Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Championships

One of my favorite events every spring takes place Father’s Day weekend in Reedsport, the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Championships.

Saturday, June 19th, Ducky, Burp and I headed south I was looking for a new moose, maybe a bear, and even possibly a lighthouse. Ducky wants one for the front yard, my mom thinks it’s tacky, I figure you only live once and it was Father’s Day Weekend.

This year’s theme, Outdoor Life

The 2010 event featured fifty-one pro and semi professional chainsaw artist from around the world. There were at least four sculptors from Japan, an array from Germany, Belgium, Australia, and other parts of the planet. Oh and the US too.

Half way through we stopped to watch the first of two lumberjack shows. A feature new to the Championships and kind of a warm up to the summer tour. I was amazed at the birling (log rolling). The spikes are made from refitted soccer shoes.

Strangely I came home with no moose, no bear, not even a darn lighthouse.


Talk Thursday: Sorrow and Its Source

I’ve not had near enough time… for anything it seems. I have a book I am to be editing, I’m avoiding it like the plague. Slow, boring, bogged down. Thankfully the author is an extended family member who doesn’t read my blog. Oh wait, Psam’s the only family member who reads my blog with any regularity.

In truth I’ve not a lot of sorrow in my life. My brother died (a day old) when I was in the sixth grade, it was the only time I remember seeing my dad cry. That, and worry for my mother, affected me more than David’s actual passing. Mom had made us a part of the anticipation and his arrival; being young girls Pinecone and I were especially anxious for his arrival. But then in the middle of the night (June 11th) my mother was taken to the hospital, where he was born (June 12th), and he died (June 13th.) That following morning my father told us he was not all right. David had been born blue, Mongoloid, and with at least one hole in his heart. Butch and Buddy don’t really remember much of that morning- even of that time; Pinecone and I remember the tears, the news, and the loss. My mother remembers it very differently, and strangely remembers nothing about David’s birth defects. Pinecone and I have discussed this since and both remember it the same.

For years my mother would always be sad on that day. My father never really mentioned it in my presence over the years. We moved to Oregon and while David was never forgotten, family sorrow seemingly passed. Mom always taught us that we are born with a purpose, maybe David’s was to bring us together, maybe we delude ourselves, a believer in reincarnation I will gladly remain deluded. David’s presence in death did something we in our living lives had failed to do; we solidified as a family.

That summer in 1969 we traveled back to visit my father’s roots in West Virginia, to find relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins I’d known of only by name and reputation. We journeyed to the small hamlet, Valley Head, where my father’s youth and formative years were spent. We met people from my father’s childhood who’d made a marked impression upon him and the man he would be come. I loved West Virginia, it was worlds a part from the LA where I was raised. We grew together as a family.

Over the years my mother would have a headache on the 12th and 13th of June. While she never said anything as to why, I noted the date, the past and made my mental notes. Every June 13th I check on my mother. For the past two years, since my father’s passing she’s not suffered the headache or worse- her mourning migraine.

My father had told my mother he was tired of breathing, he was tired of eating to stay alive, it was sucking the energy and life out of him. My father was dying from the ravages of emphysema. A two pack a day smoker for decades my father fought the addiction and finally kicked the habit. He didn’t want to die, he’d not made his peace, but he just had a devil of a time quitting. By the time he’d quit the emphysema was sucking away his life, his vitality, his energy. The handsome man, slowed, slept, and ailed, but never gave up… until it was just too much.

Just prior to Christmas, Buddy and the Kiwi were home for the holiday, my father went to the hospital. We spent Christmas Eve and Day taking turnings visiting him, spending what final moments we could with a man we all honored, adored, and loved so much. The day after Christmas Buddy and the Kiwi went home to Georgia. Hospice had been called in and on December 27th my very tired dad came home for the last time.

That Thursday evening I checked in on my parents after work, kissed my father’s cheek and told him how much I loved him. He patted my hand and told me everything was okay; my mother kissed my cheek and sent me home. Ducky and I discussed it and I went back and spent the night at my parents.

Something crashing against the wall in the middle of the night woke me. In the den I found my father thrashing around, beseeching God to take him and end his exhaustion, he was ready to go home. He reached for my grandmother, he could see his dog, he was emotional as he described my brother David waiting there in the circle of family and light. He later thrashed about, cursed and railed against me and my mother; neither of us did he recognize. And then he slept.

Friday night my sister came from Springfield and stayed with my mother. Early Saturday morning something woke Pinecone. She walked into the den, held his hand, and watched him take his final breath at 5:30am. And he was gone.

While I have mourned my father’s passing in my own way, I’ve not had that crying my eyes out moment where I was drowning in the wells of sorrow and despair. . Maybe it was because Ducky’s younger brother was dying in Portland at the same time. He passed that night at 6:30, Ducky and I were there to say good-bye.

My father’s passing was a moment of release and peace. I miss him greatly, but I talk with him when ever I want. I light a candle and remember his handsome face, the smartest man I knew and yet he never finished the 10th grade. He was and will always be my hero. I remember the father who danced with me while I stood on his feet, told spooky stories about missing eyeballs and ghost disappearing at the bend of a lonesome West Virginia road, the dad who took me deep sea fishing, motorcycle riding in the desert, camping under the stars, and played horse-shoes at the Girl Scout Father Daughter picnic.

I miss my friend, but I know I will see him again; he will smile and laugh at all the silly things I have done since the last we were together. And I will thank him for teaching me that what I can see in my head I can do, for making me strong – loving – independent – loyal and loving. I will thank him for being my dad.

I have no sorrow for I am blessed, for I have hope, faith, and heart. And most importantly I have my memories and love.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Talk Thursday: Forgotten

This should be a nod to common sense, maybe it will nod to the apparent lack of common sense in our society. I was working my suduko puzzle yesterday during my air-shift when I heard this commercial during the top of the hour news.

Sidebar: My doctor told me a long time ago that if you have to learn about a drug from TV or radio, you don’t need it. I immediately understood what he meant. Drug salesmen are lobbyist in the medicinal field. So…

Imagine my reaction when I hear this in my headset “… men do you frequently urinate? Do you wake up in the middle of the night to urinate?” I missed the rest of the commercial because I was laughing. I hope Ducky wakes up to urinate…and moves into the bathroom before commencement of said activity, because if not our new mattress and very comfortable marriage will suffer. Who wrote that line? Did they think about what they were writing? Part of my job is writing ad copy, in radio you have two medias to work with to get your message across, your ad copy and the background sound, i.e. sound efx and music. In thirty seconds I have to condense the message and sell you on the product. If I’m laughing I missed 15 seconds of the commercial and the long forgotten message.

Tragic veer…

BP has so “graciously” agreed/announced/had their arm bent until the called uncle and said they would not be paying out dividends for the remainder of the year. “Ya, think?” Decency has been forgotten by big oil. Oh, wait. Big oil and decency don’t tend to go hand in hand in the same sentence, same season, same industry, same universe. Obama is being slammed for not having reacted sooner to the “oil spill.”

Side bar: Oil Spill. Isn’t that an understatement of monstrous proportions?

I don’t understand what Obama was suppose to do? Maybe that is me being ignorant. Maybe that is me being na├»ve. I’m not sure. What I do know is this: Had Obama stepped in and took control of the situation in the Gulf Coast he would have been slammed for his government over stepping its boundaries.

Now Republicans are slamming Obama for proposing Cap and Trade “Job Killing” legislation. First off Americans make up your mind and stand your ground. Are you green or are you firmly stuck in the LaBrea Tarpit formerly known as the gulf coast? Secondly, Cap and Trade is seasons old – get behind it or come up with something better, but shut up until you have something positive to offer to the dialogue, something that moves “us” forward as good stewards of earth, our home, the only planet we have. Don’t be “green” because it’s “the” thing of the moment, be green because it is it is a) the right way to be b) what your soul demands of you. If you’re not green, don’t want to be green, and think green house gas is nitrous oxide you need to quit reading this blog. It’s not for you.

Most people can’t afford to buy a Volt, or a hybrid, but you can ride your bike more, walk more, or drive less. There are ways you can join the revolt against waste, planet abuse, and planet ignorance. Just as much as plugging forever the gushing death-hole in the gulf, there are little things that added together make a huge difference. But just like change, personally making a difference starts at home. Don’t be among those who forget, make a choice, make a difference, make an impact.

Wild veer…

While it’s not wildly popular I am all for paying my fair share of taxes. Not your share, not his share, my fair share and I expect you to pay yours. Have you heard/seen the commercials where the lady is sitting in the darkened room, wringing her hands, and in a weak addlepated voice whines, “They took the last $40 from my checking account.” Lady you made the money pay your fucking debt. I do. That is the maddening part, the humorous part is that they have the woman wringing her hands in a strategically lit room as to hide her identity, small print at the bottom of the screen let’s you know it’s an enactment by a professional actor. I forgot what my point is. Crap I’m so pissed the lady is whining because SHE, like Willie, didn’t pay her taxes.

Have you heard the national radio commercial from the company that claims they can help reduce your credit card debt by cutting you a deal with your creditors and give you one low payment? “Call us if you owe more than ten thousand dollars in credit card bills. If you owe less than ten thousand do the right thing, pay your bills…” Excuse me? So it’s not the right thing to owe under ten thousand dollars in credit card debt? Forgotten – responsibility, accountability, and decency.

I’ll let you know where I rant next time. Until then,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Talk Thursday: Ending... Beginning

This is my third start on this topic, but I think I’ve finally got, thank you spring, but Julieann’s Forgotten (and no that isn’t a nod to this week’s topic) may be a better fit. It is June 11th, what a beautiful sunny day, sadly it is only the second sunny day we’ve had in weeks and the sun didn’t come out until well after 2 o’clock. Once in a while we have a wet summer on the Oregon Coast, it’s been a while since the last, so this maybe one of those.

As noted it’s Oc, No, June 11th. We’ve had 7.46 inches of rain. No, not for the year - in June. So, you can understand my confusion. I use to have a 70’s Ziggy T-shirt that read, “The Oregon Rain Festival – June 1st through May 31st” I wish I had that T-shirt back. Last weekend we drove inland for a graduation party in Lowell (a 90 minute drive… okay Ducky was driving, it took two hours) the sky was blue and so sunny - the morning was promising. We were totally under cloudy skies by the time we turned onto Beltline. It was still a lovely day, just cloudy. One of those days you felt the warm threat of a thunderstorm hanging on the air. But sincerely, the ending of spring seems like the beginning of autumn this year.

Sunday morning dawned, bullshit, it didn’t dawn at all, it was endless dreary rain. Sunday night it began pouring. It was lovely to sleep to, I’ve not had to water my lawn once and did I mention it’s Oc, No, June 11th? The nasturtium in my hanging baskets are very promising, and as long as it doesn’t quit raining they will be beautiful and full fill their all summer long. Unless it stops raining then they are doomed – I’m sure to forget to water then (there’s that forgotten thingie again) just out of hydro-phobia. Not hydrophoby like in “Old Yeller” but total fear of water after this deluge of rain.

Tomorrow there is a forecast for sunshine. HALLELUJAH! Ducky will be burning brush at my mom’s. I’m going to weed my garden (friggin’ grass is growing in my garden) because the rain is going to start again. I know it is, I write the weather forecast all the time. I watch the satellite maps – and there’s the fact I’ve lived on the Oregon Coast for 37 years. Tomorrow will be sunny, the wind will pick up by 10am, it will really blow by 2pm. Sunday will hold promise and then the clouds will bank up, the sky will darken, and it will rain. I’ve seen the satellite maps. Plus you know the end of spring is the beginning of autumn and tomorrow is Oc, No, June 12th.

Welcome to the Oregon Rain Festival – June 1st through May 31st


Saturday, June 05, 2010

Talk Thursday: Fuzzy Navels

I’m still contemplating that Fuzzy Navel, I much prefer to be imbibing one at this time of the evening. But, yeah, that ain’t happening anytime soon. I’m out of Peach Schnapps. Drats! Lately I’ve been having troubles falling asleep. Thinking it was the six year old Beauty Rest mattress piece of crap, I bought a new Comfort-Pedic. I’m still having trouble falling asleep. For a foam mattress it’s pretty firm, I like firm, but this is firm-extreme. I’ll adapt.

During our vacation to Vegas I broke myself of the sleep aide habit. In truth I didn’t use a sleep aide the entire time we were gone, didn’t miss it, fell senselessly into sleep each night after rolling over. Three weeks after returning home I was still having trouble falling asleep. Seemingly, I have become a light sleeper in my old age. Friday nights I’ve been allowing myself a sleep aide to get a good night’s sleep, but well I think “good night’s sleep” is relative. I don’t want to become dependent again. Sometimes I take a pill on Saturday nights too. The first step of dependence denial.

Ducky got me hooked on the “Real” Housewives of Orange County. Having been raised on the LA/OC County line and the beaches Balboa during my childhood summers, it was kind of like revisiting my old stomps. Except the botox vixens of the OC live in LaLa Land of Excessive Life Styles that are anything but normal. That evolved into watching the “Real” Housewives of New York City. I love the personalities, but I’ve come to realize that this totally screws up my sleep patterns. The personalities are negative and toxic. I can’t break myself of the addiction. I tired. Really. I was able to get past not watching Thursday night. Then, I caught part of it over the weekend. And caught up. The second step of denial.

So Thursday night I tried a Margarita. Despite the bucket having been in the freezer since last summer, not bad. I had two and slept like a baby until about two o’clock. Now you’re thinking. “Three hours, that’s not a quality sleep.” But if you’re like me two and a half to three hours of uninterrupted sleep is heavenly. Not that I want to create a margarita habit that will require a twelve step plan, but I’m good at the moment. And really the tequila is much better than the Peach Schnapps.