Monday, August 25, 2008

Those Summer Rains

August is typically one of the driest months on the north Oregon coast but last Wednesday and Thursday were among the wettest we have seen in many weeks. The forecast called for an unseasonably strong weather system that was to produce significant wetting rains throughout much of the state. I am still working on the front porch so the weather made outside work, especially painting, out of the question.

I have been looking for an excuse to make a trip to Longview, WA to return some building materials and to visit a friend so the storm made the decision for me. As I prepared to leave, I decided to bring along my camera, not that I honestly expected to see much on such a miserable day. I decided however to heed Paul Lester’s advice and to follow the go!

As I left the house, the skies were gray and a light rain was falling; surely the camera would never leave the bag on this trip. I was only several miles east of town when I decided to take a detour and check out a location that overlooks the Columbia River and the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuse. Immediately, I realized that my detour would be worth the time invested and Paul was right! The photo shows what the river had to offer during the rapidly changing storm light. During my hour spent photographing I got rained on several times, but it was well worth the effort!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Those, Lazy, Hazy, Crazy, Days of Summer Are Here – Part 3

It's now the middle of August and it's suppose to be the "dog days of summer" but instead the past few days have been rather wet here on the Oregon coast. The weatherman is predicting a significant weather event for tonight and tomorrow; the translation would be rain and lots of it!

Oh well, if you can not see summer in the sky or feel it in the air, you just have to create it in you mind! When I was just a young lad, the events shown in the photos definitely were a big part of any summer.

No summer was complete without a visit to Duxbury beach where the sand was red hot and the water was like liquid ice!

Me at Duxbury beach with my dad's aunts

Is anything more like summer than fishing for the "big one" in Narragansette Bay?

Uncle Bud tending my catch while cousin Joanne looks on

If neither of the above do it for you, definitely riding a mighty white steed has to be the highlight of any summer!

Oh, the good old days of summer!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Friend Earl

Earl "shoveling" in 1978

Depicted in the photo is my friend Earl Rivers, AKA Jordan R, taken in the spring of 1978. So the natural question would be just who in the heck is Earl Rivers anyway.

Earl was one of the first people I befriended when I began my careen in Astoria with the department of forestry in 1977. I still remember the first time I met Earl; my initial assessment was that he was a character and his actions over the past thirty years have proved me correct!

Earl was one of the first of my coworkers to purchase a house; this provided a place to gather for an impromptu celebration after work. Since his house was at the top of one of Astoria’s steepest streets, getting there was no small feat. If you arrived at the gathering late, you needed to park at the bottom of the hill and hoof your way up it on foot because his driveway only allowed parking for two cars.
Earl was also passionate about cutting fire wood; in fact his wood shed was nearly as large as the house! When ever he gave anyone a tour of the house, you would end up in the wood shed and Earl would proudly show off his recently cut firewood in a manner similar to a new father sharing baby pictures! To Earl, it was not just firewood, on no, he kept it sorted and nearly stacked by type: fir, old growth fir, alder, cedar, and so forth. To him, his firewood was so valuable that when he promoted and moved to northeast Oregon, by volume, he actually took more firewood than furniture.

Earl sharing an embarrassing story at my retirement

It’s a tradition at the Dept. of Forestry that when you retire, people come to your party and share stories about you, and occasionally they are ones that you wish would have been long forgotten. When Earl jumped up to speak at my retirement party, I knew exactly what story he was going to tell and believe me, it certainly was one that could have gone another thirty years with out retelling. Fortunately for me, the statues of limitation had long expired; besides I was leaving the agency in a few days, so no harm, no foul!

I recently had the honor to attend Earl’s retirement function and it was my plan to return the favor so to speak, by sharing an equally embarrassing story. Unfortunately, my plan failed when I realized the best story I could tell on Earl also included myself as a participant. Sometimes life is just darn right cruel!

In all, Earl has been a heck of a friend over the years. When my house was damaged by fire in 1983, he was the first one to stop by and offer words of support. It was also through Earl and his finance that I was introduced to my wife of nearly twenty-two year; for that I will always be grateful!

Congratulations Earl on a career of thirty years, six month, and twenty some odd days. Bravo Zulu!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Those, Lazy, Hazy, Crazy, Days of Summer Are Here – Part 2

As the “dog days of summer" approach, I was pondering last week’s post and fondly remembered several other activities that once defined summer. As a boy growing up on the east coast in the 1950 and 1960s, no summer would be complete without the following activities:

Mowing the front lawn with the dog, circa 1955

Enjoying a weekend barbecue, circa 1956

Now as an adult, I have no lawn to mow and we have maybe 5 barbecues a year. Honestly, I don't miss mowing the lawn but maybe we should double the number of barbecues. Could that be a reason to buy the four burner gas grill sold at Costco?