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 – January 17, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 17, 2019
By Pat Edwards

It’s just not fair! It was only a couple of months ago that I wrote about paying a visit in Vancouver, Washington, to my brother as part of his own Celebration of Life. Knowing he was dying, he wanted to reach out to as many family and friends as possible… not necessarily to say goodbye, but to have the opportunity to tell each of them how much they have meant to him throughout his life. It meant so much to me to have those last two visits with him. He quietly passed less than a week after my final visit.

It was comforting to me at the time to be asked to share part of his journey with him and I feel so fortunate to have been able to discuss so many of our memories together as well as learn some of his own stories that he had never told me. In a way, I felt it was a cleansing and I will be eternally grateful to him for giving me that opportunity.
Two weeks ago, I learned of another dear person in my life who was suddenly and unexpectedly placed in hospice care. More tragically still, I just learned, after finishing the rough draft of this piece, that she passed early this morning, Thursday, January 17. My heart is aching.

Veneta’s own Sandy Larson had been a friend of mine for about 8 years since we met after I became involved with Groundwaters magazine. We didn’t have the chance to get together very often, but we had a casual email correspondence through her work with the Fern Ridge Library and mine as the one who printed their newsletters each month.
As one of the most respected reporters for the Fern Ridge Review, she interviewed me several times concerning various events and activities I was involved in. I quickly formed a huge respect for her abilities as not only a writer, but whose work ethic and care of detail in her writing assignments were exemplary. Whenever she interviewed me for a Fern Ridge Review article, she paid attention to all that I offered and double-checked anything she was not sure of so that each article was right on-point in honesty and accuracy. I marveled at the amount of time and effort she expended in running down stories and attending events to provide the most comprehensive news features possible for the paper and the community.

In addition, I respected her so much for her willingness to take on the civic responsibilities for the City of Veneta. In that regard, she was extremely modest. Whenever I would introduce her to someone and mention that she was Veneta’s mayor, she would downplay her role as no more than someone who loves her community and is willing to work to make it better.

I had lunch with Sandy not too long ago at Our Daily Bread. She wanted to go over some details of an article she was writing, and I found myself thinking about how much I enjoyed it and how we should take the time to meet more frequently on a social basis.
She talked about how excited she was about a new history project for Veneta that she was looking forward to working on. It was obvious how much she loved her community.
After hearing about her diagnosis, I was hoping to visit Sandy as I did with my brother, but a persistent cold prevented me from setting up a time. I did write her a note to let her know how much respect I have long held for her and what she has meant to me as a friend over the years.

Sandy Larson had a life that is truly worth celebrating. I’m just sorry that we had to say goodbye so soon. Godspeed, Sandy… I will miss you, my friend.

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 10, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 10, 2019
By Pat Edwards

It’s time I get back to updating everyone on upcoming Lorane events. There aren’t many scheduled yet since most were put on hold during the holidays, but, there are a few things that are “back in action.”

The January Lorane Movie Night was held last Saturday and I regret not letting you know about the movie that was shown, “East Side Sushi.” So, let me give you a head start on February’s offering by the Rural Art Center. On Saturday, February 9, the movie, “Far From the Madding Crowd” (PG-13; 2015) will be shown at the Lorane Grange. The main female character, Bathsheba, was an independent landowner in a time when women were not meant to be either. Three suitors present themselves to remedy the situation in this romantic drama, based on the book by Thomas Hardy. The dinner portion is being billed as a Valentine chocolate potluck. Hmm…

Mark your calendars for dinner at 6:00 p.m., antics and doorprizes at 6:45 p.m., and the feature film at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donations are $7 for adults and $5 for children, 12 years of age and under.

The Lorane Grange’s dinner and bingo night will resume on Saturday, January 26, beginning with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and bingo following. The blackout progressive jackpot has grown substantially and is ripe for the winning. Bring the whole family out to eat the spaghetti dinner and join your neighbors and friends in our raucous games of bingo. Randy “Santa” Eschleman is a great bingo caller who takes a lot of ribbing, and his sidekick Marty has her computer handy to compute each game’s prize. Join the fun. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors.

The Crow Grange has resumed its regular 1st and 3rd Saturday dinner and bingo nights, as well. The next one is scheduled for January 19. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. when dinner becomes available and bingo begins at 7:00 p.m. Connie and Dan Suing, dedicated grangers, have been hosting it for the Crow Grange for many years now and welcome everyone who wants to join in their fun, as well.

Another neighboring grange that is going to try its hand at a bingo night is the Creswell Grange. They have scheduled their first bingo night on Wednesday, January 16, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:00. They are located at 298 W. Oregon Avenue in Creswell. They will be offering refreshments, but no dinner.

Jim and I are going to have to see if we can make it. As many of you know, we are “old hands” at bingo. We’ve spent our whole marriage playing bingo. Both of our mothers were huge fans and taking them as often as possible allowed us quality time to spend with them in the years when they were both widowed. Later, it became a fun, inexpensive “date-night” for us. Unlike movies (which Jim won’t go to), or dinner out, we were able to sit and visit with each other as well as other family members and those around us for a whole evening… and much of the time we spent less than we would have on the other activities. It got me away from my computer for an evening and Jim was able to stare at a bingo monitor instead of his TV screen.

These granges depend on the receipts of these fundraiser nights to help maintain their buildings and organizations. If you haven’t been to one, please give it a try and I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy your evening.

Sweet Lorane Community News, January 2, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 03, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Happy New Year!

Personally, I was glad to wave good-bye to 2018, although I have to admit, it produced two wonderful, beautiful new great-grandbabies for us.

Transitioning has never been an easy thing for me, but it seems that about every 10 years or so, I feel the need to move my life along so I can experience new and different things. Once I reached adulthood, it was as a farmers’ wife and then mother. Soon, I donned the hats of active school parent and the Lorane 4-H coordinator. That coincided and eventually morphed into a sports mom with 4 kids all playing on different teams in different sports at the same time. When the kids were getting ready to begin leaving the nest, we bought our store – the Lorane Family Store – and I ran it for the first 8 years until Jim took over the reins. By then, my love for writing resulted in Nancy’s, Marna’s and my first book on the history of Lorane. The new computer skills I learned led me to my very fascinating job at the University of Oregon, working with a group of renowned scientists in the Institute of Neuroscience. Then, after 15 years, came retirement, and soon, my involvement with Judy Hays-Eberts on the Groundwaters magazine and, eventually, the establishment of Groundwaters Publishing.

I’m still the managing editor of Groundwaters and Jen Chambers and I hope to continue producing the anthology for as long as we’re able. I love writing my weekly columns for the Fern Ridge Review and the Creswell Chronicle and researching and producing what I hope to be annual books based on Lorane’s history.

But, the years are beginning to take their toll on both Jim and me. This new transition is possibly the most difficult yet because it means divesting ourselves of the responsibilities that go along with being business owners and landlords for 41 years. It’s not easy to let go even though we know we need to. Thank goodness we have the help and support of our family, but it is a huge burden on them, as well.

Once we get through all of this, we hope to free up time to do a bit of traveling and experience some of the things that we have saved for true retirement, if possible. We welcome 2019 and are excited to find out what it has in store for us.

My hope is that each of your expectations and resolutions for the year are fulfilled and that we all begin to embrace a kinder, gentler, more tolerant and forgiving world for all of us.