Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 10/11 - 10/20 2007

Scroll down to read the latest post

October 11 Thursday

Awake early as usual, then for some reason I didn't get up, not because I didn't want to but because I, of all people, fell asleep again. I think I was far more emotionally exhausted from yesterday than I realized. It was 7:54 when my eyes popped open the second time, and this time I remained awake. As I walked out to the front room, I had one of those Yogi Berra moments. Looking up at the DW7000 router, it looked like "déjà vu all over again".

Where are the five lights?

The DW7000 router is the vertical unit on the left side with the three widely spaced blue lights. Unfortunately there are supposed to be five closely spaced blue lights, but remembering what my reaction to a dearth of 475 nanometer wavelength light being emitted from this same electronic device yesterday resulted in, I took on the personage made famous by John Banner with his continuing utterance of: "I see nothing, nooothinnnng!" I even decided that being a bumbling fool like Sgt Shultz was better than what happened yesterday, so I busied myself trying to put down what happened yesterday. I eventually got my slightly condensed version of War and Peace completed, but not until it was nearly noon.

In the meantime Linda had gotten up and hadn't glared at me when she came out, and had actually greeted me in the usual manner. I took it to mean that I was at least out of the doghouse, though I sure wasn't being allowed back into the house until she was good and ready. Who knows, maybe I won't have to both cook dinner, and also do the dishes tonight. An optimist would say things are getting better, however I, being a realist, would say that at least it has stopped getting any worse. Now if I can only keep my ears open and my mouth shut today, there might actually be some improvement.

We, and I emphasize the word, we, solved the problem of the missing two lights this morning, the solution requiring the dish to be stowed and the redeployed. Linda put it best with the statement that they (HughesNet) must still be doing something with the satellite we are on, which goes by the former name of AI-8, the current name of Galaxy 28, the acronym of G-28 and the common name of 89W (is that more information than you wanted to know or what), (note to my editor: see, guys that are total studs like I am can also be geeky at times) golly gee whiz, did I wander off subject or what. Okay back on task, once it came back up it was a little balky at first, but was soon started acting like a frisky colt when first put out to pasture. As we worked online, we both agreed it was as fast or faster than it had been, and by the afternoon it was definitely a good bit faster than it had been lately. They get an atta boy, but I'm still not going to take back what I said about their CEO yesterday, maybe someday in the future, but not today, after all, he's the one that got me in trouble in the first place.

Linda, displaying a much improved disposition this morning, fixed breakfast which consisted of a plain cheese omelet and the last two slices of huckleberry scone. I noted that no vitamins had been served with the scones, so displaying my newly turned over leaf, instead of asking her about the lack of vitamins, I checked the containers only to find them empty, then set about refilling them. She graciously got up and began helping, which just went to further my image of her as a very special person, one that I may not deserve but that am glad I've got.

Then breakfast over she started a load of wash. I soon got to put the new Bob into action because before long I heard a strange noise from the back of the coach. Deciding that a repeat of yesterday wasn't something I wanted, I extricated myself from my writing and went back to check it out. It turned out that the gray water tank was full and the water from the washer was backing up through the shower drain, so I headed out to drain the tank. Upon my return Linda wanted to know what had happened and I explained the full tank, adding in a very pleasant, non-accusatory tone, "I thought you drained it?" She had as it turned out, but not by pumping it out, just by starting the siphon. Unfortunately it hadn't worked so the backup occurred. She ended up rinsing out the gray water residue that had gotten into the shower, then after hanging the first load of clothes to dry, she started working on her Ebay listings.

Hanging high and dry

Eventually I was finished with my writing, having spent nearly three hours setting down all the gory details of Bob's Bad Day, otherwise known as yesterday. Then it was time for Linda to take over, editing it for mistakes, which even though I always do a quick rewrite, then put it through the spell checker, she still finds a few things to correct. I wasn't sure how she was going to react to what I had written, but as I sat there reading, I could hear a lot more typing than usual taking place, meaning there may have been some editorial comments being inserted. One thing I never do is read the Daily Journal after she has finished with her editing chores. That was hard to do today, but I managed

Editor at work

It was mid afternoon when we heard a knock on the door, and surprise, surprise the Macey's, Steve and Shirley who had been volunteers at the Lighthouse last year when we were here, were outside. We spent more than an hour getting caught up on their travels of the past year, and catching them up on our travels. Then, after they had left, we realized it was time for peanuts.

It was while we were gobbling goobers that Linda once again asked that simple question, "Will you help me with the measurements of the battery compartment?" I was somewhat taken aback, first because it caused a flood of emotions about how I acted yesterday, and second because I thought she had done that yesterday. I immediately responded in the positive and it turned out what she really wanted was to confirm her measurements.

Of course, nothing is ever easy, and this simple request proved that point. She had earlier asked about getting a few food items out of the storage bay, so while she finished her peanuts I started to dig into the cooler. The items retrieved, we went inside the coach, where she immediately grabbed the tape measure, paper and pencil and went back outside. I had a personal matter to attend to, probably caused by a sudden attack of nerves, or at least that sounds like a good reason, then getting ready to go out and join her I noticed the trash can was full. Whether it was a desire to avoid what happened yesterday, fear of actually doing what she asked, or something else, I took about 23 seconds to tie up the trash and put a new bag in.

I was thinking I would take the trash out with me to dump it after we confirmed the measurements, when the enormity of what I was doing struck me like a thunder bolt. I was delaying going outside, and if I came out carrying the bag, especially after taking so long, it probably wasn't going to go well for me. Upsetting her again today over this matter was the last thing I wanted to do, and it looked like not only was I was again committing a capital crime, I was preparing myself for my own execution. Time to drop the bag of trash and get out there, something I immediately started to do. Now, just because you don't shoot yourself in one foot doesn't mean you can't shoot yourself in the other. So, as I dropped the bag on the floor by the front seat, the thought struck me that it would be a good idea to take a photo of me confirming her measurements which I could use it in the Daily Journal, so back for the camera I went. Then as I was in the process of putting the case on my belt the door opened and Linda came up the steps. She turned towards me, a funny look on her face, then tight mouthed, she waited for me to finish and move towards her. All this time she had never uttered a word, but there was that look on her face that implied I was certainly skating on thin ice. I mumbled something about wanting to take a picture for the Daily Journal and we both went outside.

We did confirm the measurements, she was right on, but in my slightly dazed state of mind, I forgot to ask her to take any photos. Just as we were finishing, she did decide that a couple of photos were in order, not of me taking measurements, but of the compartment itself which she planned to attach to the email she was sending to AM Solar.

The source of my problems, in more ways than one

The remainder of the day passed without incident, with dinner being a very simple affair, consisting of the last of the pork and peppers over brown rice, the last of the sweet potato salad and a tossed salad. The result was a good meal and a refrigerator which is being prepared for the trip to the service center at the first of the month, meaning it is getting emptied out. We did have one problem, no dessert, not that there was no dessert, we had the ice cream, there was no baked dessert. That's when Linda came to the rescue. When she had asked me to get out the dried cherries from the bay this afternoon I thought it was to use them in our oatmeal, but I wasn't thinking the way Linda thinks. In short order she was digging through her cookbook, then getting out the mixer, which was soon followed by the oven being preheated. The end result was warm, fresh baked, chocolate chip, walnut, dried cherry cookies served with a bowl of ice cream. It simply doesn't get any better. I may still have been somewhere between the doghouse and the house, but if I was, I'd describe it at that moment as doghouse heaven.

Dessert baking

October 12 Friday

My mind was working over time when I first awakened this morning, would it be a repeat of what had greeted me the past two mornings, that is, "déjà vu all over again" once again (I'm not sure even Yogi could have handled that one), or would it be a case of all is well that ends well.

You light up my life

That beautiful blue line of lights on the DW7000 was what I had wished for, so maybe today is a day for wishes to come true. While the verdict on that wish about wishes may take some time to prove one way or the other, it wasn't long before Linda was poking her head around the corner to also check on the blue lights. I'd like to believe that also got her thinking, not about what a jerk her husband had been a couple of days ago, but about connections with the color blue.

Why is that? Well, it wasn't long before Linda's version of the blue plate special, a steaming bowl of oatmeal, dried cherries, Stevia, chopped walnuts, and cinnamon was setting before me. Taking a break from my writing while I ate, the beauty that is our life was spread out before us, and as I watched, a Coast Guard ship came rapidly up the channel.

Ship ahoy

Linda was in an expectant mood today, so as soon as she was beauticated enough to be seen in public, out the door she went. Her mission was the mailbox to check and see if the call tag for her camera had arrived. That's the same camera we have sent in twice for repairs, only to have it malfunction again shortly after it was returned. If she understands the repair contract she got on the camera correctly, the third time is a charm, either they fix it or she gets a replacement camera. The call tag wasn't in the mailbox, but there was still a moment of pleasure in her journey.

Pot of Pansies

For all the struggles she has had this year trying to grow green things outdoors, those Pansies have more than made up for the failures she suffered through. They aren't called "Smiley Faces" for nothing, because a big beautiful smile is what they bring to her face. The other half of the planter is filled with Dianthus, which are completely covered with flower buds, so hopefully there will be another burst of color in several weeks.

For some reason I was also in the same optimistic frame of mind that Linda was, mulling over whether or not to bake another batch of huckleberry scones. I had this wild idea to go outside and pick some fresh huckleberries, and even though it is quite late in the season, the bushes around the coach still had a good number of berries on them. They may have been a little old and beginning to dry up, but they were fresh huckleberries. A little searching and I discovered three bushes that held the best of the berries, so in short order there I was, container in hand picking a small mess.

Before I was allowed to go out and pick, Linda made me promise to pick only a few, as she remembers what a royal pain it was to clean and remove the stems from those little bursts of flavor. I wasn't sure what her problem was because I was planning to do all the picking and cleaning by myself, but I promised her anyway. She may not of been that confident as to how well I'd stick to my vow, because as I was picking she came out to check on my progress, offer advice, and document my actions.

Picking huckleberries

I was true to my word and only picked a small quantity. We never did actually measure how many there were, but it was a small enough quantity that Linda even helped me remove the stems. That certainly meant that I rated a "you done good Bob". The recipe I selected was for pear bran muffins from the South Beach Cookbook. We had the Bosc pear it called for and then the huckleberries were simply added on with no other changes. They are what might be termed, not exactly sweet, but even so the muffins turned out to be magnificent, not only in appearance, but also in taste and texture. One of the little secrets we have learned about cooking with Splenda is that it far better to use a little less than needed than a little too much, as using too much always seems to result in an off taste. This recipe, for example only called for 2 tablespoons of Splenda, probably because the pears also imparted a degree of sweetness.

Once the muffins were out of the oven and cooling it was time for some fun. Our metal detector had been drawing dust for many months, but today I was going to put it to use. What ensued was a lot of digging, a lot of holes, a lot of junk and a whole lot of fun.

Junk dealer at work

I decided the people who built these RV pads probably did two things on the day they were constructed. They drank a lot of beer, Budweiser being their favorite, and they simply buried the cans, or so all the cans I dug up seemed to indicate. And secondly, everything they used was tied with aluminum wire which they also just dropped and buried. I did have one monetary find, a penny, which was probably all that was left after buying the beer. As you might suspect, I spent far longer digging out that penny than I did on anything else. It sure wasn't a case of getting paid for the amount of work you do. Then again, if the payment was in the sheer fun I had, then I was over compensated. I'm going to have to do this again. Below is a photo of a few of my finds.


While I was looking for treasure, Linda was finding signs of the times.

Winter is on the way

That woolly worm wasn't the only sign of a new season that was on display. She also spied Mr Squirrel busy doing his thing, also getting ready for the onset of winter.

Squirreling things away

After all the activity of the day, it was good to just be able to sit and read for a while, then spend some time idly surfing the web. But it was when I got up from the computer to get a drink of water that I noticed something out of place.

Evidence of the crime

Apparently someone or something had snuck into the coach and purloined a piece of my just baked muffins. A quick check of the crime scene suggested it was more like a someone than a something, since a knife had been used to accomplish this dastardly deed. I knew I wouldn't be able to use fingerprints to deduce who done it, but perhaps there was a trail of crumbs that would point the way. As I stood there, hands on my hips pondering my next move, whether to try and track them down myself or to call in the local constabulary, my ears detected a faint sound. That was when the the thought hit me, what if the thief were still in the coach. Might Linda and I be in some sort of danger from this knife wielding wayfarer?

As I considered the best course of action, the sound increased in volume and I realized it was something being repeated over and over and it was quite close by. Maybe the criminal had returned to the scene of the crime. I was frozen in place for just a moment, then realizing this was my castle and it was my job to protect it, I whirled around, prepared to face whatever it may be. What greeted me was not what I expected, rather it was that darling wife of mine, her hand across her mouth trying unsuccessfully to stifle the giggles that were beginning to fill the air. Her eyes twinkling, she said between bursts of laughter, "They looked so good, I just couldn't help myself." Looking at that smile and those eyes, I knew all was right in the world.

That first wish this morning had been for a great day. It turned out that wished was fulfilled and more. May all your wishes of the day come true for you too.

October 13 Saturday

I don't know if it is just me or if it's because we are having so much fun, but for some reason it seems like the days are just crawling by. I'm not complaining as that is a very good thing, maybe my internal clock is finally starting to run on normal time after all these years. There was no rush to get life started this morning, plus Linda took some medicine that requires no food be eaten for at least one hour afterwards. Which meant the Daily Journal was written before breakfast was served. It was also our last day for scrambled eggs, not because we are tired of them, but because we are now out of eggs. I wonder how oatmeal and huckleberry, pear muffins will taste? Of course that supposes the muffin thief hasn't struck again.

Once breakfast was over and the dishes washed, Linda attacked the evening meal, or at least she put all the fixings in the slow cooker so we could have chilli tonight. Something tells me we are going to have to live with the smell of chilli cooking all day long, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Linda must have been bitten by the domestication bug during the night, because the next thing I knew, the washing machine was running and there was enough vibration so that I knew it wasn't a normal load of clothes. It turned out she was washing the sheets, one of those once every two weeks type of jobs.

Once the washer stopped the fun began, when Linda looked out the window, the clothes dryer was up, meaning Gaylyn must also have been planning on doing laundry today. Linda decided to "share" the clotheslines of the dryer with her, so with clothes pins attached to her pocket and arms drapped with damp sheets, off she went.

Automatic clothes dryer at work

When I was a little kid, it was easy to tell when it was Saturday, Dad was home and wanted me to help him, plus the best shows on TV were on, Fury, Sky King, and several serials. Today I can tell it's Saturday because Linda is into her Ebay mode. This is the day when most of her auctions end and the new ones go up. There will also be some more ending tomorrow afternoon, but today is the big day. That means a lot of work for her today, including sending numerous emails and boxing up the items as each auction ends.

Chipper shipper at work

Once all this was done, well not exactly done, there was more than she could do in just a few hours, we took a break. Yesterday we had fun with the metal detector, today it will be fun looking for a geocache. Linda had found the co-ordiantes for one down by Lake Marie, so we thought we'd go take a look. We really didn't expect to find the hidden cache without a handheld GPS, (which we are currently in the process of buying) but the fun is mainly in the hunt anyways. We followed the directions we had, which said to take the right path when we came to the fork in the trail. We took that to mean the correct path was the path that led off to the right. Here is Linda making the decision as to which path to take.

Leading to the Pot of Gold

Unfortunately what you really need to be successful at the geocache business is a GPS, which is a nice way of saying that we looked and looked, but it was all for naught. Even though we did not achive our goal, we still had fun, plus we got to see some of the ATVer's that we hear all the time, doing their thing.

ATV fun time

Once we had given up finding the geocache, we decided to walk around the lake, getting in some exercise, and hoping to see the Red Tailed Hawk we heard the last time we were here. Unfortunately the hawk was doing whatever hawks do on the top of some other dead tree, so we missed it. That didn't mean that there weren't things that caught our attention. It turned out that all along the walk, nature had provided places to stop and rest. Everywhere we looked there were stools, some of them quite large. Here, for example is Linda, a large toad looking at a stool, I mean here is Linda looking at a large toad stool.

Not a bad looking fungus

I decided that references to my life partner had better not make any more references to similarities between the female form and toads or fungus, which really limits what I can write, so let us just show you photo's of several of the differnt types we saw during our walk. I'm sure a fungarian, or what ever you call a person who studies fungus could have pointed out several dozen or more types along the path. We will just show several that we found which aroused our curiosity, but not enough to try and identify them. (By the way, as I was typing this I was listening to some of my mp3's when suddenly there was Grace Slick singing White Rabbit. I just had to chuckle at the coincidence when the lines: And you've just had some kind of mushroom; And your mind is moving low; Go ask Alice, I think she'll know., were sung.) What are odds of that? Maybe today's the day to buy a lottery ticket.

Interesting fungus, Bob

Linda was particularly fond of these cute little babies that were growing on top of a moss covered log.

Little bitty babies

Little tiny fungi weren't the only things growing around the edges of Lake Marie. There were also some rather large objects, no, not the pretty female model, but rather this stump.

Is that a squirrel in that tree?

That was what we believe is termed a mother tree, or a mother stump, where a seed germinates and takes root in the remains of a tree that has passed on to other uses. It's got to be 8 to 10 feet from the base of that tree down to where the roots touch the ground. If that's not fighting for survival, I don't know what is. They may have logged this forest at one time, but it wasn't a forest that wanted to die as there more examples of this same type of growth nearby.

Shine on rays of joy

As we continued to walk, the sun reflecting off the lake caught our eye. With the sunbeams filtering down throught the trees, it was one of those magical moments. First thing I knew, Linda had grabbed the camera off me and had taken this photo.

Shine on light of the night

Walking back to the coach we were reminded of exactly why we were here.

Linda at work

The day ended like it began, Linda took down the laundry which was now dry, we ate a meal, the homemade chilli, then read until it was time to call it a day.

To know the link with the past.
To experience the connection of being human.
The joy of life.
The spirit of individuality.
The adventure goes on and on.

October 14 Sunday

It may have been Sunday morning, but someone must have forgotten to tell the sun that it was its day, i.e. (Sun)day. Gray overcast skies were what greeted us this morning, but that didn't mean there was gloom in the air. Linda herself, was enough to dispel any hint of the doldrums which might have been present. How someone can be as happy as she is every morning is something that I will never understand. Then again, why try to understand it, I just need to savor it and use it to jump start my day.

The one thing that I should have gotten a jump start on, resisted all my efforts, sputtering, but not catching. It was that same old nemesis of rushed mornings, the Daily Journal. I finally gave up and just decided to enjoy the moment, the writing could be finished later. Part of the reason was that we were not engaged in talking about the normal activities of living, Linda had chosen to speak about a weightier subject this morning. She proposed to have only a huckleberry pear bran muffin for breakfast this morning. But being a man, these weightier subjects do not have as much bearing on my choice of what I take in during the day.

Her comment did get me thinking, more about more than less, so I trundled out the philosophy of good fats versus bad fats and the need to consume a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. The result was a breakfast that allowed each of us to accomplish our goal.

Balanced breakfast

What we ended up with was something that looked appealing, tasted great and was healthy, but even more important, the addition of the Mozzarella topped Canadian bacon satisfied both our needs to start the day off right, energy for me and "more is less" for Linda. One other thing it did was take my mind of the incomplete writings that stared back at me from the screen, which actually meant good things because for still another week I was ready to leave for church when Linda was. I've heard it said that you can't put a value on good health, and I'm sure that is true. But let me tell you, there is no way you can put a value on being ready for church on time, Linda's smile and compliment are worth all the tea in China and then some.

Given the gloomy morning we were surprised by the number of cars on the road, but when we walked into church we realized they weren't coming this way, as the sanctuary was very lightly populated. We were wondering where everyone was when it seemed like the flood gates opened and people began pouring in. In just a few minutes there were more people than usual sitting around us. We never did figure out why, but maybe it's just another of those unsolvable mysteries.

The pastor, Allen, was in fine form once again, and by the time he concluded his message, there was Joy in the hearts everyone present. On the way out, a smiling face greeted us and thanked us for being so nice to him when he had visited the Lighthouse last week. It took a moment, then both Linda and I remembered him and we exchanged greetings. You never know when you "touch" someone at the Lighthouse, when or if you are ever again going to cross their path, so this was a special moment.

To know the link with the past.
To experience the connection of being human.
The joy of life.
The love of your fellow man.
The adventure goes on and on.

We did have a few things to get before heading back to the coach, as Linda had brought along several coupons from the book she received when had gotten our flu shots at the Safeway store on North Bend the week before. There was a buy one get one free Bumblebee brand chicken pack, which we could use, but is was the 75 cents off on the foaming hand soap that she was really interested in. After much searching the aisles and shelves Linda summed it up best, "It's a little Safeway store, they don't have very much." We will just have to nurse that rapidly failing, soap pump a few more weeks until we can drive to a town that has some real stores in it.

One other thing had also contributed to our leaving the store, sans merchandise, was the weather. It was while we were searching for the hand soap that we both felt the cold. Not just any little bit of chilly air, this was a genuine, deep down, bone chilling cold. It was enough to cause Linda to return the two bananas in the basket to the banana display and for us to flee the store. Emerging from the door we discovered the fog had crept in, not on little cats paws, but with the full fledged charge of a pack of lions after a gazelle. Cold was the word, and within a mere blink of an eye we were in the Explorer and Linda had turned the heater on. Welcome to the Oregon coast.

The rest of the day was a blur of sloth. That may seem like a contradiction in terms, but it was just one of those kinds of days. Reading, writing and computing, accompanied by eating and snacking, throw in those evil women of Wisteria Lane (poor Carlos), and it was a grand day. Fresh tuna salad for lunch, no canned tuna for us, then spaghetti with sausage sauce for supper, it was a day of good things. We did mourn the passing of our last pound of Bob Evans sausage, but was that sauce ever good, plus there were leftovers for at least three more meals.

The day ended just as it had, with a great big smile on Linda's face, this time at my expense. Seems like when she dished out the dessert something happened, or at least I thought it had. As she handed me my bowl, my mind was elsewhere, but as I was eagerly taking my first bite I noticed something amiss. Normally she gives us two chocolate chip cookies a piece, but looking at my bowl it looked like a giant beaver had devoured all but a nibble of my second cookie. Looking over at her bowl, I could see what looked like two whole cookies. Thinking that maybe she had eaten part of this one when she was dishing out dessert, I asked her, "Did you switch our bowls?" She looked at hers, then looked at mine and said "No, I didn't."

Now I'm not a sweet tooth by any means, at least compared to Linda, but as "Dick's boy", my dad taught me that dessert is the most important meal of the day, and I was definitely getting way less than my fair share tonight. Now, when it comes to any questions regarding the culinary arts that that may be posed to Linda, one is always treading on very thin ice, but this was dessert and I had most definitely been shorted. Recklessly charging ahead, I muttered, but not to loudly, "It looks like someone ate most of one of my cookies." She looked up, smiled and and kept right on shoveling great gobs of delicious dessert into her mouth. Throwing all caution to the winds I demanded to know what happen to my dessert.

Okay, that might have been a slight exaggeration on my part, maybe what I ever so politely asked was why was one of my cookies so small. Her answer took me aback, "I thought we'd had enough to eat, so I divided one of them in two." Her division reminded me of the way Poland was divided, The Germans and Russians got all the land the Poles got to kept the name, Poland, being told when they complained, be happy with what you got, we could have taken everything.

Like I said, Linda ended the day with the same big smile she had started it with. I on the other hand, well, I retired to the warmth of the electric blanket and a good book while she watched the end of Desperate Housewives. Now I know why I like Carlos so much, I know just how he feels.

October 15 Monday

We have a few things planned for today, most of which revolve around a trip to Reedsport, as this is the last day we have off for a while. Not that it is any imposition, but we do have to work for the next three days. With that in mind one of the first things I did after waking the computer, I have it go to sleep every night just like we do, was to check the weather report. The news was not good, a 90% chance of rain today, increasing to 100% tomorrow, then slackening off to 80% for the following two days. Something tells me that it may be kind of slow this week as far as visitors are concerned.

Soon enough Linda was up, and when I mentioned the forecast, she smiled and merely said, "Just make sure you take over something to read." Now that's the attitude to have. Of course it is far easier to shrug the rain off if you're staying in the Museum all day the way she is, rather than out in it walking back and forth to the Lighthouse like I will be doing. I already know reminding her of how easy she has it versus my trudging about in the rain won't gain me anything. I can just imagine what she'd say, something on the order of, "Why you poor baby, I thought you liked giving Lighthouse tours."

Pushing my futile thoughts of the future aside, I attacked the plate of Canadian bacon covered with a little dab of Mozzarella cheese and then the warm huckleberry pear bran muffin she set on the table in front of me. Yesterday the Canadian bacon was completely inundated with cheese as opposed to today's little dab and in response to my quizzical look, she stated "There was a little too much cheese yesterday." That was quite an admission since Linda never saw a chunk of cheese she didn't want to eat. It also gives a good idea of just how much cheese she had piled on that tiny bit of meat yesterday.

Once breakfast was over, the packages all gathered up, including the camera that is going back to be repaired for the third time, we headed off in a light rain for Reedsport. As luck would have it, when we walked in the Post Office there was only one person in the line. It took a while for our turn to come, the man was mailing a number of packages, and it was interesting to note the look on the Postman's face as we approached the counter looking like slimmed down versions of Santa and one of his cute elves on Christmas Eve, our bag just overflowing with boxes.

Not her again

While Linda was doing her thing I set off on foot in search of the UPS drop box that was supposed to be on the same Street as the Post Office. (The camera needed to be shipped via UPS.) I eventually found it, but not before deciding that the length of a city block in old town Reedsport had anticipated a level of growth that had never been achieved. One could always look at it as the opportunity for exercise, I guess. Walking back to the Post Office I did a good bit of window shopping, Reedsport style. That meant looking at windows, not what was in the stores, because most of the windows in old town are either papered over, or if not, give only a view of bare floors and walls. Other than a used bookstore, a computer store, a totally out of place furniture and carpet store, though it was quite small as those stores go, and several bars, all the storefronts were vacant in the four blocks I walked. The glories of the past when lumber was king were long gone.

Back at the Post Office, Linda was creating a bit of history herself, the formation of the longest line on a none holiday day in recent memory at the Reedsport Post Office. I decided that taking a photo of the people in line was probably not a good idea, especially given the looks that I was receiving once they realized I was with "The Problem". It was also impossible to get an accurate count as people kept joining the back of the line as others gave up and left. You could say that at any one time the line was not that large, probably less than 10 people, but the total number of people who stood in that line while she was at the counter was a far greater number.

I was really proud of Linda, not once did she let the menacing, hard edged stares or growling comments affect her professional demeanor. It was one of those times that I wanted to proudly proclaim, that's my wife at the counter, the only problem was that mob would have probably descended on me like the Greeks sacking Troy, with me no doubt suffering the same fate as Troy. I held my breath until we had returned to the car, then trying to give her a big compliment, I looked at her and said, "I was totally amazed at how you didn't let any of those people in line behind you bother you since you took so long", to which she replied, "Oh, was there a line? I didn't notice."

She may have been just a little bit flustered because when we pulled up at the UPS drop box things went a little wrong. The purpose of my earlier trio had been to check and make sure her package would fit in the opening, it would, so I was astonished to see her having trouble with the door to the box. apparently she couldn't get it open. That was when I realized she was trying to open the door to the FEDEX drop box, I shouted to her that it was the wrong box, then put the package in the correct container. She never really did say anything and I think she was still in a daze from my comments about the Post Office line. On the other hand she's a woman, so I was probably total wrong in my assumption.

Our next stop was the best store in town, the second hand shop, where we were the last of the big spenders like usual. I came out clutching a Simon and Garfunkel tape, yes it was a tape, but it only cost a quarter how could I go wrong, while Lida got a big package of wrapping paper for 95 cents. Much of our time was actually spent on family matters, Linda's sister having asked us to keep an eye out for several books in the "Australians" series. When you don't know what the books look like, nor how thick they are, it is hard to search the used book section. Not that it is a bad thing, actually it is a good thing because you are forced to focus on each book and that's the way discoveries are made. You know, it's the old way of looking at things, is the glass half full or half empty.

Now where's that book

Our next stop, and the last one on Linda's itinerary was at the Price N Pride for some groceries. Loaded down with veggies of every description, including five types of winter squash, we looked like a couple of PETA people as we headed for the checkout counter.

Good eats

Back at the coach, I caught Linda engaged in her favorite occupation, people watching. As I picked up the camera, she glanced my way, then returned to the task at hand, the only concession to my action, the wry smile that crossed her face. What's not to love about a woman like that?

Ms Sneak-A-Peek at work

Dinner was something special tonight, well, maybe not special, rather really, really, really special.

Oysters a-fryin'

Wonder of wonders, those are four fresh medium oysters frying in that pan, and Linda, of all people, was the one who had suggested buying them. It sure wouldn't have been me. Linda has me so trained on her complete revulsion to anything oyster that we are lucky to even go to seafood restaurants on occasion. That was why I wasn't sure I'd heard her correctly when she suggested we buy a half pint of fresh Charleston oysters (Cost: $2.50) for dinner when we were at the store. Seeing is believing, and seeing them frying in the skillet made me a believer. It was only a short time later that we sat down to a wonderful candle light meal.

A great meal

All evening I kept wondering what I had done right, but it was beyond me. As I've said before, in one form or another, the female mind is simply beyond the comprehension of mere mortal man. Woman, the most lovely creation on earth, far prettier than even the the most beautiful sunset, something to be treasured when you are lucky enough to experience their countenance in all its glory.

Peace be with you

October 16 Tuesday

Up early as usual, but since it was a work day, it wasn't a day to sit around, it was one to work on the Daily Journal. Hard at work I heard the unmistakable sounds of she who only gets up early when she has to, moving around in the back of the coach. All too soon, shattering my concentration, the human whirling dervish of the morning came bouncing out into my space. I could immediately sense writing was going to be a struggle this morning. but once she had settled down in front of her computer to check her Ebay items I was able to get a small reprieve. Then just as I was once again beginning to form coherent thoughts, she exclaimed, "Look!" I wasn't sure where, or what, look meant, but since she had my attention, I looked.

I saw nothing, nothing that is other than her standing at the front window. I realized I was not going to be doing any writing until I had participated in whatever actual or imagined spectacle she was looking at, so I got up and peered over her shoulder. I must admit I was unprepared for the show Mother Nature was putting on. There was a storm coming in from the ocean and the dark gray billowing mass of rain was providing the eeriest look. Then, as we watched the beginnings of a rainbow appeared, which soon turned into one of the most intensely colored rainbows we have ever seen.

Magic light show

For the next 10 minutes we watched in amazement as the sun, clouds and ocean put on a truly magical show of light, color and shadow. All this time we could see the rain moving ever closer until at last it swept over us.

And then the rains came

With the rain pouring down, and the forecast calling for more of the same throughout much of the day, we finished up those little things that were still hanging. Meaning Linda fixed an omelet for breakfast while I wrote far more than I had intended to for the Daily Journal. I'm not sure what happened to my goal of spending no more than one hour on it, but maybe the writing bug has finally bitten me again. I was on the borderline of being in the doghouse, when I managed to just squeak by and have everything uploaded before 10 AM. With that goal accomplished, we took on a new one, getting over to the Museum without being drowned because this was what it looked like as we left the coach.

It's raining

It's one thing to walk the short distance from the coach to the Museum in the rain, it's an entirely thing to have to walk all the way up to the Lighthouse. That's when Linda came to the rescue, pointing out that there was a raincoat in the closet of the Museum that would probably work better than what I was wearing. It turned out that as usual, she was right on, and even though I did my best to avoid being photographed, she finally talked me into it.

Ready for the rain

Given the weather, plus the fact that it is nearing the end of the season, we were fortunate to have as many visitors as we did today. The numbers were atrocious, 17 total visitors, of which 13 went on the three tours. We couldn't recall what our worst day was last year, but we both felt this set an new all time low. It wasn't all bad however, because the the people who do come at this time of the year are genuinely interested in the Lighthouse, many of them traveling to the area specifically to take the tour. While it is not exactly why we are here, the idle hours also gave me time to do some more research into Lighthouse history, which I used to learn more about the light sources that were employed over the years.

There was also time to thoroughly investigate the displays in the museum. Nothing is ever as it seems and once again I learned far more than I would have ever imagined. It is truly a case of, the more you know, the more you know that you don't know. Studying each photo, there was some small detail that seemed to jump out at me. Something that had always been there, but that I just hadn't recognized. Take for example the scaffold on the Assistant keepers house in this photo. It also meant that the dwellings were being constructed at the same time as the Lighthouse structure, not after the Lighthouse was constructed as some writers imply.

Details overlooked

We weren't the only ones preparing for changes the coming storm is predicted to bring. Maybe because it is supposed to intensify over the next several days, the Coast Guard was out practicing in the channel.

Getting ready

We passed the evening in total sloth after heating some chili for dinner, thank goodness for leftovers, and watching the stars. Not the stars above, the stars dancing on TV. Ah shucks, a little escapism never hurts, then after the usual bowl of ice cream and cookies it was time to call it a day. It also surprised me that after having such a light day, I was as tired as I was, maybe the length of the season is just as telling on we who volunteer at Museums and give tours as it is on athletes.

One last thing before we sign off, Bob did get his two full cookies with dessert tonight, of course he had to fix dessert himself to get it. The task of training a man is something that is never done, but occasionally there is progress.

October 17 Wednesday

For having been such an easy day yesterday, at least as far as the number of visitors to the Lighthouse and Museum were concerned, we had both found ourselves quite tired when we went to bed, but what followed was not a night of peaceful rest. The first few hours had passed all to quickly, when my sleep was shattered by the words, "Did you hear that?"

I had heard nothing, not even the growls of the nearby grizzly bear, but then, I had been sound asleep until that moment. "No", I mumbled which isn't to easy, being as it's a monosyllable word, "what am I supposed to listen for?" You can tell from my well phrased, rather than mumbled question, the period between the state of sound sleep and being fully awake could be measured in a mere fraction of a second. The voice of someone you love asking a question like that in the middle of the night can do that. She was in the midst of replying and I was in the midst of wondering why she didn't just keep quiet so I could hear whatever that sound was supposed to be, (so what if I'd asked her to talk) when the unmistakable sound of thunder reverberated through the coach. Now that we both awake, it meant that for the next half hour, watching the clock move ever so agonizingly slowly towards 3:30, we would listen to the the booms and roars that filled the night air.

The last time I remember looking at the clock, it said 3:28, then sleep once again over took me. Sometime later I was once again jarred out of my slumber, not by Linda's voice, but by being shaken, and not so gently either. "What is it this time?" I asked, more than a little irritated by being awakened a second time. In reply I heard nothing but silence. "What is it?", I asked once again, rising up on my elbow to look at the clock, which said 4:02, then down at Linda, only to discover she was sound asleep. That was when I was shaken once again, or I should say, the whole coach and everything in it was shaken.

When the same thing repeated itself some long seconds later I realized it was the wind, and not just any little old wind, rather some very significant gusts of wind. The forecast hadn't called for any of what was happening tonight and I wondered if the wind was strong enough that I needed to stow the MotoSat. I lay there for a while, my indecision only serving to push sleep further from my mind, not realizing that almost a half hour had passed, when a new sound rent the air, a ruckus that reminded me of something akin to rocks being thrown against the coach. It wasn't rocks, it was the rain, drops of water being shot through the air anda pounding against the coach. A little later, after laying there wide awake for what seemed like hours, I once again glanced at the clock, and was surprised to see that was now 4:47, then realizing there was no way I was going to go to sleep again, got up to start the day.

Since I was fully awake, I did what I usually do at times like this in the early morning hours, worked on the Daily Journal, then earlier than normal for her, Linda also got up, and we talked about the storm that had struck during the night. It seems like once the thunder had abated, the sleep fairy had swung her wand over Linda, and the sparkling dust had worked it's magic, Linda never again being awakened the entire night. I sure wish it would also work on me, but maybe I'm immune to such things, or you just have to possess the child-like ability to believe, something I need to work on, and that makes Linda so very special.

The pounding of the surf

As soon as Linda had walked up to the front window, she was calling for me to come look, and glancing up from my work, I could tell she was right, it was a spectacular sight. Normally there is just a narrow band of breakers near the beach, but this morning the show was much more spectacular. The Coast Guard tower was flying just one flag, but there were far more breakers than a single flag usually indicates. The weather report was also indicating a storm was approaching the coast, making us wonder what that was that came through during the night, so it looked like it might be a slow day at the Lighthouse.

With those thoughts about the predicted storm, and what we had experienced during the night dancing through my head, I spent a few extra moments up in the watch room when I opened the Lighthouse this morning. It was a situation where, with a little imagination, one can transport themselves to another time and place. A place where we can experience what once was. Though I had looked upon the storm glass that provides protection to the lantern room from the weather many times in the past, this morning those panes of glass became very real to me. Had I been a light keeper, it would have been my job to venture out on the gallery this morning to clean that glass. Suddenly those handles attached to the outside of the metal frame were not just handles to be mentioned to a tour group. They were something my very life might have depended upon. It was one of those tenuous, but real links with the past.

Handle with care

As I walked back to the Museum, a light rain was falling, which soon after turned into a heavier rain. I guess as far as our visitors were concerned, there are days to visit the Lighthouse and then there are days not to visit the Lighthouse. Today was one of the latter. Given lemons it is best not to weep over the fact you had hoped for oranges, but to make lemonade, which was exactly what Linda and I did. She read a novel whose main "character" was a lighthouse, while I poured over a treatise on the mathematical proof of the efficiency of the Fresnel lens versus the reflector system. (It was actually very interesting, and once I get into it, I began to realize just how brilliant and far ahead of the great thinkers of his day Fresnel was, since he even took on some of the writings of that icon of mathematics, Issac Newton, and proved them to be in error. Perhaps a little too heavy for many, but once the fundamentals are understood, it all begins to make sense.)

When it's raining, it's reading

It turned out to be a day without sun, and it also turned out to be day without visitors. Not that we didn't have a few, but our count of total number of visitors for the day, was far fewer than normal. In fact on a so called normal day, more people would take the tours than we had total visitors today. To show you just how bad it was, only 17 people came into the Museum, and Linda was able to talk 14 of them into touring the Lighthouse. Is she good or what? I teased Gaylyn that if she had put on her bikini and stood outside with a sign the way the young girls do at the car washes, we would have had a significantly higher number of visitors, to which she replied, "Obviously you've never seen me in bikini." I like being a volunteer here, so I decided that it might be best if I didn't say anything more. Though I still think it wouldn't have been a bad idea.

Some nights we end the day with a photo of the sunset, but given today's weather, that was something that just wasn't going to happen tonight. Here is a photo of the view that we had whenever we looked out, which could have served for sunrise, sunset, or anytime in between. It is fall and it is the Oregon coast, but it is still one of the grandest places you would ever wish to visit. As they say, "There is a reason why western Oregon is so green."

Cloudy skies

October 18 Thursday

What a difference a day makes. It was a little over 24 hours ago that we were awakened in the middle of the night, or at least I was awakened in the middle of the night by Linda pointing out that a storm was raging. Then last night we slept like a pair of hibernating grizzlies. Nothing awakened us from our slumber and it wasn't until dawns early light that we returned to the land of the living. Well, maybe it was just a little bit before dawn for me, but you get the drift.

We had gone to bed with the full knowledge that a powerful storm was approaching from the South, but that it wouldn't arrive until 10 AM this morning. Why we put such faith in the weatherman, I don't know, maybe it is because we hope that things will happen in a certain way, even if they don't. The good thing was the storm hadn't arrived during the night, at least as far as we knew, and after the previous nights experience I had no doubt we would have known if it had blown in last night. We were both at our computers when the coach gave its first twitch, which was soon followed by another, and another.

In just moments the coach was starting to rock, the trees were all taking on a decided list to the North and the ocean had changed into a wild beast. "I think the storm is coming sooner than expected", Linda said, to which I added, "We'd better put down the MotoSat." As it was stowing a more powerful gust struck and the slide toppers on the South side of the coach were flapping like crazy and making all manner of noise. "Do you think we need to pull in the slides?" Linda asked, which in answer to, I simply started setting everything in the living area on top of the couch and chairs.

Linda also started picked up things in the bedroom, chucking them on the bed. We really didn't care what the coach looked like at the moment, we just wanted to get the slides in, something that was soon accomplished. The end result was definitely not what you would call pretty, but it was done. Besides, within a couple of hours we were going to walking over to the Museum for the day and the storm was supposed to be over by 3 PM, so we should have lots of time after work to return everything to normal.

Living in a small space

Looking out the window we could see we weren't the only ones preparing for the storm as Jim was out next door securing their satellite dish. The way the wind was blowing, if he hadn't, it would have probably ended up being the new hood ornament for their motorhome. We also noticed they hadn't put in their slides, then it dawned on us, the way our coach was parked, it turned out that we were blocking most of the wind from hitting them. Maybe that's what you call a good neighbor policy.

Battening down

Looking out at the ocean we were amazed at the difference from what we were used to seeing. Then, as we watched a gigantic wave smashed into the training jetty, rising high above it and crashing down in the triangle. It would take a crazy man to be out there harvesting oysters this morning. As we watched, a few minutes later another huge wave smashed into the jetty once again.

There are huge waves and then there are huge waves

While we were watching, we were also listening to the NOAA Weather Radio, and the broadcaster was telling us we had done the right thing by closing everything up. Seas were running over 25 feet and wind gusts had clocked down at Cape Blanco of over 70 miles an hour. Spending the day in the Museum was looking better by the moment. The wind was definitely continuing to pick up in intensity and it wasn't long before the view out the front of the coach reached even more spectacular heights, or at least the waves did with the point of the triangle completely disappearing except for the top of the beacon.

The point is....gone

We couldn't help but stare out the window at what was taking place, it was so special, but finally Linda declared it was time to tear ourselves away and head over to the Museum. Stepping outside it didn't seem very windy until we stepped past the the end of the coach when the gusts started to buffet us. Still, all in all, it wasn't that bad, at least until after we crossed the old tennis court, then with no trees to block the full force of the wind, it almost caused us to lose our balance, so suddenly and ferociously did it strike us.

My journey up to open the Lighthouse was not a lot of fun, especially as I had to carry the sign that goes on the pump house. If I held it flat side to the wind, it acted like a big brake, making very, very difficult to make any headway into the wind. If I turned the sign edge on to the wind it danced around which each gust, threatening to take a slice out of me should some body part be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Deciding that having all my body parts was preferable, and that slow progress could be accepted, I used the former method to carry the sign and ever so slowly edged my way towards the Lighthouse, holding sign with one hand and my hat with the other.

Sometimes we just have to take what we are given, and this was certainly one of those mornings. When I finally arrived at the Lighthouse and climbed the stairs, the scene I saw from the top completely took me back. Back a hundred years or so that is, and suddenly I was one of the lightkeepers standing watch on a stormy day. I wondered if this was the scene Marinus Stream, the Lightkeeper in 1896, had viewed in the minutes leading up to that fateful decision to row out in a life saving attempt that ended with he and his second assistant losing their lives. History made real. The link with the past. The grandeur of living this life we do.

A view of the past

It was a very boring day with one exception. At the height of the storm an elderly gentleman came into the Museum and it turned out he was interested in volunteering with Oregon State Parks, which was something which was right up Jim and Liz's alley. Jim and Liz, the volunteer couple who are parked beside us, are what you might call "professional Oregon State Park Volunteers", volunteering 10 months of the year at State Parks up and down the Oregon coast, the Lighthouse being the only non-State Park Volunteer position they take. Jim came over and talked to the gentleman, who then left but shortly came back inside, staggering through the door and then laying down on the floor. It turned out he had been trying to put the cards Jim had given him into his pocket while standing on the steps and a huge gust of wind caused him to lose his balance and fall, toppling over the railing. He said he was okay, but we called the paramedics just to be sure, it turned out that indeed he was fine. But as we were waiting he mentioned he had fallen several other times in the not to distant past, so it was not something new to him. Then before the paramedics arrived he was feeling good enough to sit on the bench, so here's Jim talking to him at that time.

Fortunately, nothing was wrong

It was scary for a few seconds when he first came in the door, but it all turned out well in the end and as he drove off in car we were happy he was able to be so independent, as he was living alone. The remainder of the day passed quickly, with only three tours for the second day in a row, then as it neared time to quit for the day, the storm abated, the winds calmed and it looked like it would be a good evening, which was what it turned out to be. A day of adventure, a day of living. What more could we ask from life?

October 19 Friday

What a difference a day makes. Those were the same words I used to start off yesterday's Journal, but they were just as true today, only in a different way. This morning the weather had returned to near normal, though there was enough wind which kicked up in the night that Linda got out of bed and stowed the MotoSat. I, having slept soundly the entire night through, knew nothing about Linda's late night marauding until she told me this morning, when I was in the midst of expressing dismay, that once again, I couldn't get on the Internet.

I wish that had been the only problem with the Internet, but it wasn't. Last night I had tried to send an email to our son, but for some reason it just wouldn't go through. Once we were back online this morning, I tried again to send it, but just like last night, it wouldn't go through. All this was taking precious minutes from the time I should have been working on the Daily Journal, but I really didn't care whether I got the Journal article written or not. That email was important. The reason was, the other night during a phone conversation with him, he mentioned how much pleasure he had gotten when I used to pass a note to him during church with a question on it. I had asked one of those same kind of questions in that email and I wanted to get it sent. Somewhat frustrated I decided to check out the server to see what the problem might be. I got my answer, which was this.

What the heck?

"What in the world", was my comment, one that got Linda's attention, well maybe not exactly those words, but whatever was said, it sure got her immediate and undivided attention. After doing a little thinking, plus a little digging, the only thing we could come up with was the fact that our annual payment had been due and the credit card they had on file had expired. I called them, got there answering machine, left a message and settled down to await the return call. They did call back in the early afternoon, and the expired credit card turned out to be the culprit. Meaning I gave them a new one, and with the touch of a couple keys our account was back up. Why they couldn't have emailed us and let us know the card had expired rather than just turning the account off, I don't know, maybe it's a case of everyone running a business to the best of their ability, in this case it was less than stellar, at least as far as Linda and I were concerned. It doesn't mean were going to off and find someone else to host our account, but it does make you think whether this is the best company to be dealing with on something as important to us as the website.

All this was on our minds when we headed off to Reedsport for Linda's appointment at the hair stylist, so much so that we forgot to fax some papers that Linda needed to have go out today. We were at the top of the mountain between Winchester Bay and Reedsport when she realized we had forgotten about the fax, and for once, instead of me just saying we could do it on our way back, we turned around and went back so she could send those pages off.

Linda at work

It was the Winchester Bay rendition of the old time general store that we stopped at, the market, fishing tackle and bait shop, hardware store and Post Office, all rolled into one. The Fax machine was over by the Post Office, but it was self serve and you paid at the store counter. Give us another year and we will practically be locals. Maybe Linda wanted proof that she had sent them, but for whatever reason, she wanted her picture taken at the fax machine, and I of course was glad to oblige.

Faxing is easy

Our next stop was a small, nondescript building a block off the main street in old town Reedsport. We had seen an article about the local Grange holding a one day flea market today, so we wanted to stop by. Had we needed anything they had, we could not have beaten their prices, but unfortunately with out buy something, get rid of something policy, the need wasn't as great as the want, so we left empty handed. It was sad in a way, being in that building, Linda and I both having very special memories associated with the Grange Halls of our youth. It is a shame that truly worthwhile organizations have to fall prey to the changing demographics of what we call progress. But such it has been for millennia, and such it will be.

The past was glorious

We had one more stop planned and that was at the Reedsport Library, to see what they had in the way of local history. The longer we are here, the more both of us realize that by learning not only about the history of the Lighthouse, but also the history of the area, the better we will be able to serve our visitors. We discovered so many sources of information that we will have to spend more than just a few minutes, or even a few days back here. One book that really caught Linda's attention was a pictorial history of the area, which included many very interesting scenes from the past.

A view of the past

We had stops planned all over town, or at least Linda did, but this last one was the most important. It was at the hair salon where she would be getting her hair cut for our trip to Texas next month. When we arrived just before her 1 PM appointment, it was a little disconcerting to see no cars in the parking lot and a closed sign on the door. A quick check, and she noticed a smaller sign that said, out to lunch, back at 1 o'clock. We waited and finally someone came, but not her stylist (see I told you we were almost locals) and after going in to see what was happening she came out with the news the stylist's son was sick, and so she had canceled all her appointments and Linda's was rescheduled for 10 tomorrow morning.

It was as we were driving back through Winchester Bay that Linda suddenly blurted out, "Let's stop at the Umpqua Oyster place." Then quickly added, "It wasn't a question, turn now!" Obviously she had gotten a burr under her saddle blanket, but if I had done something to put it there, I had no idea. That old saying that women use to describe we lower life forms, men are totally clueless, was never more correct. With my new leaf still maintaining its glow of youth, I said nothing, whereas in the past it would have led to a discussion on the relative merits of my lack of attention versus my lack of hearing. There were several other barbs thrown my way, including the usual one about me giving her the "silent treatment" for the next several weeks because of what just happened. The new me, instead of suffering in silence, just started chattering away about what we would see. I know I completely blew her away with that response.

In just a minute we were standing inside the small concrete block building that houses the processing plant, watching the five workers in action. I thought they were opening the oysters and bagging them on the half shell, Linda thought otherwise, and when she was proved correct, she had every right to gloat. While she was celebrating, little did she realize that I was also celebrating. Celebrating that we were actually here, inside an oyster shucking and processing plant and not once had she said anything about the smell. Principally because there was no smell. They had a video, which we watched after some difficulty with getting it going because it turned out that once a week the place is scrubbed down, including the walls of the sales area, and they didn't have the video player plugged back in correctly.

While the oysters in the shell were being processed in the main room, off to the side the shucked oysters were being washed and sorted according to size.

Oysters everywhere

The way they process the oysters, bagging them up is interesting, including the fact that oysters in the shell are sold by volume, which we learned when someone came in and bought several bushels for an oyster bar down in Coos Bay. It turns out these Umpqua oysters are so vastly superior to the oysters harvested in the Coos Bay area, this man always drives up here to buy his oysters. If that's not a testimony to how superior they are, what is? To process them, they are broken off from the clump they grow on,are washed, the shell is scrapped and cleaned then they are sorted automatically according to size on this cool machine that uses electric eyes to do the sorting.

Oyster production line

Of course you probably have already imagined what the end result of all this was.

Oysters in the shell, sort of

Just a few days ago, Linda had cooked and eaten her first oysters, ever. Now she was at it again, but this time with a difference. She added some cornmeal to the flour she dredged them in, but the biggest change was in the oysters themselves. Before it was a half pint that cost $2.50 and had 4 oysters. Today it was a full pint that cost $6.00 and had 4 oysters, with the photo showing my plate.

Oysters on the plate

Linda decided that a whole oyster was probably too much for her, so she gave me part of hers. The biggest news wasn't that she ate so much, it was that she also ate a small bite of raw oyster, something I never thought Linda would ever do. Who says you too old to discover new things. Who says you can't just quit your job and take off. Life is fun, Life is meant to be lived. We live Life, and may you live yours. And if you want to try oysters, take it from Linda, Umpqua oysters don't have that harsh normal oyster taste, instead they taste just like, well just like oysters should.

October 20 Saturday

Another day, another storm? No, not this time, though the waves were still extending all the way across the mouth of the channel. As we looked out at them, we wondered what the sailors back one hundred years ago must have thought as they approached the Umpqua bar. How about the Captain, it was he who was responsible for the ship and the cargo, did he have any sense of foreboding. Any hint of doubt as to whether they would cross safely or run aground on that dangerous and deadly bar. History is real, we were looking right at it, not seeing the same scene, but certainly seeing the perils those men who made their living from the sea faced.

White water passage

There was only one goal this morning and it had nothing to do with anything I wanted, it was all Linda's doing. When 10 o'clock arrived we were to be parked in front of the hair salon. Something that was accomplished just as she desired. There is one small bit of continuing disagreement between us on reason for this sojourn, the cutting of her hair. I like her hair a little longer the she does, thinking it makes her look even younger. She on the other hand opts for the ease of care and let not a single strand hang down in her face look. Since it is her hair, she wears it like she likes it, but it doesn't mean I can't have my preference. It simply means that I'll never get my preference. Like they say, the view of the lead dog is the only one that changes, so I know I have no hope of mine ever changing.

Last look at Linda's long locks

While Linda was getting beauticated, I was getting in some exercise, though that wasn't the real purpose of what I was doing. I was on my way to the Library using foot power as my means of locomotion. The distance from the Salon to the Library was about one and one half miles and as I set out I noticed a pretty rainbow off to the left. I was walking along, glancing over at it every once in while, marveling at how bright it was getting when a thought struck me. Rainbows come out only when it rains, but there hadn't been any rain, so why was it here? That was when I turned and looked behind me. The answer was all to painfully clear, it wasn't here, because it hadn't gotten here yet, but it was going to be very soon.

So what to do now? Here I was, clad only in hat and jacket, with a sky full of ominous dark black roiling clouds rapidly bearing down on me. At this moment I was sort of in the land between, with no stores nearby to duck into should the clouds open up, so the only thing to do was to walk faster. Luck must have been with me though, because other than a few minutes of very light rain, the storm veered off more to the west and passed me by. That Reedsport is a town of water there is no doubt, though as you can see, it doesn't always fall from the sky.

What purpose did these docks serve?

Between the rotting pilings and dilapidated buildings, one of which was laying prostrate in the water, they spoke to another era. A time when the economy of Reedsport depended on something other than recreation and tourism, it was a time when the forest covered mountains and meandering waters provided the bounty that sustained the economic engine of the region. A time when the lumber mills and loggers gave life and vitality to the town. A time when the fishermen and the canneries poured forth food for people far away. A time that will never return, but a time worthy of study. All this was really why I was on my way to the Library, simply to know the past.

The past was truly glorious

Arriving at the Library, I quickly located the books I wanted, and as I read, several very severe storms passed overhead, the beating of the rain raising a ruckus that could easily be heard inside the Library. I hoped Linda had not been caught out in it, though since she had the Explorer, it probably wouldn't have mattered if it was raining where she was at or not. Eventually she came through the door, a huge smile lighting up her face as always. Sometimes when I see her like this I wonder what it must be like to spend your time with someone who always has a sour look on their face. We've known a few people with what might be kindly referred to as having a dour look, and can't imagine how it would be much fun living with someone like that. Linda lights up my life, so I just can't help but smile at her, hopefully lighting up her life just as she lights up mine.

The rest of the day just flew by, we had leftover fried oysters for dinner, though they weren't as good as they were last night. We decided the reason was because we had fried them up last night, then used the microwave to reheat them tonight. Next time, and there will be a next time, we only cook what we are going to eat the first night, keeping the other half on ice in the refrigerator till it is time to fix the the remainder. Hey, we're still new at this oyster business, it may have taken us 40 years to get here, but now that we are here we want more. (Editor's comment: only if they oysters come from Umpqua Triangle.)

The setting sun

Tonight we saw our first sunset in a week and it reminded us once again as to just how lucky we are. Tonight we are marveling in its beauty off the Oregon coast, and just a little over a month from now we will be watching it set over the broad expanses of West Texas as we head for our next adventure. Sometimes those lemons life occasionally hands us sure turn out to be a taste treat. It's all in how you look at it.

Go To Top of Page