 10.

A fun, free “Mini-Pie Making” class is being offered on Saturday, November 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. by the Creswell Grange. Learn how to make delicious and decorative apple, cherry, peach and chocolate cream mini-pies for the holidays. These can be adapted for other varieties, too. The classes are open to the public, but you are asked to pre-register so enough baking supplies will be on hand for all who attend. Contact Dottie at 541-895-2155 to register.

This year’s first annual Art in the Country festival, held in early August on the grounds of the Applegate Regional Theater, was considered a success, so the organizing committee, of which I’m part, has decided that the 2019 edition of it will be a 2-day event and will once again feature quality artists and authors. It will also have a beer and wine garden, food vendors and a kids’ zone. There will be live music on the outside performance stage; author readings and short plays will take place inside the theater, away from the other distractions. So, mark your calendars early for July 27 and 28, 2019. We’re getting an early start this year with signing up authors, artists, vendors and entertainers, so if you’re interested in participating in any of the entertainment, displays or booths, be sure to give Vicki Sourdry a call at 541-935-3636 or email her at art-inc@hotmail.com.