Enough is Enough…

…as we like to think, but there’s always a bit more coming at us.  Here we are at the end of the 26th week of quarantine.  I now own at least 15 masks of varying types to go with any outfit, except I don’t need outfits because I don’t go anywhere…but…I might?

We have managed through the pandemic quarantine so far, delighted in the opening of our two exhibits at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art

and lived through a major catastrophe in our state…the massive wildfires still burning east of here.  In the aftermath of that we are kept inside with an air quality index yesterday of 357 listed as “hazardous”…today brought down to a mere 81 by pouring rains.  We are happy and lucky to have our house and garden…even though it is filled with ash at the moment. When the post labor day fires started in the beautiful Opal Creek wilderness, and the Beachie Creek fire roared down on the communities up the Little North Fork of the Santiam River, the destruction was terrible.  Homes and lives lost, the animals, and some amazing amazing habitat.  Back in the 1970’s and 80’s we often stayed at Thetford Lodge near Elkhorn.  Thetford was designed by Portland Architect Pietro Belluschi in the 1940’s as a summer “cabin” for then governor Charles Sprague.   After Sprague’s death the Lodge and acreage was donated to Willamette University, and faculty were allowed four days a year for a nominal charge.  We were among the many who took our four days every year for a while…and we have the fondest memories of our family vacations, of weddings and events.  “Back in the day” I didn’t have a camera with me at every moment so I only have these very few images…

Though the memories of standing in the middle of the road at midnight looking at a meteor shower in the slender bit of sky between the towering firs, of skinny dipping, of a roasted pig and a raucous wedding, of countless roadside walks gathering flowers for bouquets…those I still have…

We were at the beach this year during the worst of the fires, with the Echo Mountain fire creeping closer and closer to us…power out for 40+ hours, roads closed so no escape…and our wonderful neighbors loaned us camp stoves and lanterns and flashlights…but the day we arrived was clear and beautiful as we drove the long way/short cut through the forest…

Happy to be in our sunny little house…

which by 8:30 the next morning looked like this…

and by 10:30 a.m. it was so dark with smoke and ash we lit all the candles…

We brushed our teeth by flashlight

and by evening we were channeling 19th century practices…mirror behind the candles to increase the light…

These lovely neighbors of ours brought hot water for coffee (thank goodness for the french press pot) they brought food, left overs, brownies (after it was over!)…even a bottle of SCOTCH! (the stores were all closed)…

I powered our phones by running the car…

fire at Neotsu…

Smoke on Ebb Street…

well, you all have your own version of this…a couple of times a day I went to the beach to check…

And then the power came on in spite of a few local downed lines…

the air was still and loaded with ash and just hung over us…

and we came home circuitously because the road is still closed…and then this happened: YAY!

I strongly believe in three American institutions that are the best that this country has…the public school system, public libraries, and

THE POST OFFICE…KEEP IN TOUCH…VOTE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Comments

  1. So glad you, and we, are safe. It’s been a nightmare but maybe for those of us in the city only a nightpony.
    Glad you wrote, another “normal”, thanks.

  2. You have such beautiful, creative, survival grace. I would love to be stuck somewhere with you two.

    Tomorrow, I go to the beach condo to meet the movers. I have sold it. For a while I thought it would be ashes, but it was spared. It’s time for this little old lady to minimize possessions. A single mother bought it. All I know is that she told the realtor she was starting over. I hope she gets as much solace and joy that I experienced from being there.

    Sent from Frankie’s iPad

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  3. Bonnie-
    My one day trip during this pandemic was to take a day trip from Portland to Salem to see your show at the Hallie Ford Museum. Loved your work! I had never heard of the museum which is a gem!
    I’ll be visiting the museum again.
    Thanks, Kendra Hume

  4. Love the photos of you in your array of masks! Thanks for the great summary of what has been happening the past couple of weeks . . . but my question is this: Did Thetford Lodge burn??

  5. Thanks, Bonnie. It was good to read this and see your pictures. We had a couple of terribleWe had a couple of terrible dark days too, but the fires did not approach us as nearly, and no power outages so far where we are. We all hope for heavy rains early, and no more lightning. Miriam (friend of Carolyn‘s, near Fort Bragg)

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  6. Thinking of you every day and knowing you were in good hands and would come home when you could.
    Another wonderful post. I see the books arrived. I am anxious to see.

  7. Welcome back….your words and photos are always a breath of fresh air, but these were most needed. Did not know you were stranded, am glad you have such wonderful neighbors. What a bonus to be showered with such kindness. Turns the ugly into beauty. Looking forward to seeing your show and getting the new book! And voting!!!

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