Tag: Jim Edwards

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 30, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 30, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Despite the constrictions put upon daily life these days, Jim and I are finding ways to quietly celebrate these past couple of weeks. I’ve mentioned in previous columns that we have been in a state of “disaster” since last January. All of a sudden, what I thought was a large window in our family room with a leaky seal, was actually a leaking roof that had caused water damage to the whole backside of our house. The restoration process has been a long series of jobs taking place both inside and outside our home. I won’t go into further detail, but our insurance company’s home-owners policy has proven to be a good one and most of the work has been covered, thank goodness.

We now have a whole new roof on our house, new gutters, and as of last Tuesday, the walls on the five affected rooms are all taped, textured, painted, the blinds and curtain rods have been re-hung, and other items removed from the walls have been reinstalled.
I opted to repopulate the rooms with the removed furniture and contents myself so that I could go through everything and only put back what I still wanted to keep. I am beginning to uncover all of the items buried in our living and dining rooms for the last several months and am selling or donating the items that have just been taking up space so that when we’re done, we’ll feel like we’re starting all over again in a new home. I’m feeling a wonderful sense of accomplishment after so much frustration.

The whole process of getting this done through the pandemic has been somewhat of a concern, but the various workers assigned to work inside the house, especially, were extremely careful and courteous, working inside zippered tents and when not in them, wearing masks and staying at a distance.

Another quiet celebration combined with sad tones took place this morning (Friday) when Jim helped a man load his big Ford tractor onto a trailer and haul it away. Big Blue and his less powerful mate, Blue, served Jim well for many years in the hay fields around Lorane. I spent a fair amount of time myself over the years on Blue’s seat, raking hay while Jim cut new swaths or baled the cured hay into big round bales with Big Blue.

Neither tractor had a cab or umbrella—hence, no air conditioning, or even an umbrella to protect us from the sun. I didn’t mind though. I loved the feel of the gentle early summer breeze blowing through my hair as I watched the hawks sitting on the fence posts and buzzards slowly circling the fields above, waiting for us to pass by so they could swoop down and catch the mice and snakes left in our wake. I’m pretty sure my partial hearing loss was helped along by the loud drone of the engine as I circled those fields, but I wouldn’t have missed those years for the world.

Jim had to say goodbye to his cattle herd a few years ago—that was especially hard for him to deal with—and Blue and Big Blue have been lawn ornaments in our yard since we gave up the lease on the ranch. He finally agreed to offer both of them for sale recently, and Blue was picked up a few weeks ago… and now, Big Blue is gone. I have to admit, it will be a relief for me to be able to mow the yard without having to avoid them, but I know that it is just one more thing that Jim needs to disconnect from his very busy life as a farmer.

It’s so hard to let go.

Sweet Lorane Community News, February 27, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 27, 2020
By Pat Edwards

I’m needing to play “catch-up” this week since I skipped out on last week’s column.

Jim had his much-needed and long-awaited back surgery on February 19 and he was in the McKenzie-Willamette Hospital for three nights before I was able to bring him home on Saturday morning.

Our house definitely had an empty feeling those three nights, but I didn’t realize how much our pets had missed Jim. When he came home, his doctors had instructed him to take frequent short walks through the house with his walker. Even though he’s been using his walker in the house for months now without the animals seeming to notice, the day I brought him home and on the first walk he took, our cat, Jo-Jo, jumped up on the seat of his walker. When I picked up Jo-Jo and put him back on the floor so Jim could begin his walk, Jo-Jo immediately jumped back on and majestically rode the full route with Jim. He caught multiple other rides for the first two days that Jim was home. Our two dogs, Toby and BB, were also in attendance and obviously were glad that he was home safe and sound.

Jim has a long road to travel to regain the strength in his affected leg and the balance he needs to wean himself away from his walker, but most importantly, the terrible leg pain is gone. There is only minor pain from the surgery site which is getting better each day. So, once again we are counting our blessings.

Huge thanks to Tracie DeBoer, our store manager, and our wonderful ladies – Cynthia, Shelby, Kat and Janis – who have been running the store in Jim’s absence. I don’t know what we would have done without them!

The Lane County Territorial Project team has set up the next public meeting to share the design and construction plans of the project taking place in the Lorane area. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Lorane Grange. The first phase of the project will officially begin on June 15 and is supposed to be finished by November 20, 2020 at Stony Point, north of Lorane.

I have been asked to remind everyone about the upcoming Celebration of Life for a lady I have had much respect for over the years. Twinkle Morton (April 3, 1948 – October 20, 2019) was a long-time member of the Fern Ridge School Board and she was involved in many other community activities and events. I got to know Twinkle several years ago when I began working on developing a Community Calendar with Twinkle, her partner Joan Mariner, and other local ladies. We never finished the project because another calendar was published before ours was done, but the time I spent was well-rewarded by the experience of working with these ladies who have given so much to their communities.

Twinkle’s Celebration of Life will be held on March 7, 2020 at the Fern Ridge Middle School in Elmira, Oregon at 1:00 p.m. The family requests no flowers, but if anyone wishes to honor her memory, a gift to the Greenhill Humane Society or “Yellowstone Forever,” the Yellowstone Foundation, would be appropriate.

Just a quick follow-up on the column I wrote recently about the helicopter crash in California that took nine precious lives, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna… I watched the delayed broadcast of the celebration of life for this father and daughter that followed the Oregon Women’s Basketball game against Stanford. UO’s Sabrina Ionescu’s eulogy was amazing, but I was absolutely blown away by the 20 minute talk given by Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and GiGi’s mother. This beautiful, strong woman shared personal insights and memories of the loved ones that she and her other three daughters lost that day, and she did it with love, grace and respect. The sorrow and pain were there, but she was able to talk about them without breaking down totally… something that I couldn’t have done.

The event itself was tasteful and respectful towards all whose lives were lost that Sunday. Though the time was late, I couldn’t break away from watching it until it was over. The many eulogies presented were heart-warming, but the two musical presentations out of several that took my breath away and brought me to tears were Alicia Keys’ rendition of the beautiful “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven and Christina Aguilera’s emotion-packed “Ave Maria,” sung in Italian. If you did not get a chance to see it, you might want to stream it or watch the various features on You-Tube. It’s well worth the time.

Sweet Lorane Community News, February 13, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 13, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing…
When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. ~Helen Keller

Looking back over the past couple of years, I realize how many life-changes have occurred in Jim’s and my lives. Undoubtedly, most families reach points in their lives when unexpected obstacles are thrown in our paths to deal with as best we can. The obstacles that Jim and I are dealing with are no exceptions, certainly, but I think that few of us see these things coming until they rise up in front of us and we are left to figure out a way to deal with them. Considering the mountainous health, emotional and/or financial issues facing so many others, our somewhat “hilly” ones, cannot compare, but they have caused us to step back, take stock, change our course, and move on in order to keep from stagnating in self-doubt or self-pity.

We’ve found that adopting the adage, “Life is an adventure,” has proven beneficial to us. This past year, we’ve worked through Jim’s health and mobility issues by seeking out ways of allowing him to continue to function despite the pain he deals with each day… first canes, then a walker or his scooter. He finds ways that tend to ease the pain by crossing his legs while sitting down and having a recliner that helps him into a standing position at home. He’s willing to try various treatments recommended by his various doctors—physical therapy, epidural shots (which have only worked for short periods) and now a back surgery scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

Just when we began thinking that we were about to reach the top of our first “hill,” however, we found another looming right behind it. I discovered a little water leak around one of the large windows in our family room. When I found water pooling on the ledge under the window during rainy days, I figured that the caulking needed to be reapplied. I didn’t give it the concern I knew I should have at the time because my focus was elsewhere and I just kept wiping up the water each time it rained until I could get someone out to do the work.

When the little bit of water became a lot of water requiring bath towels to contain it, though, I knew we had a much bigger problem than I thought. We called a contractor to come out to assess what needed to be done and learned that we had a major problem. Our roof had begun leaking and the water had gone down into the walls around our windows, especially along the whole backside of our house.

A call to our insurance company comforted us in that our homeowners policy would cover all repairs after the deductible. The contractor hired by the insurance company immediately covered our roof with plastic to keep more rain from getting in.

We are now living in a house with huge zippered, clear plastic tents surrounding the affected walls of 5 rooms while huge moisture-extracting fans are running night and day to remove the moisture from our walls and ceilings. The drywall has been cut away on those same walls and ceilings and the wet insulation taken out. The contents of those rooms are filling the entire living room and all but a pathway through our dining room while the work is being done.

We are sharing the kitchen and our master suite (which includes my computer room) with our cats and dogs who are adapting to this new adventure better than I thought they would. Our living room looks like a hoarder’s house; the fans are loud, our floors have power cords and moisture tubes (taking extracted water to our sinks) taped-down and criss-crossing the floors, and our space is very limited.

First phase - Jims spaceBut hey! Life is an adventure, isn’t it? We have our own little hideaway in our bedroom, bathroom and computer room which are untouched, and Jim has a small space carved out in our tented family room so he can watch the continuous programs on his big-screen TV in his recliner. We’re doing okay, and both of us are just thankful that we will soon have our home back like new, and praying that Jim’s upcoming surgery will be successful in relieving his pain.

By then, maybe we’ll be able to claim at least two of those hills in our life’s adventure.

For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.  ~Jean-Paul Sartre