.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

My Photo
Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Eve Wishes

I think it's actually not politically correct to say 'Merry Christmas' anymore. Well, I'm not actually Christian, but this is the festival season, whether you call it Chanukah, Solstice, Christmas, or even Hajj or Eid for that matter. Let's face it, it's a dark time of year and whatever your belief's it's a good time to celebrate. Annie and Obadiah were resignedly willing to bow to the 'decorate everything' nature of the season and did so with canine grace. Well, did I mention resignation? (They got a treat after they got done wearing those silly bow ties and doing that sit-stay). That's my 'Christmas orange' behind them with ripe oranges and blossoms that are nearly making me dizzy with their fragrance. I love it that my big potted citrus trees (lime, meyer lemon, valencia orange) all bloom this time of year.

The Anna's hummingbird was really annoyed with me when I filled the feeder this afternoon. She (he?) perched on a twig close enough to threaten my left eye with that VERY sharp bill and chirred displeasure. I gently reminded my little friend that Mexico is a long way away and not much is blooming and if I don't refill the feeder, what then? Ms or Mr Anna's wasn't buying that line of malarky and buzzed me as I retreated to the house. It's either the Anna's or the nuthatch who give me grief when I'm out there. The chickadees simply keep eating, never mind that I'm dumping seed into the feeder at the same time. They're pragmatists.

Well, I'm going pour myself a bit of Irish and work on the current story. Enjoy the evening, the days are getting longer, and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Drying Out

Well, the flooding has gone down and we now have a well behaved creek in place of this 30 acre lake. I think everybody has left the shelters on the coast, although some folk are going to have a tough time putting their lives back together. I guess I hurt most for the many dairies in the Vernonia area. You sit in your upstairs and you listen to the mooing in the barn. Until it stops. When that barn is the highest ground around, there's nothing else you can do. The rivers came up so fast, moving animals out by truck wasn't an option, nor was getting out, period.

Our road was pretty badly gullied. It's gravel, we maintain it ourselves. But the changing nature of the residents was pretty obvious when the only people out with shovels and wheelbarrows were my two 80 year old neighbors and myself. Outside the seriously rural areas, you see less and less responsibility for the community outside one's own boundaries. Here, neighbors who don't clean ditches cause much of the road damage. We don't teach community responsibility much any more. Not in the suburban and urban residential areas. It is someone else's job, usually the city, county, landscaper, or what have you.

I've got to say one thing...when you're out hauling gravel until you're 80 you stay pretty fit. I guess I won't trade in my lifestyle any time soon. Neither will I move to any river floodplains any time soon. I do love living on my sleeping volcano. Water runs DOWN. Let's just hope it stays sleeping!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Monsoon Season

Well, we're getting a taste of what it's like to live in the tropical monsoon/typhoon part of the globe. Let's hear it for climate shift and global warming!!! The state posted its first hurricane warnings yesterday and the coast got hammered with winds over 100 mph...no point in trying to get there from here right now. It's either trees across the road, mud slides, or flooding. I ended up at midnight last night hanging from tree roots in a near vertical slope, clawing rocks out of a canyon stream with my 80 year old sheep buddy David. The stream had blocked up and diverted across the slope to come straight down on his house and shop. We got it back into its bed before he got too much water inside, but that was some wild scramble believe me. We figured with the two of us, one of us would be able to get help if the other fell in. But we survived (David went down the hill on his butt but no damage). Then ...heck it was after 1 AM...we strolled down the bike path to see what the new Johnson Creek flood project (on David's old family homestead) looked like. At 4 PM it was about two feet short of flooding. At 1 AM the entire huge 30 acre area was solid water. No ground showing at all. This is a worst case scenario, since nothing has had a chance to grow, they just ripped the ground and seeded it a month ago and the grass has barely sprouted. Look out Willamette...here comes a LOT of silt and young trees your way. It will be interesting to see what old Johnson Creek decides about where IT wants to run after this is over. I'm heading back over there around noon, when the creek is supposed to crest to take some pictures. It may be up to the bike path by then. Maybe I should take a boat?