Tag: Washington DC

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 27, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 27, 2019
By Pat Edwards

A couple of weeks ago, I promised to tell you a bit more about our wonderful 11-day American History East tour that we took at the end of May. The tour itself was only in Washington, D.C. for two nights, so the four of us opted to book two extra nights before it started to allow for a travel day and an extra day to explore on our own.

Fortunately, when we began planning our trip, we wrote to the office of Oregon’s U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio, and applied for tours of the White House and the U.S. Capitol. We were sent passes for the White House tour to take place on our “free day” and it was definitely one of the highlights in D.C. Getting to actually see and be present in the beautifully furnished salons on the main floor where so much history has taken place was breathtaking.

IMG_1820The blue room, shaped as an oval—a symbol of democracy—was easily my favorite salon with its French-inspired rich blue and gold sofa and bergères (arm chairs). Also on the tour were the red and green rooms and the state dining room. So much of our nation’s structure and history took place within those walls. One window-lined hallway we took passed by the beautifully-designed Jacqueline Kennedy garden, too.

We joined our tour group that evening. Of the 44 people in our group, we discovered that there was a couple from Cottage Grove and another woman who had graduated from Grants Pass High School. Oregon was well-represented and it is indeed a small world!
While in D.C., we toured the U.S. Capitol, the National Archives, Arlington Cemetery and, of course, many of the memorials and monuments honoring presidents, patriots and veterans—Lincoln, Jefferson, Martin Luther King, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and U.S. Marine Corps memorials were the main highlights. In addition, we had the opportunity to tour the beautiful John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Day of storm - Jefferson MonumentThe most memorable part of these first few days took place while we were visiting the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The day was sunny and in the high-60s, but the sky had taken on a dark, almost black, hue as we looked out from the memorial to the Washington Monument across the way. On leaving to go to our bus, we were suddenly assaulted by extremely strong winds and rain. The downpour wasn’t so much “down” as “sideways” and we became instantly drenched by what we learned was the outer parts of a nearby tornado. We had to make our way down tree-lined streets for several blocks where branches and limbs were sailing past us before we got to our bus. We passed some of our fellow passengers who were huddled around a small kiosk, hoping the short eaves would somehow protect them, but it wasn’t. By the time we got to the bus, all of us were soaked to the skin, literally, and dripped our way to our seats. As we boarded, Jim greeted B.J., Dwight and me with a big smirk on his face, since he and one or two others had opted to stay on the nice, dry bus. The rest of that day’s planned tour was cancelled and we were taken back to our hotel to dry off. The only time I was ever in that much wind and rain was during the 1962 Columbus Day Storm… that’s another story!

Our bus tour then took us to Mt. Vernon, Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg. In Richmond, we visited the historical St. John’s Church which, I could easily imagine, still echoed with the proclamation of “Give me liberty or give me death!” that Patrick Henry gave in a speech there to raise a militia and put Virginia in a position of defense in the approaching Revolutionary War.

After leaving there, we continued to Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello, then into the beautiful Shenandoah National Park with its spectacular views, hiking trails and wildlife.
The next day, we followed Robert E. Lee’s invasion route to Pennsylvania where we visited HWaiting for the bus - last dayarper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, and beautiful, serene Amish country where horse and buggy are still the norm.

Just before entering Philadelphia, we visited beautiful Valley Forge where George Washington endured the harshly cold winter of 1777-1778 and avoided the disease that took so many lives of his troops.

Our farewell dinner was held aboard the 1904 Moshulu sailing ship in the Philadelphia harbor and the next morning we saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed before boarding our afternoon flights back to Oregon.

Our trip was wonderful and, at the same time, exhausting. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, except for maybe the storm. Traveling adds a whole new and exciting dimension to our lives, but home is truly where my heart is.

Sweet Lorane Community News, June 6, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 6, 2019
By Pat Edwards

IMG_1820

At the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

 

Jim and I are home and recovering from our very busy, but amazing, American History East tour. We were able to visit and immerse ourselves in our country’s heritage, its cultures and beginnings. Not only did we get to see many of the national monuments, memorials and buildings housing our national treasures, we also experienced new friendships from many of the 40 other people traveling with us. In addition, we were beneficiaries of the kindness, care and concern of the East Coast residents we encountered along the way.

My favorite example of East Coast hospitality was the good humor of John, our bus driver, who always had Jim’s walker or scooter ready and waiting at the bus door when he got off. He teased Jim and good-naturedly cautioned him about not trying to run a marathon with his walker and to make sure he used the ramps instead of the stairs.

There was the concierge at our hotel in Washington, D.C., who, when asked where we could get a light lunch instead of the outrageously expensive ones at the hotel, walked the two blocks with us to show us where we could get the equivalent of a Yumm bowl or Subway sandwich. He could have just given us the simple directions, but he went out of his way to make us feel welcome. Other staff members at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., were equally as friendly for the four nights we spent there.

Then there was the manager of the very nice Stonewall Jackson Hotel where we stayed in Staunton, Virginia, who offered to drive my brother-in-law, Dwight, in her personal car to a local pharmacy to pick up an emergency prescription for Jim who had accidentally left his epi-pen at breakfast in Williamsburg. Dwight was going to take a taxi, but she wouldn’t hear of it.

White Hosue

At the White House

We were able to tour the White House, compliments of the office of Congressman, Peter DeFazio. We quietly walked through Arlington Cemetery and visited the eternal flame and graves of John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy as well as the memorials of the veteran’s who gave their lives for our country in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. We saw the beautiful new U.S. Marine Corps memorial. Of course, Lincoln’s, Washington’s and Jefferson’s memorials were all must-sees as shining examples of our heritage.

Just as we exited the Jefferson memorial, however, we were hit by a violent storm—strong winds and horizontal rain from a nearby tornado hit us unexpectedly and we had to run along tree-lined streets to our bus that was parked about a quarter of a mile away. We dodged flying limbs and were literally soaked to the skin by the time we made it to the bus. Jim, who had opted to stay on the bus, bragged about his foresight as the rest of us dripped our way to our seats.

Day of storm - Jefferson Monument

Washington Monument viewed from the balcony of the Jefferson Memorial just before the storm hit

Next week, I’ll try to remember to tell you about the amazing “living history” characters we met and learned from.

Before I sign off, I want to offer my congratulations to the high school seniors who are graduating this week. Our own granddaughter, Hannah Edwards, is graduating from Creswell. I also want to mention the three Crow High School graduates from Lorane, Max Simonsen, Madison May and Stephanie Wigle. One other mention is Riley Chambers, the son of Jen and Ryan Chambers, special friends from Veneta, who receives his diploma at Elmira High School.

We send heartfelt congratulations to all of those I haven’t been able to mention, too. You can be extremely proud of your accomplishments.

One last quick reminder… Don’t forget to honor Dad next weekend at the Crow Grange. They will be serving their annual Father’s Day Breakfast on Sunday, June 16, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Breakfast includes pancakes or biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, fruit, coffee and juice. There’s no charge, but donations will be gladly accepted.

Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center for the Arts

Marine Corps monument

The U.S. Marine Corps monument

Sweet Lorane Community News, May 16, 2019

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 16, 2019
By Pat Edwards

Yesterday, I was considering asking my editors, Pam and Erin, if I could take a 2-week hiatus from writing my column. I have reported all of the upcoming events and happenings in Lorane and Crow that I’m aware of in previous columns. My focus, right now, is so centered on our personal lives, that I haven’t tried to seek out any other news. But, there seems to be quite a bit of interest recently from my readers about what’s happening with our situation that I thought I’d at least give you an update this week.

First of all, we learned last week from Jim’s orthopedic doctor that his recent pelvic fracture that he’s been recovering from turned out to be three fractures—not just one—according to the most recent x-ray at his follow-up appointment. I am so proud of how well he has dealt with it throughout the last couple of months of healing… despite having to put up with a tyrannical wife/caretaker and some very bossy daughters. He hasn’t had a chance to misbehave. It’s meant so much to both of us to be surrounded by family who have always been willing to take an active part in our lives… even from afar.

Washington DCThis week is especially hectic. We’re working around Jim’s mobility issues and putting aside some medical issues I’ll have to deal with on our return as Jim and I and my sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Dwight Isborn, are preparing to embark on an exciting vacation to Washington, D.C. and the things we’ve always wanted to see first hand. We’ll spend four days there. Then, we’ll visit Mt. Vernon, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Monticello, Staunton, Richmond, the Shenandoah Valley, Harper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, and the Valley Forge National Park. On our 11th day, we’ll fly home from Philadelphia where we’ll also have a chance to see the Liberty Bell.

FlagI’ve always been a patriot, even as a child, and despite the current political situation, we are all looking forward to seeing the national monuments, the centers of government and the national treasures as well as honoring the veterans that the war memorials represent. I want to immerse myself in the history that I’ve read about. I will especially enjoy stepping back into the 1700s in Williamsburg where the whole town is a live re-enactment of the colonial days.

Thank goodness for family, a reliable house-sitter and a great line-up of store employees to hold down the fort while we are gone.

I probably will have to forego my column next week, but I’ll have lots to tell you about when we get back.