Tag: Harper Lorane Furlong

Sweet Lorane Community News, May 21, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 21, 2020
By Pat Edwards

As I sit down at my computer and try to record my thoughts during this Phase One reopening of our state under the COVID-19 pandemic protocols, I feel somewhat vulnerable.

It is a scary time—not just because of the fear of so many being sickened by the deadly virus, but fear for those on the front lines who are putting themselves in jeopardy in order to provide for the sick and the rest of us who are trying to avoid becoming ill; and fear for those in essential service positions who must be there for us whether they want to be or not.

And then there’s the equally frightening way the COVID-19 protocols are hurting our economy. People are dying, yes, but so many others who are out of work are hurting badly, too; some businesses might not survive, and the future is a huge question mark for us all.

There are so many strong, differing viewpoints on what needs to be done to get our economy kick-started again while trying to keep the virus at bay. The frustrations after being quarantined for over two months are causing some to rebel. Tempers are short and opinions are strong—opinions ranging from “should we wear masks in public” to whether or not we want to be vaccinated if a viable vaccine is developed any time soon, to suspicions that this is all a hoax to take away our rights. It saddens me that some are using either shaming tactics or conspiracy theories to express their frustrations, and because it is an election year, the discussions are becoming more and more political.

I have never been a political person. I haven’t ever been comfortable with our lawmakers forming political parties that are adhered to regardless of whether the individual members agree with the policies or not. I have been registered in one party all of my life, but I’ve frequently voted for candidates and measures that are supported by the other party if they seem the better choice. To me, that’s true democracy.

I spent 15 years working with developmental biology and genetics scientists at the University of Oregon. I’ve seen how dedicated and exacting they are to their research projects and I have a great deal of respect for the lifetimes of work they spend to determine the causes of illnesses and conditions in the human body so that cures or at least methods of dealing with them can be developed. I have read about how devastating pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus were before I was born in 1942, and I was fortunate enough to be protected from them by the vaccines that were developed by then. I’ve lived through the days of children my age dying or living in iron lungs before Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine in 1955. Polio has been eradicated in the U.S. since 1979 and is rare in other countries throughout the world. I’ve seen how measles, mumps and rubella have diminished considerably, and smallpox was eradicated worldwide.

I’ve formed my own opinions, right or wrong, that have come from my own experiences growing up with diseases that are now almost wiped out, from studying the history of other pandemics and putting my trust in the on-going work the epidemiologists and scientists have put into their life-long work. If I am the sheep being led to slaughter that I was indirectly compared to by an extended family member for wearing a mask in public and observing social distancing, then I certainly haven’t had the wool pulled over my eyes. I know what my opinions are based on…. they come from the knowledge, integrity, respect and honesty of those I trust—and I expect our leaders to do the same. We must all evaluate our own actions and respect the opinions of others, but not accept those opinions as our own if they do not match our own set of values. For me, those values include integrity, honesty, compassion, humility, intellect, respect, loyalty and strength.

In the end, it is vital that we respect each other regardless of how differing our opinions are if we are to meet this “new normal” together. Each of us must arrive at our opinions in our own way and realize that just because we have placed our belief in a certain mind-set, none of us—even the so-called experts—really know what the future holds.

For Jim and me, we are going to begin socializing a bit more during Phase One, but when we are out in public, we will wear our masks and continue to use hand sanitizers and wipes. We’ll do things with family a bit more, too. I’ve found that the hardest part of the stay-at-home protocols was not seeing our grandchildren and great-grands in person. For Mother’s Day, however, our daughter Gloria decided to host a spur-of-the-moment barbecue for our family outside in her big yard where we could all spread out. Jim and I took our seats in her gazebo around the unlit firepit with a couple of others while Gloria barbecued and Michele brought out some side dishes, disposable plates and clean serving utensils.

When Stephanie, our granddaughter, and her family arrived, I heard a squeal as her three girls got out of the car. I saw the oldest, 5-year-old Harper, running across the lawn towards us with excitement and a huge smile on her face. Then, she stopped about 10 feet away from us, still smiling, but with a question mark look in her eyes. I knew that she had been instructed to not approach GiGi or Papa without permission. My heart melted at that moment and I held out my arms and said, “Harps, I need a hug SO bad right now!” and she came running into them with one of the biggest hugs I’ve ever had. Then she did the same with her “Papa.”

I know that we broke the rules of self-distancing that evening, but I have long been a “Que Sera, Sera” type of person, and that hug reinforced my feeling that if the coronavirus is in my future, I would rather it come from someone I love rather than a complete stranger. Family is everything to me and I place my trust in mine. Their love and caring is more than worth it.

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 23, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 23, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Week 6 of the COVID-19 “social distancing” is here and I, for one, am not having a huge problem with it. I am, for the most part, an introvert, anyway. My comfort zone is at home. Jim and I will never be among those seniors who decide to sell their home, store their belongings, uproot their lives, and take off for parts unknown—to see more of the country, experience new and exciting things with the intention of finding a new home when life begins to slow down.

I love to travel and visit places where I’ve never been, especially, but being away for more than 2 weeks at a time is just not for me. I want and need a home base to return to and family close by with which we can continue to share our life and experiences. Jim is the same, so we are very compatible in that way. We are anxious to plan our next vacation—hopefully with other family members who can travel with us, but until then, we are content to let life slow down a bit; take time to notice jobs that need to be done around the house and yard… and do them instead of passing them by, vowing to get them done… sometime.

I sympathize with those who are much more social than we are—the ones who are champing at the bit to resume get-togethers and activities without worrying about that 6-foot spacing required by social distancing. It has to be hard to be confined to the house when, until only recently, it has only been a place where they mainly sleep and sometimes eat each day. Am I wrong? Or does it seem that some of the younger generation don’t have a real sense of “home.” Their jobs and their social activities take up most of their time away from where they live. I’ve also noticed, too, that many more of that same generation are exploring the important role that the concept of “home” can play in their lives. I love seeing and reading about them learning to bake bread, plant gardens, can produce and work and create beautiful things with their hands and hearts. My hope is that this experience of “staying home” will show the others how special “home” can be in our lives if we allow it.

We were able to take a mini-trip today while still social-distancing ourselves from others. Our daughter, Gloria, came by and picked us up to take us with her to Roseburg to deliver a 5th birthday gift to our sweet Harper Lorane Furlong… our oldest great-granddaughter. We first made a side-trip through Wildlife Safari where the beautiful animals were all out and fairly close to the cars as they went by. The sun was out, the grass was a vivid green and our spirits soared. We then dropped off the gift to Harper and were able to talk and throw kisses to her and her sisters out the car window until it was time to leave. I miss those hugs, but seeing them that way was much better than not seeing them at all.

Lil Thompson shared how Lorane residents are able to attend church on Sundays while social-distancing themselves… “Our lovely community enjoyed another wonderfully uplifting service at Lorane Christian Church’s drive-in service on Sunday.” Those wishing to attend this 10 a.m. service, drive their cars into the parking lot and turn on a designated FM station to listen to the church services being broadcast. They sing the hymns together and pray together within the confines of their respective cars. We’ve all learned to be creative while staying safe.

I wanted to alert everyone who drives Territorial towards Lorane to be extra cautious as they traverse the curves at Stony Point, north of Lorane. Trees have been cut and the drop-offs along that already narrow road are severe as they prepare to begin the rerouting of the road and eliminate the sharp curves in that area. The actual road construction is not due to begin until July 1, but the county is planning to widen the road enough where the trees have been removed and provide a barrier in order to make it safer to drive during the interim.

They have also canceled the meeting set for May 19 at the Lorane Grange to go over the construction plans for this year. It will be rescheduled once the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Above all, stay safe and drive with caution, everyone.

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.

Thanksgiving

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!