Coast, Oregon and Washington
August 1, 2014
I did it! I got up early and I'm writing on the first of the
month! I bet I beat you to the "Happy August!" thing!
The only thing is, well... I guess it's happy, but August? Really? It scares
me, this year!
Not only is this morning fierce and scary, with the wind, and thunder rolling
across the sky, but, I have other things heavy on my mind.
As Andrew's Birthday approaches, and I hear Jim Erickson's voice, telling
me how the end of summer always makes he and Loretta sad, and I feel the coming
of cool nights, and crisp mornings, well...
Fall used to be my favorite month, but I'm thinking that's not as true, any
longer. Now, that's weird!
I do believe that the death of my son has had an affect on how I feel about
my beloved season.
Fall is on its way, though, for certain. There are dead leaves on my lawn.
I try to mow them up and water the lawn to pretend it's early summer, and
it will go on, forever. But, in the morning, I wake up to more leaves and
the lawn still isn't green like Spring.
I've been enjoying so much, the warmth of the summer nights. (That is, when
I can stay up, long enough!) Lately, I lay down to watch TV (just for a short
break) at 8 or so, and I'm out, within seconds! I have been trying to watch
a couple of my favorite recorded shows for what? 2 weeks? But, I fall asleep
before the first set of commercials! "No, do not delete" I press,
when I wake up. The TV screen is silent, but still on. It thinks I watched
the whole thing. Ha! The TV is so, so, wrong!
I do love it when computers are wrong!
I do love summer, though. My feet aren't always cold. I love wearing flip
flops and dresses. So easy, breezy!
This weekend is our Steelheader's picnic at the Kilchis river house. I can't
wait, really! We have nearly 30 people or more signed up to come. And, it's
going to be nice weather! Next weekend is Bill's high school reunion. Busy,
busy, busy times! So, I can expect that August will go really fast, and then,
OH... it's going to kill me to say "Happy September!" I will do
I've made a most serious vow to try not to say things like "I can't wait
until..." I'm just not going to do that, any more. When I do that, like
"I can't wait till my vacation", or "I can't wait till it snows!"
Or, "I really dislike this rain! I can't wait till it stops", I'm
just hurrying my life away! "I can't wait till Pay day". You know...
You count the days until you can go grocery shopping, but what I am really
doing, is making those "wait days" void of how special each and
every day is! Even when I'm broke, those are days that can bring happiness
to my life, regardless! So, no more of that! It's getting to the point where
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how badly I want to
see Heaven, I want to enjoy each and every day here on earth! This is not
eternity, down here!
So, it's off to the coast, this morning. I was going to go yesterday, but
the Sears repair man called and said he could fix my fridge yesterday, if
I was going to be home. So, I stayed over.
This morning, then, I'm leaving for the coast.
I'm going to crunch leaves on my way down to the river, and throw sticks for
the dogs. I'm going to prepare for the picnic, clean house a bit, and enjoy
the cooler weather.
I'm going to stare at the low, clear Kilchis and think about salmon, and then...
Oh, how I can't wait until Steelhead season!!!
Alright. So, I failed. Maybe it's just ingrained in me, to be excited about
the future. I guess that's not all bad.
Still. I'm going to try and slow things down a bit.
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
August 2, 2014
There are so many things that I absolutely adore about this
time of year.
I've been out picking berries and it's just such a lovely thing to do in the
late summer on the coast.
(edit August 3rd) Wow. Started to write, yesterday
afternoon, and all was so peaceful until we got a call that an 11 year old
girl was missing from camp, up the road at the park.
With all of the things that happen these days, it really worried the parents.
I went out to the river to look for her with a lady from their group, and
didn't get back to the relative peace that was my berry picking!
But, I woke to two full bowls of berries on the kitchen counter!
I was going to make pies, yesterday. Bill however, changed my mind. He said
there was too much going on, already. OK! I'll go relax! And I did! And, of
course, the minute my head hit the pillow to watch TV, I was out!
There is literally no fighting it. Fall is on the way! And as the Bible says,
"Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
August 4, 2014
They found the little girl up river, lost and disoriented about
which way the river ran, and which way she should go. Poor girl, but I'm so
glad they found her! That's so scary, with everything that goes on!
August 7, 2014
This year the blackberries are outrageous! I walk along the
outer rim of our field, where wildly grow alder trees, conifers, a wide array
of weeds, and blackberries. Things are so overgrown that they intertwine with
one another. It's a jungle of green, green, green!
I walk along the rim, searching for blackberries. The bushes seem few and
far between. But, if I look up, out of nowhere close to a bush, oh my! Sometimes,
in the middle of an alder tree, thickly laden with green leaves, a huge clump
of blackberries will hang down, surprising me! The bush might be hidden behind,
but a long, arching blackberry stem shoots through, and blackberries hang
down out of the tree, just for me! It's not only beautiful, it's a gastronomical
There is nothing so wonderful as a juicy, huge bunch of blackberries, warmed
by the sun! One for Revvie, one for Willie, and a handful for me! We all love
them! The dogs have learned to hunt them, and I often follow their lead.
The berries tumble out of trees and bushes, and they don't belong there! Pine
needles and blackberries? What a surprise! I love it! They hang down in flower-like
clumps, and they are surprisingly ripe! No one has been watching them ripen,
daily, as the more obvious bushes of blackberries, or the twice-daily checked
blueberries, that stay put in their bushes, just where they are supposed to
be! These are surprise out-of-place berries, and oh, are they luscious! Something
about their dark, black beauty against the greens, just takes my breath away!
I recall way back to my berry picking summers, and how the berry boss taught
me to look up in the bushes, to find more berries. I think, due to my poor
eyesight, I was just not what they called a "clean" picker. Sadly,
I'd be sent back to re pick my row. That always made me feel badly. My sisters
moved on to the next area, and I'd be stuck, alone, the baby of the family,
trying to find berries I'd missed. At that time, no one really knew of my
Yesterday, Bill and I went down the Kilchis to find cutthroat trout.
We don't keep what we catch unless they are bleeders. Darnit, but I haven't
tasted a cutthroat trout in years. Decades? Bill and I both think of cutthroat
trout as miracles of the wild. Blessed fish that are to be admired, not eaten.
We had a blast, though. Not because of the fishing, so much, (at least for
me) but, the boating experience! We got stuck with our boat. I got wet, and
the challenge of getting loose in the rapids was exciting.
I snuck in a video or two!
You know, it takes me a kick in the pants, these days, to get me out. I'm
getting older. I no longer jump out of bed, singing. I kind of crawl out
of bed, singing.
I still have the joy, but my body is slow to follow that joy. I'm not complaining.
I'm so darn glad to be alive, after what I've been through! But, I do crunch
and my body makes funny noises, as I limp down the stairs, holding tight
to the rail, with my animal friends. They wonder why I'm so slow, I'm sure,
but they are patient with me!
I may sing, but the thought of fishing doesn't grab me in the mornings,
nor make me want to hurry to go. In fact, sometimes I flat out refuse, and
try to find excuses why I can't go.
Thank God, Bill talks me into it, because while actually on the water, my
heart soars with joy. It's all a feel good thing, once I go! It's what my
soul needs. Actually requires, I would say!
I'm absolutely certain that it doesn't "need" more computer time.
As I fish along, I lean over to stare at my favorite things. The bottom
of the cool, clean Kilchis river is one. The glee of seeing a big cutthroat
trout swim by! "Bill! Did you see THAT?" LOL. It still makes me
smile and giggle, as I write and recall!
Even the night before, when I used to be so excited about a fishing trip
the next morning. (So excited I couldn't sleep!), I begin to try to make
excuses why I can't go. It's because my body hurts that I make up excuses.
I can't imagine getting up early, and trying to move so quickly as to get
there in time. My body says "NO!" and my mind says "YES!"
It just takes me longer in the morning to wake. I used to wake up so easy.
In one minute, I'd be singing and dancing. That doesn't happen too often,
A quick shower now takes me a good half hour! Coffee doesn't cure me of
brain fog quite so efficiently as it once did. In fact, I've had to upgrade
Sometimes I sit and stare at the monitor for five minutes, before I comprehend
what I'm seeing or doing.
After I get on the river, though, no matter how long it takes Bill and I,
we both agree that life couldn't be better, than on the water!
Bill looks at me, and says, "You really needed this." Yeah, yeah...
he's right. I know he's right. We both needed it!
Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin'
Full time to floatin'
Under the sea
August 14, 2014
There is no denying it, now. There are Fall leaves on my lawn,
on the river sand, in my gardens. They light softly on the ground and then
crunch when I walk on them. That, my dear friends, is Fall. It's here. How
did that happen?
I'm always amazed at how fast things go, even when you wait, wait, wait for
what seems like 'forever in a winter' for Spring to arrive. Then, it comes
and we are all so dang happy about it! But, it zips away in a summer dream.
I wrote a song when I was 14, and I am surprised how much some of the lines
mean to me, now.
"Open up your eyes, now.
Your summer dream is gone.
All your memories are fading fast away,
Their drifting in the past..."
Yep! Ph! Gone!
Christmas. Can you believe that Christmas is only a breath away?
I promise. I swear! Never ever again, will I whisper those words, "I
can't wait until..." Nope. I am not going to rush even one day, good
or bad. If I have a vacation coming up, I will wait. I'm not even going to
look "forward" to it. I will wait.
I vow not to complain about the weather. When it's over 100 degrees, and I'm
sweating and miserable, I'm going to take a cold shower, and enjoy how good
that feels, rather than to wish for the cooler weather of Fall or Spring.
It is what it is. It is now! Now is a good thing, because the future comes
all too quickly!
I woke up this morning after a wonderful night's sleep and reached down to
get my slippers on. Ouch. It hurt! 54 is the age when I first experienced
pain putting on my slippers in the morning. I never thought I'd be 54, but
I'm that big, now! And, let me tell you! It hurts, sometimes!
I remember so well, listening to my Mom or Dad groan and grimace over such
things. I never, ever thought I'd be in that situation!
I'm 54- due in large part to wishing away my youth, bit by bit! It went all
too fast! I couldn't wait till my vacation, or I got sick of the winter months,
and wished away every day until spring!
If only I could afford to go where the sun shines in the winter, I think I'd
be better about not wishing away my precious life! Wishing away those cold,
dreary days! Since I can't do that, any more, (and I'd miss out on steelhead
fishing, anyhow!) I'm just going to make sure I have those Ugg boots that
warm my feet. (You know, the ones that hurt, when I bend over to put them
You can bet one thing, and this is for sure. I'm not going to wish away this
next year. I've come to the point where I realize that with each 'wished away
day', those slippers are going to hurt more and more to put on, as I age!
Not only that, but everything takes longer. My ten minute shower has turned
into 15. I can't possibly shave my legs and do what girls have to do in ten
minutes, any more! Or, maybe I'll do it in ten minutes, and leave my legs
to the National Forestry registry.
The other day when Bill and I tried to get ready to fish at a reasonably early
hour, it hit me how much longer we were taking just to shake the fog out of
There are so many women these days that are 65 and older that are in so much
better shape than I!
I think I'm going to take up yoga. In fact, I think I'll have to! I just had
a thought. If putting on my slippers hurt this morning, how is it going to
feel to try to put on my waders? Oh, no!
August 18, 2014
I wish I had a picture of it, but I have it stuck in my mind. Can't get it out to share it with you. Wish I could tick "Print" but, we aren't that technically advanced yet. (Lord help us, should we ever get there!)
The picture is so perfect. I saw it with thine own eyes! A branch of multi colors of green on a hemlock tree, with the blackest, biggest clump of blackberries tumbling out, underneath. It appeared as if a Christmas Ornament. The berries were next to a berry from the tree. So beautiful that I couldn't pick them, even though they looked to be as sweet as can be! I left them for a deer!
I'm back in the city, now. Word has it from Bill that the blackberry season is probably nearing the end. We've had some hungry deer and bear or some critters, lately! As soon as the berries ripen, (we watch!) they are gone! Same happened with my blueberries, even though they were netted! Ph! Gone! I guess the early bird gets the worm, and I wasn't earliest!
If the blackberry season is near the end, what's next? Don't say it!
The weather is warm. Too warm, today. It should hit 90 some. I wish I were at the Coast. I seem to have things backwards, these days. Besides, Bill had a really difficult weekend, and it's difficult for me to offer any kind of emotional support (Oh, wait- Men don't do "emotional support") uh.... Friendship! I can't offer much friendship when I'm only available via phone or e mail.
It has really hit me as of late, how much time Bill and I spent in our early relationship, disagreeing about things. What a waste of time! I mean, sure. There are things that always need to be ironed out, and having kids in the mix, always makes things more difficult, but now that we are so settled, barely ever argue, and enjoy our time together more, well, we don't have the energy like we did, to do things like we used to!
I say this in hopes that younger couples realize that their early years are so important, together! Don't waste a minute of it being upset with one another. You'll have differing points of view, and that's just the way it is and will forever be. Your partner is what he is. Period. Enjoy them!
It's too hot out here to write much more. I'll try to catch you up on the rest of what's happening, later!
I heard there was a sneaker wave that upset many boats, and one even capsized, out of Bodega Bay this last weekend. I'll try to get more info.
August 20, 2014
Goooood morning, America! OK, it's not Robin Williams, but he
is still ever on my mind. Robin Williams was larger than life to me. One of
those comedians like Bill Cosby. When I saw Bill Cosby in concert, I cried
and shivers went up and down my spine when he walked out.
I cry at the weirdest things. Parades really get me. Especially the marching
bands. "Hoorays" Andrew called them. Cute little guy, anyhow. At
the age of three, he always wanted to go see the "Hooray". How appropriate!
When someone like Robin Williams is larger than life like that... when someone
makes everyone laugh, and brings so many people to comedic tears, well, the
memory and the loss is large enough to make big crocodile tears. He had such
a huge impact on so many people. He was my "hooray".
I spent yesterday at OHSU, being poked and prodded. I wonder if the doctors
understand how frustrating that can become. OHSU often trains other doctors
and it's a big surprise, a "good day" a fun thing- to see someone
with a not-so-common disorder like marfan syndrome. Recent estimates suggest
only one in 3-5,000 people have Marfan syndrome.
Sometimes I feel like a freak show. I think I should charge admission.
Yet, at the same time, I totally understand and appreciate that the more people
that know about marfan syndrome, the more people will be saved in ER rooms.
When they think someone is having a heart attack, when actually their aorta
is dissecting, well, that's pretty important! I think I would have been transferred
a heck of a lot faster, had the doctors realized I really was dissecting when
I told them I was!
Having these student doctors see a case so classic as what Andrew and I had
is a great training tool, and I'm grateful to have them understand, and to
visually inspect what marfan looks like.
Still, what's a young girl at five years old to think, when a line of doctors
are waiting out of the room to take their turn at the little girl with marfan
syndrome? It's a weird thing. Lucky for my Mom, I was known to the doctors
as "Giggles" and nothing bothered me. I think I must have liked
the attention! My Mom told me that even when I'd get shots, I'd giggle. Now,
that's a strange thing. Desperate for attention? What do you bet?
It's the same reason I put up with the antics of the neighborhood kids when
I was little. I still laugh instead of cry, when I recall trying to play with
the big kids when I was little. I was different, and I knew it. I just looked
We had a pulley swing, tied high in a walnut tree, and attached 100 yards
away to an apple tree. The pulley swing mechanism held a rope that went all
the way to the ground, and you'd take that rope with you as you climbed up
the ladder, got on the little wooden stick of a seat, held on for dear life,
and zip! SO much fun! I still want a pulley swing in my back yard, some day!
My big brothers and friends had fun with that. When it was my turn, I'd position
that wooden seat between my abnormally long and skinny legs, get ready for
the thrill ride, and instead, was jolted to a stop, mid air. One of them had
grabbed that rope that went to the ground, and tied it backwards to that big
old walnut tree, leaving me suspended, spinning in thin air. Then came the
fun part. (NOT) I'd be showered with walnuts! Great target practice! I still
giggle at that, instead of cry. It stung! But yet, I was the center of attention.
LOL. I can't stop giggling, even now! What else could I do? But, how in the
world did I put up with that?! Oh, wait. I didn't have a choice! I was immobilized!
Or how bout the time they let a rubber band powered airplane loose in my hair?
Ohhhhh, my Mom was mad! How to get that rats nest out! Or, "Hey Jennie,
let's climb trees! You first!" I'd climb high, higher, highest into that
tree, showing them how good I was at that game. When I finally got to the
top, no one was around! "Hello? Hey guys?! Where are you?!?"
I was all alone in the top of that tree. Peace and quiet, while they ran to
play without me. I was the little one.
"Tissue Pay pay" they called me. I broke easily, but my spirit was
strong. I didn't cry. I just climbed down to go find them. Darnit. Getting
rid of me wasn't easy!
I often wonder if that's how I found my desire to fish. I fit in. I was good
at it, too! I got to spend time with my Dad!
But, I digress. so, yesterday as I was poked and prodded, I missed Andrew
with all my broken (pun intended) heart.
It used to be that Andrew and I, together, would be poked and prodded. We'd
laugh together at the strangeness of it all. We'd pull paper towel after towel
out of the receptacle and play basketball with the trash can. They could hear
us laughing, clear down the hall to the point of being annoyed. No one is
that happy in the doctor's office.
Once, Andrew picked up a large plastic replica of an eyeball. It has parts,
like a puzzle, so as to show the patient which part is having trouble, etc.
He'd take it apart, and leave the pieces out and say, "This is an eyeball."
Then, he'd throw all the pieces inside in no particular order, and shake it
up so that it clattered terribly. "This is an eyeball on marfan syndrome."
It's the truth! It can be laughed at, if you have marfan syndrome, because
... well, what else can you do?! I loved his humor.
I still have trouble crying over Andrew. The hurt is still way, way down there.
Or perhaps it's just not in me to cry at things that are really painful. I
cry at parades. I cry seeing Bill Cosby. I cry at the loss of Robin Williams.
I hadn't seen this particular doctor since I dissected.
He asked how I was, all the normal chit chat. I told him about breast cancer,
and he said, "Man, you just don't get a break, do you?" I laughed.
And, "How's Andrew doing?"
I was immobilized.
A dam was released. I cried! And it wasn't even that sad! I was just so grateful
that finally, I cried over Andrew! They totally understood and were so kind
about it! It is normal to cry over that! I'm normal! I'm normal!
But, then I glanced out at the line of doctors waiting to see me.
Well, maybe not quite that normal!
August 27, 2014
I'm so happy to be going back to the beach! It's been a busy
trip, here. Lots of house work projects, etc. I like it here. I do. But, it's
sure a lot to do, to keep a house!
More, when I get to my H O M E.
August 30, 2014
I haven't really said it, but I've sure danced around it a bit.
Maybe presenting it as a question would help me to convey the message, without
actually expressing a fact.
Do I live for summer?
Today I woke to rain, and it has me thinking of the seasons to come.
Nah... I love Christmas and Thanksgiving! Even Halloween is fun! Yesterday
as I was dusting, it even crossed my mind, "Is it too early to put up
some lights?! Agh! YES!
I get so excited for snow, though, that I could go out of my mind.
Nothing like a cool, crisp evening walk with Willie. That is, if I'm bundled
I love coats! I'm a coat-girl! I think I have more coats and jackets than
anyone I know of. Well, maybe except Bill. We are both nutty for snuggly,
warm coats! I think that's because you put one on, and it feels like summer!
Most of all, I love the fishing seasons! Come to think of it, I live for them!
The river is so low, right now that I've forgotten what a full running river
looks like! I can't wait! I can almost hear the powerful surge of water boiling
over the boulders.
Fall salmon is awesome. Not so much for the keeping of, but the whole spirit
of Fall fishing. Frankly, I've been spoiled by the taste of Spring Chinook.
But, day before yesterday Bill caught a beautiful Fall salmon that cut as
red as could be. Last night we ate it, and it was really delicious!
Oh! Wait! And chanterelles! Now, there is something I love to do! I bet...
I just bet there will be some on my next trip to Portland! Whoo!
In the Fall, the town of Tillamook fills with trucks, trailering boats of
all shapes and sizes. It's fun to cruise down 101 to see who is fishing. Who
is anchored on the Wilson? If I don't have time to be fishing, I grab a cup
of coffee and drive over to Memaloose, just to see what's up.
Same with over at the Ghost hole. When Bill and I drive by and don't have
time to stop, we always check for nets in the air. Or, we count the boats,
and decide our plans for the week by who is fishing, and then phone calls
we make later, to hear the what, where and when.
When the rain is driving sideways, we stop, holding our coffee warm to our
hands, and we watch, talking quietly. Oft mentioned is, "It sure is nice
and warm in this car..." LOL. Especially when the fishermen are huddling
down in their boat seats, soaking wet, and all nets are low!
Oh, I miss the Rendezvous! Bill and I used to go each year. Our winter calendar
was dotted with tournaments of all kinds! But, the Rendezvous was always our
favorite! Bill guided in that tournament for so many, many years, as did Jim
Erickson. Things have changed, though. It's the new era of guides taking center
stage now, but it's always fun to hear about! If anyone is fishing in it,
this year, if you'd take time to let me know, I'd love to hear all about it!
So would Bill! That dinner was always so fun. Dang, I miss being a part of
that. But, to everything, there is a season.
After Fall fishing winds down, everyone takes a break to feast on Thanksgiving
dinner, and then... sh! Quiet! It's time to sneak down to the river and cast
out for the first winter steelhead! Oh, the ice and the snow won't keep us
[from wanting to go!]
My motto was a bit braver, stronger when I was younger, but now days? I'm
a bit more of a fair weather gal. Not so much as to keep me away totally,
though! I can handle it!
Thanks to USIA, I'm prepped for the cold! I have all types of warm coats and
underalls, and overalls! I have fingered gloves and non fingered, too! I have
hats that cover my head and my neck! I'm ready!
And then we have the Kwikfish contest, which is always a hoot, and the sales
of it at the show! Oh, the show! That's fun, too!
I could go on and on.
Yep. There is so much to look forward to in the Fall and winter months! How
could I ever think that summer is the only season I live for? You know, Fall
used to be my very favorite season, and when I stop to list why, I get really
excited for it!
True. The death of a few of my most loved ones have put a bit of a damper
on my favorite seasons. My beloved Andrew passed on two years ago, tomorrow.
But still, deep down in my heart of hearts, if I try hard enough, I can uncover
the joy that was once there! There are many layers of sadness, but I am working
to uncover them, and to get back at the things that I love. There are many
reasons for the joy in each season! Andrew adored Fall, and in his memory,
I will uphold that joy!
This column has me hyped up for reality. I love the upcoming months. Summer
is winding down, but it's not going to get me down!
There is a ton to live for in the winter! In fact, fishing wise, summer has
been pretty darn quiet!
It's time to rev up! I'm going to dust off my rods and get those reels cleaned
and oiled for some action! I think we'll put up some eggs, today.
I think that I'm beginning to get a little forgetful. I darn near forgot that
I love winter! Good thing I wrote it down!
And, as for any sadness the season may bring? Well, as Taylor Swift puts it,
"I'm just going to shake, shake, shake, shake, shake... Shake it off!
Shake it off!"
August 31, 2014
Had to share this picture of my brother in law, Tom Moehnke,
who caught this beautiful fish last week! I was proud of him! So glad everyone
is having such a great year at B-10 this year! (Well, that is, except me.
I can't complain, though. I have the best friend a girl could ever have! I
mean, just look at this! Just seeing him makes me giggle and my heart soar!
I love him so much!
Willie and his bunny (Don't laugh!)
Have you ever in your entire life seen anything more loveable?
Speaking from someone who loves my stuffed animals, I certainly haven't! He's
a dream come true! That's my Wilster!
He is a male dog, and some may find it sissy that he likes his stuffed animals,
but I... don't... care!
Oh. Get this. I was offered an absolutely FREE OF CHARGE (Kill me!) beautiful,
registered Springer Spaniel puppy from excellent lines. I mean, top of the
line springer spaniel! FREE!
But, I just don't think I can do it! I can't believe I'm going to say no!
But, I'm going to say no! ARGH.
Willie would be jealous. I know he would be. I would love for it to work,
and for them to become friends and play together, thus not tiring me out so
much, but I just think he'd be jealous. He doesn't even like it if I hold
someone else's dog's leash!
Plus. Frankly, my expiration date was almost 20 years ago. I'm so afraid that
I'd take a dog and then not be able to care for it, or worse.
So, I think I'm going to have to say no. I haven't even responded to the offer,
and it's been two days. I'm afraid to say no! But... I must. Off to do just
that, right now.