July 12 Life at the Running Y Resort

Current Location:  Running Y Resort Ranch; 86 degrees F, clear and sunny

Actually, the clarity is marred only a little bit by smoke from the fires to the south of us in California and to the east in Oregon.  I’m not complaining, as the skies are often smoky in the west by this time of year.  We have been lucky so far with winds keeping most of the smoke away from us.

Back in March, when I wrote this post about why we were being relocated temporarily to the Running Y Resort, I hope I didn’t sound like I was complaining.  Although it was a bit of a pain getting moved for just three months, it also is a rather amazing experience.

In all the years I have lived in Klamath Falls, I have had a different relationship with the Running Y than I have now.  The resort is located not far from town on the highway between Klamath Falls and our old home in Rocky Point.  We pass the gates often.  Just a little thing, but driving by you can see the ponds surrounded by aspens that are part of the landscaping.  Until last week, however, when Mo and I took advantage of the lovely paved bike trail, we had no idea that those ponds were fed by man made springs and waterfalls, surrounded by ferns and flowers, and big artfully place boulders.

The rest of the resort feels much different than I ever imagined.  In the past decade or so, we would occasionally come out here to dinner, to an art show, but never really spent any kind of time here.  Not being golfers, the beautifully done Arnold Palmer golf course was pretty to look at from a distance, but I had no idea how pretty it was when walking the paths around the greens.  I also had no idea that there were so many permanent as well as timeshare residences here.  The extent of the resort isn’t completely visible from the highway, or even with a simple drive-through.

Right on schedule, at the end of June, the EPA relocation contractor had all the bells and whistles in place and Klamath Moving and Storage showed up at our door, ready to move our pre packed boxes to our new temporary home.  We didn’t have a clue where that home would be until the previous Saturday, when we were allowed to pick up the keys and find out where we would be located.

Melody and her family are in another part of the resort, in an area of Worldmark Timeshare townhomes.  Her place is lovely, with a huge deck, all furnished with tables, loungers, and a stainless steel barbeque, a beautiful view of Klamath Lake.

Instead, we are in an area called “the villas” not far from the Pro shop and the beginning holes of the golf course. The are villas somewhat isolated from the busier sections of the resort, and our views from the huge windows and large back patio look toward the west.  We are low enough that we can’t actually see Klamath Lake from here, but we know it is there because we can see Highway 140 as it winds its way west over Doak Mountain, a very familiar route.

Our temporary home is modern, fully furnished down to towels and linens, dishes and cookware, and even a bit of decor here and there.  Of course, it isn’t exactly our style, or our decor, but it is decidedly comfortable.   I did bring a couple of chicken wall quilts, our bird collage from Florida and one of my ceramic chickens to help us feel more at home.

We have a large master suite downstairs, and two more bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.  There is a large area that is a bit like a loft that overlooks the living room, and is a perfect spot for a craft table and my plastic crafting bins.  I managed to bring cardmaking and quilting supplies so I can have a little bit of hobby time while we are here.

We have the bikes on the back patio, locked up but ready for spontaneous rides on the beautiful pathways, and the kayaks are on top of the Tracker, which we are keeping here for the time being.  No time to kayak while in Grants Pass, and the best kayaking is here around Klamath Lake anyway.

In fact, this morning, after breakfast, we made the short 1 mile drive through the development to the private boat launch right on Klamath Lake.  Most of the time when we kayak in this area, we are in Pelican Bay, or on Recreation Creek.  This morning was one of the few times we have kayaked on Klamath Lake proper and it was surprisingly beautiful. 

We followed the route along what is called the Skillet Handle, a natural area that is part of the Klamath Birding Trail, and one of the best examples of natural oak habitat that occurs east of the Cascades.  You can see it as the low peninsula adjacent to the lake in the photo above.

We saw more birds than we often see on Recreation Creek, with at least 4 eagles, several Great Egrets, a golden eagle, great blue herons, and hordes of Western Grebes, with little ones riding their backs.

It was a lovely two hour paddle, perfect way to start the day.  We were on the water by 9 and home by 11:30, and decided that in this summer heat, we should be out there no later than 8am for future paddles.  So convenient, and so lovely and uncrowded. 

Yesterday afternoon Mo went to town for some errands and I decided it was a great time to try out the paved loop path that surrounds the resort.  Somewhere between 3 and 4 miles of undulating and sometimes hilly landscape, the path is protected and beautiful.  No worries about traffic, or loose dogs, or weird people.  Just a beautiful place to walk in safety and comfort.  Kind of amazing. Mattie loved it, but of course she had to keep checking out all the critters that were scurrying about in the grass. I never felt unsafe, except I paid attention when I walked through the shaded oak forest at the farthest reaches of the trail.  Rumor has it that a cougar has been seen hanging around the 14th hole out there.  Coyotes are also part of the world here, but so far they don’t seem to be aggressive enough to show up in the daytime trying to snatch little dogs off their leash. Bears are also seen in the vicinity of the Lodge, but we have yet to see any down here.

On the Fourth of July, we invited Melody and her family (who only had to meander through the resort to get to us) and daughter Deborah and grandson Matthew (who did drive up from Grants Pass) to a family fourth celebration.  It was a nice time, with our traditional bocce ball tournament on the grassy lawn behind our place, and good picnic food to share.

Fireworks weren’t part of the celebration.  There are none allowed anywhere on the resort grounds due to fire danger and for the Fourth of July, the night was totally silent, not a pop or bang anywhere.  I am sure most dogs around here were happy about that, although Mattie could care less about fireworks.

In the afternoon we meandered up to the pool area for a swim, and a bit of sun on the beautiful patio.  The pool is indoors but has big sliding windows that go out to the patio that overlooks the man made lake below on the golf course and is shaded or sunny based on where you choose to sit.

This is a peaceful place to be, with all the privacy and luxury of a gated community without the gates.  I never really wanted to live in such an environment, but I can see how seductive it can be.  So quiet, so safe, so convenient, so separated from the everyday world. 

Last night as I was falling asleep, I was thinking about the draw of living here compared to our more reasonable, down to earth location in Grants Pass.  We could have probably afforded a smaller home here, for about the same price as our acre and the new house and RV shed, minus the homeowner fees, of course.  I have no idea how much they are.  I thought about what I would do if I had all the money in the world.  Would I choose to build a home like the one we are building in Grants Pass here at the Running Y?

It was a bit like the soul searching I did when thinking about the pros and cons of building a permanent home and simply living on the road and traveling.  The answer was clear.  Nope.  I wouldn’t change it for all the money in the world.  Somehow this world feels unreal, artificial to me, separated from real life.  Instead, in Grants Pass we have neighbor sounds, traffic sounds flow up from the roads below our terrace, the water trucks lumber by, and sometimes a pickup will go by way too fast on our road.

Town is less than 3 miles away.  I love the town of Grants Pass, with its Historic District and the Rogue River, I love that there is very little snow, that I won’t be buried in deep drifts for months, and won’t be slipping on the ice and afraid to walk anywhere because of it.  There is something about that little acre, with the big old oaks and the fruit trees that reminds me of the places where my Grammy Wells lived when I was a kid.  The place where I would climb the apricot trees and eat warm apricots in the summer.  It is a nostalgic feeling that comes over me at the Grants Pass home that is not easily explained.

As beautiful and manicured and lovely as things are here at the Running Y, I wouldn’t choose to live here, even if I won the lottery!  I would still go to our perfect home that we are building in Grants Pass in an old neighborhood that was once a walnut orchard, surrounded by the soft Oregon mountains and trees with big leaves.  All you lovers of the hardwood forests of the east coast will know exactly what I mean.

At the risk of sounding macabre, I can imagine dying there in that light filled bedroom, without sadness.  The thought of dying here in this villa feels incredibly lonely to me.  We are in our 70’s, and aren’t planning on dying any time soon, but the thought that time is limited is often in the background as we make our choices.

In the mean time, I am thoroughly enjoying the pool, the spa, the cardio fitness center, the bike trails, the kayak launch, the paved walking pathways, the beautiful lodge and restaurant, and the local market, fancy enough to carry Rogue Creamery cheeses and 70 dollar wines. It is a good life.  For now.


Klamath Falls: Change is Coming

New Information:  Just received an email from George saying that he could find no way to comment.  I discovered that if I am looking at the blog from the main website, I cannot see the comments, however if I click on the individual header for the current post, I can see comments and can make a comment.  Folks must have discovered this somehow, since there are many comments, but if you are having trouble and want to comment, give this a try.  I have no clue why it works this way, but it must have something to do with my template and I hesitate to mess with the template!

Current Location: Old Fort Road Apartment Klamath Falls.  Raining lightly and 55 degrees F.

Klamath Falls has a reputation among many people in the state of Oregon.  Especially those on the West Side.  The town has close to 50,000 people if you include the “suburbs”, an area intertwined with the city limits that should actually be considered part of the city.  The official population is just over 20K.  Most people only see Klamath Falls as they pass through traveling north or south on Highway 97, assuming there is nothing here worth exploring.

Other folks know that Klamath Falls is the gateway to Crater Lake National Park, but that doesn’t really say much for the town itself. The best word to describe the prejudice against our town is one I have used myself.  “Klamtucky”.

Most of my blog stories revolve around the outdoors, camping, hiking, kayaking, sharing the beauty of the Klamath Basin.  I thought that it would be fun to shift a bit and share my town, to honor the change that I feel coming in our sweet and precious city.  Klamath Falls is shifting.

I have an interesting relationship with Klamath Falls.  I came here for a job promotion in 2002, having only experienced the town as a blip on the map as I traveled from Northern Idaho to California.  I fell in love almost immediately with the landscape, the open roads unmarred by traffic, the volcanic mountains surrounding me, the great fir forests on the edge of juniper deserts fragrant with sage.  My job here was to complete the soil survey for the area and I got to see it in a way that folks living in town don’t always experience. 

Klamath Falls has not been a progressive place.  We do not have a single seafood restaurant, although as I was walking the downtown streets this morning I did see a Mexican and Seafood place.  Guess we will have to try it!

For all our beautiful architecture, there are a few eyesores like this around. 

Klamath Falls is NOT Bend. My daughter and I have railed at the backward politics, the lack of progressive thinking and the extremely conservative bent of the area.  I was a hard core liberal when I moved here, but learned to really appreciate the local farmers and ranchers and to understand why they felt as they did about how things should be managed here.  So although I am still a liberal, I do have a better understanding and acceptance of more conservative ways of thinking.

My daughter, on the other hand, moved here from the progressive west side.  She went to work for the local country radio station, and later for a well established jewelry store that served many of those wealthy ranchers.  She was inundated constantly with, sad to say, racist, xenophobic, and homophobic commentary from her customers and others in her up close circle.  It didn’t endear her to Klamath Falls.  She didn’t have the opportunity like I did to work in the beautiful and wild parts of the county.  I am retired, I can pick and choose the people I care to interact with.  She didn’t have that option.  It colored her view of the city.

A couple of years ago our commissioners voted out a winery and tasting room, saying it would bring in the “wrong element”.  They refused to advertise to “burners” because they didn’t want “hippies” showing up.  We are on the major route to the Nevada event.  But things are shifting.  I would imagine that the winery and tasting room proposed right here on Old Fort Road might someday become a reality.

Some of the local politicians are moving toward a strong and more progressive view of what we need to be the new “Bend”, a view toward drawing to Klamath Falls the money and tourism that she deserves.

In the last few weeks, with our days living near town at the apartment, Mo and I have had the chance to participate in some great stuff.  We are seeing a different kind of person come to town, some of those with money to spend.  Klamath Falls is waking up in a good way.

Two weeks ago we attended the Klamath Kruise, a tradition that has been going on for several years, but somehow it felt different.  There were a LOT of people here on the streets enjoying the parade of old cars, and like us, reminiscing about wonderful old cars we once loved. As I walked the streets enjoying the car parade, I noticed new murals in town that I hadn’t seen before, wonderful murals showing of some of the history of the area.

After the show, Mo and I went to the Klamath Basin Brewery, where we had magnificent onion rings and one of the best crafted beers I have tasted lately. We listened to a delightful band playing some really good blues as we watched the last of the old cars turning the nearby corner toward downtown.

On the same weekend, at the same time sadly, was the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race, another event that draws people to town.  Mo and I attended last year, but decided we couldn’t do everything, so the sculpture race took a back seat.  Nice to have options, though.

Last weekend I was delighted to be living close to town where I could drop in on the local farmer’s market.  I hadn’t been to this particular market for a few years, mostly because it would require a 45 minute trip to town when we lived in Rocky Point and was just too much trouble.  The difference in the offerings was amazing.  There were several great organic farms offering wonderful produce, including ripe heirloom tomatoes from geothermally heated greenhouses.  There was range fed meat, fresh eggs, and local honey.  A musician serenaded the shoppers and dogs on leashes had fun meeting their friends.  It felt wonderful. 

As I drove to the market, I encountered dozens of folks on tandem bicycles.  The promoters of our town had managed to corral the Tandem Bike Rally, and there were more than 600 participants enjoying the streets of the city, spending money in the hotels and buying stuff. 

Speaking of the city, downtown Klamath Falls has some fabulous architecture, with buildings dating to the 20’s.  The Oregon Bank building downtown boasts an historic elevator that is operated by a real person.  There are beautiful streetside trees, colorful flower baskets, and nice flags with local artwork.  I love walking around downtown in the summer.  The downtown shops are evolving.  While there are not a lot of them, there is enough to be entertaining, to do a little shopping, albeit not the kind of high end shopping that is available in Ashland or Bend, or other historic towns in Oregon that people visit.

I enjoyed walking around today before the traffic started up, waiting until the 9AM bell for the Farmer’s Market.  It gave me a chance to enjoy my town in a way I haven’t done recently.

One of our old buildings downtown has been replaced by a community square, Sugarman’s Corner, a lovely place for afternoon music, and picnics.

Not far south of Klamath Falls, near Tulelake, is the site of one of the large concentration camps for Japanese people during WW2.  They call them internment facilities, but that is the nice way of putting it.  Every other year, the Tulelake camp has a Pilgrimage, with several hundred people from all over the country participating in the three day event.

They ended the Pilgrimage with a ceremony at the Ross Ragland Theater, our historic downtown institution. emceed by George Takai, (Sulu from Star Trek), who was incarcerated there as a child.  Daughter Melody now works at the Ragland, and made sure that we got tickets to the event.  It was a fabulous experience, with poetry, stories from people who had been held at the camp, music, and Taiko drumming.  The paid attendees were in the front of the theater, and there were 300 seats in the back saved for locals who wanted to be there.  As a friend said, it was like we were observers of a family reunion. 

I learned much about how important it is to the Japanese people to keep the memory alive, to not sweep it under the rug, and to do everything they can to be sure it never happens again to American citizens.  It was a cultural experience that in the past I never would have imagined finding its way to Klamath Falls.

A few weeks earlier, Mo and I spent a Saturday afternoon enjoying our local casino, Kla-Mo-Ya, where we added to our cash stash and had a great lunch that was very inexpensive.  Later that weekend, we went to the first ever Progressive Dinner Theater, a joint project between the two theaters in town, the Ross Ragland and the LinkvilleMelody and Jeff played newscasters in the Saturday Night Live Style.  Melody is trying very hard here not to crack up.

Melody was in the play, a comical farce called Crazy Town.  The first part of the play was at the Ragland, with drinks and appetizers, then we all walked down the block to a local eatery, M.C.’s on Main, where we had dinner and the second part of the show, and finally dessert and champagne at the Linkville. 

Melody’s view of the city is changing as well.  Now employed with creative, artistic, progressive people at the Ragland, she is involved again in the good side of city politics, and surrounded by people that think more like she does about the world.

In addition to some of the town projects, the community is developing many trails for local hiking and biking.  The trails above Moore Park overlooking the lake are waiting, as is the new Spence Mountain trail along Highway 140.  Mo and I keep looking longingly at that trail head as we pass by, traveling between houses.  Someday there will be a bit more free time, and we aren’t complaining.  There have been some fun times for us.

Another wonderful amenity in town is the geothermally heated Ella Redkey Pool.  I still haven’t managed to take advantage of that wonderful place, but have friends who swim in those lovely waters daily. You can even learn to roll a kayak in that pool!

On the Fourth of July there were many options open to us.  Klamath Falls had a downtown parade, and fireworks on the actual 4th.  We chose instead to spend the day at Lake of the Woods, not far from Rocky Point.  Once again we drove the MoHo to the day use area at 6am, got a parking place and a table right by the boat launch, and set up a great spot for a family day.

The kids arrived a bit later, and we spent the day kayaking, walking the trails, and cooking some great food.  Lake of the Woods Resort chose to have their annual fireworks show on Sunday the 3rd, so Monday was a bit quieter than it was last year when we spent the day waiting for the nighttime fireworks show. 

In addition to those two fireworks celebrations, I learned that a local rancher in the Wood River Valley puts on a fireworks show as well, and someone at my quilt group said it was better than the one in town.  Maybe next year we will have to try that one. There is a great museum out there that I have yet to visit, probably because it is too close to home.  One of these days I am going to go to all the museums close to Klamath Falls and write about them.  I love reading Erin’s museum posts, and every time I do I realize how lax I am in visiting my own local museums.

I feel the shift in energy here, a sense that the people in political power in the city and the county are making progress in the way they promote our town to the world.  Klamath Falls may one day overcome its reputation as a place not worth visiting.  Lately it has felt interesting, vibrant, and fun.  I am keeping track of the good stuff and making sure that I get out there to enjoy it whenever I can.

I would like to leave you with some images of our local murals.  The sun came and went this morning as I wandered about town, but I didn’t mind.  At 8am on a Saturday, there were no cars parked in front of the artwork to distract from the imagery. 

 

 

I took this photo from the Discover Klamath website, but I do think it is a wonderful image of our city by the lake, and a good way to end the story.

12-29-2015 At Least It’s Never Boring

Current Location: Old Fort Road Klamath Falls OR at 22 Degrees F and Overcast

Horses in the yard (1 of 7)

Horses from down the road escaped and decided our yard might be nice.

We woke up to a day with no new snow, nice for a change.  Mo plowed the drive six times in the last 7 days.  Melody and Axel have cars that aren’t exactly good on the steep and often slippery hill just outside the driveway on the short three mile drive to town.  Once up and down the hill, all is good, but for simplicity I have Melody use our pickup to drive Axel to work.  This morning, however, the road was blocked by 7 furry beings, all wandering around the driveway looking for something good to eat.Horses in the yard (2 of 7)

Mattie thought the big critters in the yard looked really exciting.  See that little ridge on her back.  It is important to protect us from any possible evil, and she barked to be sure those horses knew they shouldn’t come in the house.

Horses in the yard (4 of 7)The neighbor showed up fairly quickly as we were trying to decide what to do and blocked the road so they couldn’t escape.  After some apples and some conversation, they put a rope on the lead horse while other trucks blocked the road so they could lead the small herd back home.  All’s well that ends well.Horses in the yard (7 of 7)

The snow has been here since Thanksgiving, and in the last week or so it just keeps getting deeper.  Icicles provide entertainment as well, like corn on a hot summer day, you can almost hear them growing. 

snow and icicles on Old Fort Road (14 of 16)Many days begin with Mo plowing and me shoveling before we come back inside and settle in for coffee and breakfast. 

snow and icicles on Old Fort Road (1 of 16)snow and icicles on Old Fort Road (10 of 16)For the first time in a very long time, our calendar is almost empty, with nothing really big showing up until we leave for Southern California mid-month. 

I am cleaning up the card making clutter upstairs, and today will get back to my quilting project.  New Year’s Eve will be spent right here at home.  Mo and I have even returned to cards and dominoes in the late afternoons before supper.  After living life at an incredible pace for the past several months, even being a little bit bored is wonderful, and not the least bit boring!

Writer’s Block

Current Location: Rocky Point, Oregon: nice evening after a gorgeous day

I really didn’t want to fall into the trap of trying to explain why I haven’t written.  Kind of like writing in your diary, “Dear Diary…sorry I haven’t written”.  Diary doesn’t care, I am sure.  Every one of us who write these open ended online journals run into writer’s block now and then.  This time it hit me half way home from our last trip.  If you don’t know me from elsewhere, you might think that we are still lost somewhere along the California coast.  If I were to return to my blog a year from now, trying to figure out where we were in April, I might be rather disappointed to see that we possibly beamed ourselves, Star Trek Style, from Eureka to Rocky Point.Trinity Scenic Byway (2 of 36)

There is so much going on at the moment in our lives that travel memories have taken a bit of a back seat, but that is another story.  Maybe I’ll get to it eventually, but not right now.

Trinity Scenic Byway (6 of 36) In actuality, the last two days of our short little vacation were spent ambling along at a snail’s pace.  We decided that Highway 299 would be a good route back toward home, over the beautiful Trinity Mountains and following along the gorgeous Trinity River. Called the Trinity Scenic Byway, the route is the main road that connects the upper Sacramento Valley to the California coast.

Trinity Scenic Byway (7 of 36) When we left Eureka, the fog was still hanging in over Humboldt Bay, but by the time we reached Berry Summit the fog was just a wisp in the wind shrouding the mountain but not obscuring the beautiful views. The day was brilliant, the skies gorgeous, the traffic minimal.  Redbuds were in bloom and the hills were Ireland green.  That springtime green thing in the coast range can be so incredibly vivid.  Like no other green I have ever seen anywhere.

Trinity Scenic Byway (12 of 36) We had a destination in mind, a mere 100 miles over the mountain to the little town of Weaverville, where I had scoped out a small RV park.  We were in no hurry, and stopped along the river for photos and views.  A few miles west of Weaverville, we found a forest service campground and pulled in to check it out. 

Trinity Scenic Byway (15 of 36)Trinity Scenic Byway (33 of 36) Not a soul in sight, and the camp host site was empty, but there were no gates to keep us out and after walking around a bit, listening to the river, we said, “Why not?!”  Our tanks were empty, we had plenty of water and no need for power so we pulled into the sweet little spot, opened up the door to the sunshine and the river and settled in for a lovely evening.  Three bucks with our senior pass.  Much better than that 35 bucks it would have cost in Weaverville.

Trinity Scenic Byway (31 of 36) The next morning we rose at our leisure and ambled on down the road to the sweet little gold rush town of Weaverville.  It was charming in the way that California gold towns can be, with interesting store fronts and historical signs on the buildings. 

Weaverville and Trinity Lake (8 of 33) We visited the Joss House museum visitor center, enjoying the well done displays of the Chinese culture that thrived in Weaverville during the gold rush.  Neither of us felt like waiting around for a tour, so we skipped the inside of the Chinese Temple. 

Weaverville and Trinity Lake (7 of 33) Once again, we were reminded of the great contribution made by the Chinese to the development of the American West.

Weaverville and Trinity Lake (14 of 33) With no desire to continue east to a boring interstate, we turned north on Highway 3, following the western shore of Trinity Lake.  The road was narrow and steep in places, but not unmanageable.  We stopped to view the nearly empty lake and read the non existent signs.  Weaverville and Trinity Lake (27 of 33) Sign vandalism is just stupid.  Although perhaps not as stupid as damming a river and backing up a lake over miles and miles of placer mine tailings. 

Weaverville and Trinity Lake (23 of 33) Now that the California drought has exposed the land drowned by the reservoir, I wonder if people who are users of the millions of gallons delivered annually to the California water project are at all worried about the lead and mercury left in those tailings.  I still can’t figure out the mindset of certain news pundits who say the California water problem is due to the environmentalists stopping the building of more reservoirs.  The ones already there have no water in them!  Talk about a waste of money!  Let’s build more dams so we can have more empty reservoirs?  This drought is long term, and not going to end next week.

Weaverville and Trinity Lake (32 of 33) We did see several warning signs stating that in 42 miles or so, the road would be unsuitable for trailers.  No problem.  We have driven those kinds of roads many times in the past.  After passing the little community of Coffee Creek, where we found nothing at all, we continued north toward Scott Mountain Pass.

Weaverville and Trinity Lake (30 of 33) We ignored the sign that said no trailers once again, and within a mile knew that had been a mistake.  Picture a hairpin turn with a 15 percent grade.  MoHo groaned up the hill and we managed to find a turnout on the very narrow road to unhook the baby car.  Next time we will pay attention.  This is not an easy climb, and definitely not a place to be towing. And no, there are no photos of these few challenging moments.

Mo drove on ahead with the MoHo while I followed along in the Tracker, enjoying the gorgeous views and the beautiful wild landscape of the Trinities.  Descending into the Scott Valley is a treat, with a landscape of ranching and river that is the heart of the old west.

Our evening destination, a mere 80 miles north of Weaverville, was the tiny community of Etna, California.  Just 20 miles south of Eureka, Etna is charming and quiet, and boasts a great little RV park, Mountain Village.  A Passport America park, there were level sites, full hookups, and grassy spaces between rigs.  With the park nearly empty, we enjoyed the late afternoon thoroughly.  For a mere $16.00, we spent our last night before returning to the cottage at Grants Pass the next day.

That leaning oak on the left will have to go when the house is built.  That is where the western wall will extend It has been just over three weeks since that day.  In that short time we spent a few days working at the cottage.  Mo managed to get the 30 amp to the MoHo shed and we mowed the acre that is greening up and growing fast.  My scheduled surgery required a few visits to Eugene and those overnight trips are always more delightful with the MoHo.  The one time we stayed in a hotel we decided, never again.   taking a break from electrical work in the RV shed

After Eugene, it was time to bring the MoHo back over the mountain to her berth in Grants Pass.  We missed having her at home and with winter behind us, it was time.  Of course, the only winter we had this year showed up on Easter Sunday with 1/2 an inch of snow and then again on April 14 with another half inch.  Crazy.

old fort road middleIn the last couple of months, we have made some big decisions about the future, moving toward a final goal of building a “forever”  home on the cottage property.  I also decided that it was time to sell the little house I bought in Klamath Falls back in 2002.  Daughter Melody decided that as a now single mom, she needed a bit less house to manage.  She has lived in the Klamath house since 2008. 

Melody and my granddaughter Axel each now have an apartment at the small complex that Mo has on the edge of town in Klamath Falls.  working at the apartments (10 of 12)Mo and I put some time in refurbishing those apartments, painting and cleaning, getting carpets and flooring installed so they are all nice and fresh.  It was hard work but also a fun project, nice to see the apartments all pretty again.  Renters are not often much fun, and don’t seem to care about how they live.  I am glad that we no longer have to deal with crummy renters who trash the place.

Painter progress (1 of 7) With Melody out of the Klamath house, it was time to spruce it up for sale.  I had renters in there during the time I lived in California for my final working years, and it needed fresh paint when Melody moved in back in 2008!  Again, Mo and I have been busy painting, fixing, repairing and getting the house ready for market.  I am really hoping that the time is right, and that she will sell quickly.

working on Painter (16 of 19) It is a great little historic bungalow in an historic neighborhood in a nice part of Klamath Falls. 

finished13 Early on during this three week process, I got a phone call from the two surgeons who will be working on me, saying that the surgery had to be rescheduled from April 13 to May 4, so I gained an extra three weeks to actually get the Klamath Falls house project done.  At least hopefully.

Mo and I feel like we are working again.  We leave the house every morning to go to one town or another, work all day, and drive home late all tired and worn out.  After surgery I am not supposed to lift anything over five pounds for 3 months!  Crazy.  So everything has to be done NOW or it won’t get done, at least not by me. 

So, writer’s block?  Yeah.  I think I have a reasonable excuse.

 

From the Heart

“It shifted from being written directly to my family and friends to something with more explanation and less from the heart, if you know what I mean. “ “paying too much attention to the reader community and not enough to my own preferences. “

DSC_0006 Words this morning from a trusted friend brought me up short. I know the feeling, and I fight it sometimes.  Case in point: my last post and this one.  There is enough going on around here that I have some things to write about, some life to share, and yet I found myself liking the way the last post looked so much that I didn’t want to upstage it with a new one that wouldn’t have those photos of my pelicans.  Now just how silly is THAT?!  Mo said, “Well, why don’t you just put the pelicans up on the header photo?”  Yeah, ok, I’ll do that, and yet the thoughts behind why I didn’t want to write a new post were still somewhat interesting to me. Sounds like I may be slipping into what this friend described in that last sentence I quoted in the first paragraph!

the lily in the cabin bed My Goal: write from the heart.  Write about stuff, explain stuff, but keep the heart in it.  Write as if I were writing to a trusted friend.  Of course, some stuff I wouldn’t even write to a trusted friend so I won’t write that part in here.  Those parts are saved for private journals that even my kids will never see. The good thing about this goal is that when I go back and read (and I DO go back and read my own blog), it will be entertaining and fun, and will help me remember not only what I saw and what I did, but how I felt about it.  At least that is the goal.

the hedge rose, blooming here at Rocky Point Personal journals, on the other hand, can be incredibly depressing to read later.  I journal a lot when I am angry, depressed, or just plain falling apart.  Not fun reading.  On another note, I don’t seem to have a lot of personal journaling going on now as I did when I was younger.  Life is less full of angst and worry and frustration.  I guess after 66 years, it is about time, right?

I think especially of this kind of “from the heart” writing when I think of Sherry’s story of David’s journey.  I have mentioned them often enough that anyone who reads my blog has probably found theirs. Good news today with 8 million stem cells in his collection!  Then, again from the heart, Laurie Brown’s eulogy to her Dad. Semi-True Tales of the Road has been one of those that stands out so far above so many of us that it is hard to see it wind down a bit. The only blog I read for years, I still always watch for a post from Laurie. Many folks mentioned her great campground reviews, but when I think of Laurie, I think of great food stories, seriously funny moments (aka Desert Hot Springs), and the clay oven. 

Merikay and Craig walking down to the docks from Rocky Point Resort Speaking of bloggers, last week brought us another blogger meet-and-greet treat, with Merikay and Craig visiting our world.  They spent a long time hiking the trails of Crater Lake, many that Mo and I who live an hour away have never traveled.  Then they camped a couple of nights right here in Rocky Point, giving us the chance to get Merikay and Craig out on Recreation Creek in the kayaks. 

OK Merikay, you can do it I love showing someone how much fun it is to get out on the water in a kayak and this was no exception.  We had a perfect day with water smooth as glass for our morning adventure.  Getting into a kayak for the first time can be a bit daunting, and once out on the water, it sometimes takes a few moments to get used to that wiggly feeling.  Within a short time though, that feeling goes away and your body settles into the balance much like it happens on a bicycle.  We had a nice, short paddle for their first run, and I do hope they will try it again.  It is such a great way to get up close to the birds and feel a silence on the water that is hard to find any other way.

A little benefit of blog meet-and-greets are the photos!  Loree has photos of Jeana on her blog since they met up as Loree traveled east, and we got a great photo of Loree on Jeana’s blog as well.  Now isn’t that just fabulous?!  Somehow the photos that others take of you are quite a bit different than the ones you might put up on your own blog.

DSC_0020 Later that afternoon I invited Merikay and Craig to the house for supper, along with our closest neighbors, Wes and Gayle, our Tucson friends who live here in the summer. We had appetizers on the porch, dinner inside at the dining table, and dessert back on the porch, all accompanied by a few different wines supplied by each of us.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially since hostessing a meal is a favorite thing for me to do.  I was having so much fun I forgot to take photos of the table, the food, and my guests.  I guess that is a good sign.

Fourth of July was wonderful.  I do love the Fourth, not for any particularly patriotic reason, but for its ability to bring up happy childhood memories and to create small town joys. As I spent the morning making potato salad and meltingly perfect chocolate cupcakes, I remembered my foster mother, who loved all holidays and taught me to appreciate them with huge church picnics, decorations for everything, and always always great holiday food.

2012-07-04 Veterans Park Celebration (48) With Melody and family in town, Mo and I drove in for the celebrations.  Klamath Falls once again scheduled the holiday parade for 5 in the evening, ending in Veteran’s Park, where the fireworks were scheduled to go off at ten pm when it is finally dark here.  It is much nicer to have a later parade and only have to drive to town once.  When the parade was in the morning, it was harder to figure out what to do with ourselves while we waited for the fireworks twelve hours later.

Kevin and Elric for the sheriff's department This time, the parade was nice, but I still wish we could get more marching bands to come. There was only one.  Parades need music!  There were lots of red white and blue decorations, however, and the Shriner guys in their little cars always make a parade seem like the real thing. Of course, seeing my son in law and my grandson representing the Klamath County Sheriff’s department was a treat.  Kevin is a reserve deputy, and Elric got a big kick out of being in the cop car in the parade.  UhOh. Elric is now Xavier, but I keep forgetting.  I have no clue why teenagers think they have to change their names, but I am trying to get with the program. Seems to me that Elric is enough of an interesting name, but n-ooo-ooo. He has to make it more interesting! He is 13.  What can I say…

yum2012-07-04 Veterans Park Celebration (96) Hillary/Axel (remember that other name change I mentioned in the last post?) spent most of the time between the parade and the fireworks volunteering for the face painting booth.  Terrible me, I can’t remember what the booth was promoting, but it was some sort of socially redeemable venture, I am sure.  We had fun watching her and as the evening wore on, the line grew exponentially.  Word was getting around that she was painting some fairly radical faces, unlike the typical butterflies and such.  Well, with a name like Axel, who would expect butterflies anyway?

By the time the fireworks started, we were all starting to get fairly chilled, but the bugs weren’t out this year so that was a blessing.  Why don’t I remember that even if it is 90 during the day, the air will require sweats, jackets and even gloves by ten pm.  I hate to say it, but when the fireworks began we were pretty disappointed.  It may have been because of the high winds that evening, but once again the big booms couldn’t seem to rise above the trees lining the lakeshore at Veteran’s Park. 

2012-07-04 the Fourth It made for some interesting photos, especially with the full moon rising right where the big fireworks were exploding, but it also made for a few unhappy folks hanging around all evening waiting.  Next year we may just give it up and go check out the fireworks at Lake of the Woods, closer to home for us, but not part of that small town Klamath thing that we love. 

I guess the small town Klamath thing means there isn’t enough money for a big town fireworks show.