In lieu of a download app for world peace

In lieu of a download app for world peace

HALSEY — It was a dark and stormy night and I was speaking to the Central Linn Lions Club at the Halsey United Methodist Church. Eleven people in the fellow­ship room. A ham-and-peas dinner made by a member. And, before my talk, a discussion of the club’s entry in the Halsey Christmas Parade three days away, like who was going to provide the vehicle. The parade was to start at 5 p.m., the dinner roughly the same time. Short parades, I...

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The $1,000 Christmas giveaway

The $1,000 Christmas giveaway

My assistant elf and I locked on the target: two homeless guys trying to find comfort in the rain outside of Bruns’ Apple Market on 6th Avenue. “Could you use some stuff to keep you warm?” I asked. “Oh, yeah,” said one of the young men, a Lane Community College graduate who’s been homeless for nearly two years. His buddy was shivering under a tarp. I pulled out a sack of new gloves, hats, socks, long underwear, rain ponchos and beef...

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The ‘coast road’ is for ‘The Birds’

The ‘coast road’ is for ‘The Birds’

BODEGA BAY, Calif. — The schoolteacher in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds” is talking with the newcomer in town. “Did you drive up from San Francisco by the coast road?” asks Annie Hayworth, played by future-Bob-Newhart-TV-wife Suzanne Pleshette. “Yes,” says Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren). “Nice drive.” Nice, indeed. That is, if, given this column’s accent on movies, you’re a fan of “Beauty and the Beast.” One of...

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From an ordinary life comes extraordinary lessons

From an ordinary life comes extraordinary lessons

I was driving to a memorial service for a friend’s mother in Central Oregon when I pondered what I might share if appropriate. What do you say about an 85-year-old woman, Ruth Boubel, whose son, Tom, has been a friend of mine for nearly 50 years? A woman who seemed to symbolize what I call the “Wonder Years Moms,” the kind reflected by that TV sitcom about family life in the 1960s and early ’70s. A woman whose generational ilk is leaving...

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Microwave cooking in the bathroom

Microwave cooking in the bathroom

The great thing about doing a house remodel/add-on is that when you leave for the weekend you don’t have to worry about whether you left the stove on. You no longer have a stove. You no longer have a dishwasher. You no longer have a kitchen sink with running water. Your refrigerator opens into your hallway, which is just across from the bathroom that’s been repurposed from its traditional use and is now your new kitchen — all 125 square...

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The angst of de-cluttering

The angst of de-cluttering

At Lane County’s Glenwood Central Receiving Station — better known as “the dump” — I callously toss the cardboard “Jason-Deena Wedding” sign into the paper recycling bin. Seconds later, seeing it lie forlornly amid the debris, I’m overcome with guilt. How could I? I almost feel compelled to dive into the bin and retrieve the sign we made nine years ago so guests could find my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding site. Ah, but I...

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