Tag: John Edwards

Sweet Lorane Community News – July 7, 2016

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
July 7, 2016
By Pat Edwards

I hope that everyone had a good 4th of July. We did… even though we didn’t expect to be here for it. Our daughters put together a fun family barbecue and a bonus this year was that there were no extra-loud illegal fireworks being set off in our neighborhood. I don’t want to sound like an old scrooge. As a child living in Lebanon, Oregon, I loved the activities surrounding Independence Day celebrations. Our dad would bring home an assortment of sparklers and ladyfinger firecrackers. He showed us how to ignite them safely using a punk and he would later handle the lighting of the fountains and pinwheels that we all watched in awe. I also remember the special times we traveled to my aunt’s house on East 22nd Street in Eugene. The whole family walked from there down to Hayward Field on the UO campus. We’d go early enough to find a patch of lawn to lay our blankets on so that we could lie and watch the fireworks display. It seemed that the whole town turned out for it.

At the time, I didn’t realize how traumatized our pets could become. We always shut them in the house while we were lighting fireworks, but seeing the way our dogs now cringe and crawl under my computer desk when the loud booms of illegal fireworks explode through the valley, I sympathize. More importantly is the increased awareness we now have of the PTSD that some veterans who served our country have to deal with each 4th of July. We are so lucky to have scheduled activities to attend, even now. Creswell provides a wonderful parade each year and once it is dark, families still are able to go lie out on a lawn to watch beautiful exploding displays of fireworks.

Despite our aborted vacation recently, Jim and I are glad to be back home. His brother John is under the care of his local doctors now after spending 3 days in a hospital in Boise, Idaho. Hopefully, one of these days soon, we will try again, but for now, we’re enjoying being home.

The trip was star-crossed from the very beginning. Besides John becoming ill in the middle of nowhere, we dealt with the fact that all motels/hotels were booked along Highway 26 and we had no place to stay even if John had been well. In addition, his power chair decided to quit working after we went back out to the cars following dinner in John Day. It just quit and it took over a half hour of pulling levers, pushing buttons and kicking tires before it suddenly came to life and John was finally able to lock it into place in the passenger side of his van. The vacation just went downhill after that… We even had problems on the way home. After leaving Burns with plenty of gas (we thought), we discovered that there was not a gas pump left in any of the little towns between there and Bend. We became really concerned when the gas warning lights in both of our cars went on. We were still 30 miles from Bend at the time and we were all holding our breaths, fearing that we weren’t going to be able to make it that far. Our daughter Kelly, who lives in Montana, chose to call us to find out how we were doing when we were 5 miles from Bend. When I updated her, she insisted on staying on the line to make sure we made it there safely. When we drove both vehicles into the first gas station in Bend on fumes, we all breathed a sigh of relief. I remember saying to Kelly, “Oh my gosh! I haven’t been this stressed since… Saturday!” We can all laugh about it now, but we weren’t then.

A quick mention of an upcoming event. Mark your calendars for July 16. It will be the “Cruise ‘n Ride” Benefit for the Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America. It will start and end at the Crow Grange. Start time is 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and it costs $15 per vehicle with proceeds going to the OPVA. Cruisers of any legal motorized vehicle will visit granges along the route where they can buy raffle tickets, draw poker cards along the way for prizes, buy snacks, visit an old fashioned country market, listen to live music, play bingo and other games, enjoy arts and crafts displays, etc. at the various granges hosting it. Unfortunately, Lorane Grange is not on the route this year as they were last year, but the ones that are participating are Irving, Elmira, Central, Spencer Creek and back to Crow. Go to http://www.Cruise-N-Ride-Benefit.org for more information.

Sweet Lorane Community News – June 30, 2016

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 30, 2016

Greetings from Boise! (written on Tuesday, June 28)

To tell you the truth, I thought that I’d be writing this column from Branson, Missouri, but sometimes, as the poet, Robert Burns, wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…”

We pulled away from home last Saturday morning heading east over the McKenzie/Santiam Pass (126). Jim and I were in our car and his brother John and sister-in-law Vicki were following in their specialty van designed to accommodate John’s power chair. We had been planning this road trip since John lost the use of his legs about 7 years ago. Our itinerary included visiting Jim and John’s childhood homes in southeastern Nebraska and a stop at a favorite nephew’s home near Kansas City on the way to Branson, Missouri, among other destinations.

We made a lunch stop in Sisters which Vicki had never visited before and, of course, she and I had to browse some of the shops while the men sat on the sidewalks and enjoyed the sunshine and sights. Our next stop was at the Painted Hills off of Highway 26 near Mitchell, Oregon, which I recommended, since none of the others had seen them. We had used up about three  more hours than we had planned that first day, so we figured we’d go as far as John Day and spend the night there… Ontario, where we had planned our first night, was still several hours away. Unfortunately, when we got to John Day, we discovered that because of a couple of big motorcycle rallies and events, there was not a motel/hotel room available in John Day or any surrounding town for as far away as Ontario. Our only option was to eat dinner at John Day and continue on until we could find accommodations.

For any of you who know Highway 26, it’s beautiful to drive through – during the daytime – but by nightfall, there were few towns and lots of deer. In a long desolate stretch, Vicki signaled for us to pull over. John was ill. He had a high fever and was obviously in distress. We were too far to return to John Day, so we forged ahead until we came to a small community of Unity. There was a small desolate motel there and the office which appeared to be in the attached general store was dark and locked. Vicki’s cell phone had no reception. Fortunately, ours did and we were able to call 911, only to learn that we were out of range for emergency help unless it was life-threatening. They suggested that we drive John to the hospital in Ontario which was about 70 miles away. We drove through the night.

One deer jumped in front of our car. Jim had to swerve hard to the left to avoid it. A second deer looked into Vicki’s van window within a foot or two of the car as she passed.

I was also able to contact our daughter Gloria and she rallied our support network at home and they were able to find us hotel rooms in Ontario whenever we could make it there.

We finally made it to Ontario after midnight and John was admitted to the hospital. They would not agree to transport him back to RiverBend, but the next morning, they did provide transport to Boise, Idaho… the closest facility that could deal with John’s condition. Vicki never made it to her hotel room that night. She was up for 30 hours straight before finally falling into bed in Boise.

We have been here ever since, spending the last 3 nights in a hotel close to St. Alphonsus Hospital. John’s condition has been stabilized and even though he will need surgery, at least his condition is stable. Arrangements are now being made to transport him home tomorrow.

The vacation has been put on hold until some other time when we can try it again. Right now, we are all concentrating on getting him back on track… that’s what’s important.

Thank you to all of our family members and those who have been sending thoughts and prayers. Your wishes have meant so much to all of us in a very difficult, nightmarish time.