Tag: Montana

Sweet Lorane Community News – June 24, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 24, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Last week, I didn’t get my column written. Tuesday, June 15, I boarded a plane to spend four days with a very good friend in Montana. Connie and I began our long, close friendship during my one-year stint of college at Linfield in 1960. I was not able to return the following year. Instead, I got a job to try to earn enough for tuition in order to return in 1962. It never happened. In the meantime, Connie met Dick at Linfield, and they began a long and loving marriage that ended much too soon in Dick’s passing on May 14 of this year.

Connie and Dick

Connie and Dick were newly married when they offered me their home in Tigard in 1963 to stay while I awaited the birth of my first baby—the one I gave up for adoption, but who came back into my life 30 years later. Though Connie and I saw little of each other in the passing years, we kept in touch. Their lives took them to South Dakota to run a large grain and cattle farm owned by Dick’s father and grandfather until the 1980s’ farm recession and 21% interest rates forced the sale of the property and the loss of a way of life that they loved. It devastated them both and we lost touch with them for a few years. She and Dick had gone into a period of mourning.

Connie and me at Sunlight Ranch, 2012

Later, when we reconnected, they were in Wyoming, working for Earl Holding—owner of Sinclair Oil, Sun Valley, Little America and the Grand America Hotel and Resort chains. Earl and his wife Carol hired them to help run their Sunlight Ranch which borders Yellowstone National Park and Cody, Wyoming. It was Connie’s job to keep the Holding home and the ranch guest houses ready at all times and Dick oversaw maintenance of the pastures and grounds surrounding the Holding home. They lived in a snug cabin on the property overlooking a pasture where a huge elk herd calved each spring and where moose occasionally hung their heads over the backyard fence, begging for apples. Connie took hikes in bear country and observed the wolf pair that had been released nearby as they raise their babies and formed their pack.

Connie and Dick were there when the devastating Yellowstone fire of 1988 spread through some of the nearby pastures of Sunlight Ranch, and she mourned.

Pat with Connie and Dick in Helena, Montana, 2016

When my plane touched down at the Helena, Montana, airport last week, Connie and her daughter, Jeannette, were there to greet me. Our hugs conveyed all of the history we shared, and I knew that my visit was welcomed. I arrived on Tuesday and flew out on Friday. Once we got to the house she had shared with Dick, we never left. Those four days were spent with non-stop talking and listening except when we slept—or, at least, while I slept. Connie hadn’t gotten much sleep since Dick died of the cancer he had been fighting for the past 5 years. During the day, I helped her with a few home projects that needed to be done and we watered the flowers in the hot Montana sunshine. We forgot to eat a couple of meals and once failed to turn on the lights when it got dark because we were so engrossed in reminiscing and opening our hearts to the emotions that had been locked away and needed to be discussed.

We were so amazed at how many parallels we had while growing up. Both of us had moved quite often; she attended 12 different schools; I went to 10. She and I were both shy and wallflowers in school; both of our families had invested in strawberry and bean farms when we were teens—hers in Dayton, Oregon; mine in Lebanon; and each farm had 5 acres of strawberries and 15 acres of beans. We both helped with the planting, irrigating and weeding. Both of us learned to love classical music as teens and we did much of our housework in our young married years while listening to Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and their counterparts.

Those four days meant so much to us both and Connie knows that if the weight of her loss begins to feel too heavy, that all she needs to do is call. Our friendship is something that we will cherish forever.

Sweet Lorane Community News, July 13, 2017

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
July 13, 2017
By Pat Edwards

I’m lovin’ these bearable summer days this year. The mid-to-high 70s and low 80s are perfect as far as I’m concerned… especially if there is a light breeze, which there has been.

On our trip to Montana before the 4th, the weather there was in the 70s and quite comfortable, but I received a note from our friends who we visited in Helena and they said that right after we left, the temps soared to “the high 90s and low 100s!” According to Connie, “it’s been 15 to 20 degrees above normal each day and looks like the rest of the month is going to follow suit. We had a 5.8 earthquake last week and aftershocks continue. It was definitely not one we could sleep through and was the biggest one in 18 years for Montana. The topping on the cake is the severe thunderstorms rolling thru each afternoon and lightning starting immediate fires. July is never fun but this year tops them all.”

The poor Montanans experienced not only a harsh winter this year, but now their summer sucks. I think I’ll stick in Oregon. I’m figuring that we must have brought the good weather back with us!

I reported most of the upcoming Lorane events last week, but here’s another item to put on your calendar…

The Lorane Christian Church is sponsoring its annual “Worship in the Park” at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 27, this year. It will once again be held at the Martin family’s, Farmin’ Creek event center on Siuslaw River Road. A potluck lunch will follow the church service, as well as horseshoes and swimming in the pond. This is something you don’t want to miss.

Matt Van Wyk and the owners of Alesong Brewery in Lorane just announced on the Lorane Facebook page that their doors are now open for business. “I just wanted everyone to know we are finally open! Regular hours are 12:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday. We’re planning a Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, July 22, with a food cart and a couple of live musicians. Stop by and say hello!”

Many residents in our area are working hard to rid their properties of Tansy Ragwort which seems to be enjoying a resurgence throughout Lane County. The bright yellow weed that is springing up in fields and pastures right now is poisonous to livestock, especially horses and cattle. It’s vital that whenever you see a plant, even in your yard, that you pull it out by the roots if at all possible (or at least cut it), and put the plants into a black garbage bag where they will be contained. One suggestion is to leave the bag full of tansy out in the sun for a few days to let them “cook”… ensuring that they can no longer germinate. If they are left lying on the ground, they will continue to fully seed.
If the tansy plants you encounter, however, have a number of yellow and black caterpillars on them, don’t disturb them. These caterpillars are the larvae of the Cinnabar moth which eat tansy exclusively and kill the plant they are working on before it goes to seed.

Cinnebar moth

Cinnabar moth and larvae

Let’s all be good neighbors and bring this unwanted plant under control since it spreads quickly once it goes to seed.

I realized that I failed to give the date of this year’s Lorane Ice Cream Social in last week’s column. It is always held on the 2nd Sunday in August. This year it will be on August 13 and it usually begins at 1:00 p.m. Marissa McNutt Cooper is soliciting volunteers to help with the new booths and events that are being planned to celebrate the Lorane Fire Department’s 40th anniversary. Call her at 541-517-6608 for more information or to volunteer.

Don’t forget! The Lorane Christian Church is planning a bake sale in the parking lot of the Lorane Family Store on July 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. I know only too well, from personal experience, what great things they have to offer.