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, March 14, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 14, 2019
By Pat Edwards

It’s so nice to be able to sit down this week to write my column and actually know ahead of time what I’m going to be writing about!

First off, I’ll begin with the Lorane Grange news…

The Lorane Grange has taken on a new project to help veterans in need. It is collecting and buying NEW socks and underwear and is asking the community to donate additional of these items, as well. They are receiving them from now through May, so drop off your donations of new men’s and women’s socks and underwear to the Lorane Grange during that time. The items will be given out at the Lane County Veterans’ Stand Down planned for later this year.

There will be a collection box set up at the grange on March 23 when the Spaghetti dinner and Bingo Night takes place, the dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Bingo at 6:30 p.m. All ages are welcome.

The doors to the grange will also be open for donations on April 4 when it has its monthly meeting. Take advantage of the excuse to stop by and learn a little about how membership in the grange works and what it involves. They’re welcoming new members.

Then on April 7, there is another opportunity to add your donation. The annual FREE Rural Art Center/Lorane Grange-sponsored Community Talent Show will be held that day. Someone will be there to receive your donations from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. The actual event will begin at 3:00 p.m. and they are looking for new talent to showcase. Of course, the long-established performers are always welcome, too. And, if your talent involves things you make or design, bring some samples of those, too, so it can be put on display.
Lil Thompson asks that anyone interested in participating in the talent show should contact her by text (541-520-3637) or email ( to give the organizers an idea of how many entrants they can expect. You may also contact a member of the Rural Art Center.

The Crow Grange has launched a membership drive in hopes of attracting some new members from that community, too. If you are interested in finding out more information about the grange itself and/or joining, contact Connie Suing or Patrick Dearth through their Facebook pages.

On Sunday, April 14, the Lorane Christian Church is once again hosting a popular event called the “Living Last Supper” to commemorate Easter. It has become an annual event and those who have attended it in the past tell me that it is a moving, inspirational experience. It will begin at the Lorane Christian Church at 11:00 a.m.

The planning committee has begun to plan this summer’s 2019 Art in the Country Art and Author Festival sponsored by the Applegate Regional Theater in Veneta. This year’s festival will be expanded to two days in late July. The date will be finalized at our next meeting to be held on Friday, March 22, at 10:00 a.m. at the ART theater on the corner of Central and Fleck Roads. We are currently in the process of lining up food and beverage trucks and vendors to participate and could use a few more volunteers. We will also be sending out a call to artists and invitations to authors and musicians for the 2-day event soon. If you are interested in making it an even better event than it was last summer, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Karen Andersen, at 858-525-3580 /, or Vicki Sourdry at 541-935-3636 /

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 7, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 7, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Well, I’m hoping that by now, everyone has had their power restored from the recent snowstorm. My brother-in-law and his wife were without power near Saginaw for almost 9 days. It was a massive job for all of the linemen and women who were working to clear away fallen trees, plow the roads and restore power to the thousands of homes throughout Lane County that were affected.

Yvette Hamby, a friend and local resident, works in the office at Lane Electric Cooperative, and she reported working 16-hour days for well over a week. We all owe a great deal to these people as well as neighbors who looked out for each other. Thank you to all.

Here’s a repeat notice from a previous column… The Lane County Pomona Grange’s Prime Rib Dinner fundraiser to raise money for scholarships offered to youth throughout Lane County was postponed, due to inclement weather. It is now scheduled for Saturday, March 16, at 5:00 p.m. at the Dorena Grange near Cottage Grove. It will include not only dinner, but music and a silent auction as well.

The Pomona Grange of Lane County oversees and coordinates events between the 22 granges in Lane County including Lorane and Crow. Grange is a fraternal organization in the United States that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community as well as agriculture, and is frequently the voice of each community it represents. They have long provided local scholarships to graduating seniors in our high schools to help with the high cost of college.

This month, the Lorane Grange’s Spaghetti dinner and bingo is scheduled for Saturday, March 23—typically the 4th Saturday of each month during the school year—with dinner at 5:30 p.m. with bingo for the whole family following.

The Crow Grange’s dinner and bingo nights are held every 1st and 3rd Saturdays beginning at 6:00 p.m. for dinner and 7:00 p.m. for family bingo.

And, if you’re a bingo player, Creswell has begun its own bingo fundraiser at the Creswell VFW at 6:30 p.m. It’s going to be held the 2nd Friday of each month.
All of these events are family-friendly and your participation helps to fund the many projects these organizations sponsor that benefit each of our communities. Please lend them your support and participation whenever you can.

As we all crawl out of our enforced confinements because of the snow, let’s look forward to the gentler days of spring that can’t be too far away. Here’s to gentle spring rains interspersed with sunshine. The crocuses and daffodils seem to be ready!

Sweet Lorane Community News, February 28, 2019

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

Today, Thursday, February 28, is the first day in a while that I’ve been able to sit down at my computer and write. Jim and I have spent the last four days living in the family room and breakfast nook of our home where an indoor propane heater kept the cold temperatures away. Our power had gone out along with that of so many others throughout Lane County because of the massive snowstorm. The first day and night were spent trying to keep trails through the accumulating snow and getting organized for what we feared would be a long haul without electricity. Jim was unable to make it out of our driveway, much less make the drive from our home to Lorane to open the store. The power was out there, too, and there was absolutely no traffic passing our home on Territorial Road… only one large 4-wheel-drive truck was able to make a lonely track on the road early in the day, and that quickly filled up with the new falling snow. I heated leftover coffee from the day before in a pan on a small butane campstove that I kept out on the front porch. Our breakfast, the new frozen “crustless quiches” that we had gotten from Costco a few days before, was also heated in a skillet on the stove. Our cell service was not working at first, but finally, we were able to send and receive text messages.

That first day, Jim worked to get our small generator working, but it didn’t want to start. In the early afternoon, our daughter, Michele and her husband Brian, who live a mile and a half from us were able to drive their truck with chains part of the way to our house, and they hiked in the rest of the way. They came to see how we were doing and to help us get set up for what we suspected might last for several days to a week.

The heavy snow collapsed the small canvas canopy covering my car and Brian worked to shovel snow off of it to reduce the damage the metal tubing structure was doing to it. That first night was spent with heat from the propane heater until we turned it off before going to bed, light from my Coleman propane lantern while I read to pass the time, and candles and flashlights to light our way to the bedroom where we slept, fully clothed under the warm covers. When Jim was finally able to get the generator running, power cords were like spider webs across the floor and we were able to plug in the coffee pot, phone chargers, the microwave and fortunately (for my own sanity), Jim’s TV set.

Michele and Brian were able to make a run into town and bring us more gasoline and propane as well as a few staples. Our daughter Gloria kept in close contact with us as well and came the next day with our honorary daughter, Tracie, to help shovel snow and free my car from the canopy.

Our son Rob, a surgical assistant for Slocum Center, on the other hand, had to make his way early that first morning from his home in Cottage Grove to RiverBend where he had surgeries scheduled. After one hip replacement, the hospital which was on its own generators, cancelled the rest of the schedule and Rob headed home. The normal 20 minute trip down the freeway took him 5 hours before he finally got home, only to head back in the next day at noon.

Thanks to the hard work of the crewmen at Lane Electric Coop, our power was restored yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. Our vehicles are still in the driveway, but Jim plans to venture out today to try to open the store which still does not have power along with most of Lorane.

Despite the problems, we were lucky. Our experience was so much easier than that of others, we know. As I write this, some are still facing several more days to a week without electricity. Some have lost buildings to the weight of the snow. Others have been reporting the generosity and caring of neighbors who came to their rescue… clearing downed trees from roads and driveways, shoveling snow off of roofs threatening to fall and providing assistance to those living alone or who are unable to manage on their own.

Many of us despair at the way our society has divided politically over the past few years, but difficult conditions and emergencies such as we’ve experienced (and are still experiencing) this past week, demonstrate our basic “human-ness.” We do care about each other and it comes out in the form of neighbor helping neighbor.

That, in itself, is enough to warm our hearts in a very special way and to rekindle our hope in the future.