Category Archives: Our town

May Check-in

A hill nearby covered in Crimson Clover…

I will start with an apology for not checking in sooner and for leaving this blog sitting too quietly for the last while. It has been an up and down month, a very emotional month, since my last post. The update on my husband, Byron, is that he has continued with his chemotherapy treatments with infusions every three weeks, and we have played the waiting game now for 9 weeks to see if the chemo is actually working to [temporarily] halt the progression of his cancer.  We had to wait until a certain period of time had passed to repeat his CT scan. The scan was done last Saturday, and we finally received the results yesterday. At this point in time, it is working. *Big sigh of relief here!*

So he will continue with his three-week cycle of infusions, and our lives are adjusting accordingly. The infusions are on Mondays. That first week is a challenge for him, with deep fatigue and other struggles. The second week, he feels better but not great. And the third week, he is almost back to “normal,” feeling well enough to work on projects (although his stamina is low), and have family come to visit. Then, the cycle is repeated …until it no longer works, or the side effects become too much to offset the benefits.

With this major change to our daily/weekly routines, plus the anxiety about whether or not this treatment is working, I simply couldn’t focus enough to read a book, and writing a post seemed too difficult. But, I am very thankful that we have a lovely grief counselor who is helping us through this roller coaster time, and she recommended a book that she thought I would enjoy. I downloaded it onto my Kindle directly after my appointment and read it in just a couple of days.

 The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II, by Madeline Martin, brought me back to my reading.

Inspired by the true World War II history of the few bookshops to survive the Blitz, The Last Bookshop in London is a timeless story of wartime loss, love and the enduring power of literature.

The Last Bookshop in London is an irresistible tale which showcases the transformative power of literacy, reminding us of the hope and sanctuary our neighborhood bookstores offer during the perilous trials of war and unrest.”
–Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

My counselor was right! I enjoyed it very much, and all of a sudden, my world seemed to right itself again!  She added one other recommendation for me:  she suggested I get myself over to Powell’s Bookstore for an hour of wandering.  Do you see why I love this counselor?

Back to my apology for leaving you without an update on our situation for so many weeks… I will try to check in with you here, dear blogging friends, at least once a month as we continue on our current health journey. And thank you so much for your care and concern.

Byron heading into Kaiser for his CT scan…

 

Back to my Walking

Painting: The Garden, by Pauline Palmer (American, 1867-1938)

There have been many disruptions in my daily outdoor walking ritual in the last few months, cold and darkness accounting for most, but I am happy to report that I am back to my early morning walks! Two photos below, taken yesterday and the day before, show how beautiful it is out there and why I love these walks.

Our Incredible Cedar Tree


We live on Cedar Street, and although I don’t know this for sure, I suspect the street was named because of our incredible Cedar tree that has been here for 100 years. The street was originally named something else, and I have no proof whatsoever that a change was made because our tree grew in such an amazing way. But it is unique and majestic, home to all kinds of wildlife, and worthy of having a street named after it, in my opinion.

Autumn Ritual

Our house is the one on the right. Photo taken in 1912, we think.

Our neighborhood is called “Old Town.” The trees that shade our streets and houses are very old. The oaks that surround our next door neighbor’s house, and stand tall on our property line, are over 100 years old. Their shade is wonderful in the heat of the summer, but they drop tons of leaves in the Fall. (My neighbor rolled down his window as he drove past us the other day and called out, “Leafageddon, again!”)  The sound of leaf blowers (which my husband hates) is deafening on the weekends. We use our big rakes, raking leaves the old-fashioned way, and despite an occasional blister, we enjoy the job. Once each month, October through December, the town’s leaf vacuum truck comes by and vacuums up the huge piles of leaves that are raked or blown to the curb. Watching for the vacuum truck has become a delightful Autumn ritual.

*Note: This post is from the archives of my old garden blog.

I Cherish: Beautiful Autumn Days

Byron at the wetlands…

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful Autumn day. After our recent rainy spell, it was so nice to be able to get out and enjoy the sunshine and fall colors. Byron felt up to a walk with the aid of his cane (didn’t need his walker!), so we headed for Fern Hill Wetlands to enjoy watching all the wildlife and soak in the colors of a lovely autumn day. A cherished time together!

Lovin’ My Library

“When in doubt, go to the library.”
~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

One of the important criteria when searching for a home in Oregon to buy for our retirement years was that it be located within walking distance of a library. We were very fortunate and found a lovely home and a sweet library! So we spend a lot of time at our local library. Our daughter now works there. It’s an important place for the entire family!

On this sunny morning, I again walked to the library, took some books back, picked up a book on hold, and checked out the Friends of the Library book sale. I also took a bunch of photos to share my library love with you. I hope you enjoy the slideshow!

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Things Other Than Reading…

winter-prospect

The sun is out on this cold January morning. It is cheering, but not warming up very fast! The side roads around town are still icy, although the main roads are pretty good, so I was able to get back to my exercise class this morning and then stop at my favorite lookout point on my way home to take a winter photo of the snowfields and the coastal range. And now I am home again having a cup of coffee and listening to Vivaldi. Sunshine, good coffee, and beautiful music. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

 

vivaldi

My Favorite So Far

On our walk around town this morning, we found another Little Free Library! This town is full of them now!  But we also found a very special, slightly different, sharing box. This one is my favorite so far!

Sharing poems...

Sharing poems…

Poems