And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Every time I head down Newmark Avenue, dropping into the city proper (yes indeed, it does drop downhill), I’ve passed within one block of Mingus Park. I’ve seen the pond from the city streets and the ball fields but I’ve never visited the Japanese gardens until today. Coos Bay has a sister city, Choshi, Japan; and established this relationship in February 1983. Mingus Park sports a wonderful garden dedicated to the things Coos Bay shares with her “sister” and it was a fine morning to investigate. For more information you can go to:

Ducks floated, quacked, and preened and a couple of young mothers pushed strollers, one jogging round and round the paved pathway that surrounds the ponds. Other than the mothers and one elderly couple it was quiet and I had the place to myself. As I wandered and took photos I was amazed at the forest—this all resides within city limits yet seems to stretch for vast acres of solitude.

It’s still prime season for rhododendrons and they flourished here in selected areas. In addition, there were some Japanese style trees, a bamboo forest, and pagoda like structures scattered about. The air smelled damp and earthy and faintly evergreen as I listened to a melodious creek which was falling into the smaller pond. It was truly tranquil. A fitting start to a good day. I could have sat on a bench studying all this much longer but I needed to get to the library and look for some books on new occupations.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

On the Coast, Spring Sprung Today

Today was one of those gloriously warm, mild days that we get so few of in a year we can count them on less than two hands. The coast is a riot of color right now with the profusion of witches broom, azaleas, rhododendrons and lilacs, casting vibrant almost florescent colors into the starkly blue sky. As if that isn’t enough, all the trees suddenly popped with blossoms and green. Even the seagulls are procreating right now!

Florence, another two towns north on Hwy. 101 is holding their Rhododendron Festival this weekend so I took a drive up to see what it was all about. I never knew: it’s a big biker fest; there must have been 10,000 motorcycles in town, or buzzing both ways on Hwy. 101, setting the air abuzz with their loud mufflers since most were of the Harley type. I wandered on my own eying the carnival set up on the waterfront, past the vendor area with the obligatory tie dyed T shirts and handmade macramé jewelry. Who said the hippies disappeared in the ‘70’s?

Families were out having fun; of course the biker babes and dudes were having way too much fun, but since I was alone I just wandered. Up some blocks, over some other blocks, down another couple blocks and back to my car. Alone, it was only a crowded…letdown.

Back in Coos Bay the day was too pretty to waste inside so I visited Bastendorff Beach, which had more people and dogs on it than I’ve ever seen. Give people a Saturday and shirt sleeve weather and they come out in hoards. Where are they during the week when it is so cold and blustery I have this place virtually to myself?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Meaning of Privilege (My Envy is Showing)

It annoys me when I take my walks along the harbor quay and don’t take my camera because those are always the days I find something interesting to shoot. Today was such a day. These photos are only filler; not the real thing as it happened.

It had been raining all morning when suddenly the sun appeared so I figured I’d better hurry so I could complete my walk without getting soaked. As I neared the end of the quay by the fuel dock there were two stunning beauties, pleasure craft, fueling up. “Kodiak”, home port Coos Bay and “Gaelforce”, home port Salem, each had to be over 45 feet in length; in fact I’m sure Kodiak pushed 60 feet and was easily at least a couple million dollar yacht. Each appeared to have about five men or so aboard, buzzing about making ready to shove off. After fueling they did a slow spin to gain the right direction and slowly motored out of the harbor. I continued walking, doing the turn-around in time to keep them in full view as they crossed the bay, obviously headed out.

Their speed continued to be so slow across the bay towards the bar as to nearly be meandering; showing off for all the world their glory; screaming “wealth, power, privilege”…and perhaps most of all, “freedom”.

I couldn’t let go of the feeling of wanting to be aboard, so once I could no longer see them due to the jutting headlands, I finished my walk and took off on the dirt road that leads to the top of the hill where the coast guard lookout station overlooks the jetty, bar area and open ocean. The gloating white phantoms were still moving slowly, making the right turn for a northerly heading. I sat in the car watching, fascinated, and thinking “Are they just headed out fishing? Are they headed up to Newport to indulge in some local brew at the Embarcadero and see the Oregon Coast Aquarium? Perhaps the San Juan Islands for some island hopping and hobnobbing with the wealthiest of the wealthy at Roche Harbor Resort. Maybe, just maybe, they were undergoing a more momentous voyage—north to Alaska. These boats looked capable of just about anything.

I’ll never know. I watched until they were mere white specks; until the white of the boats melded into the white of the distant swells and they were still on their way and I was left alone, a mere observer for a moment in time, into the fairytale life of privilege.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Park model for sale: Our loss will be someone else’s joy, so please pass the word that our little dollhouse is officially on the market. For complete information, we have a For Sale page on our main website:

Inquiries can be directed to me at: Sales price is $53,000; the package is turn-key with most furnishings including a washer and dryer, the shed, and fish cleaning station and the additional benefit of prepaid space rent until March of ’10.

Thanks for helping us out if you can.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


That’s the way I feel about now; like I’ve just about flunked out of life. The CNA school didn’t start out well from the start and made me feel worse the longer I went. This wasn’t the reinvention I had searched for; longed for; become separated from my husband for. I pulled the plug today.

I sit here back at square one looking out on another grey, windy, and of course, rainy coastal day. Something has got to change. I’ve got to rise up from my inertia and fly off to some distant point so looking backward gives me some perspective.

If the weather clears enough to cross the mountain passes I will soon go to visit my folks in Bend. Then I and the cat will probably head south, stopping for a measure of solace with a dear friend in California on the way to reunite with lonely husband. Don’t ask me what comes next. I have no clue. Right now it’s enough to be out from under Nurse Ratchet and the mistake I almost made of becoming something that just wasn’t me.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hell Week

Yeah, that’s right; exactly what I said in the title. I won’t go in too much into my new school experience except to say I’m not quite sure what I have gotten myself into. To say the work load is overwhelming for the short time involved is putting it mildly. I hope I make it out the other end. Mostly, I hope I am able to pass the state exam on the skills testing. Out of 54 tasks we must learn, we get tested on an arbitrarily picked five of them. I am already praying I don’t have to make the bed! Go ahead and laugh.

Since you make a hospital bed all at one time from one side, (& whether or not a person is in it by the way) then the other, it is a little more cumbersome then it looks. If the hem on the bedspread you put on from only the vantage point of the first side happens to hang a little off by an inch or two—automatic failure. Oh yeah; while changing those linens: you had better wash your hands three separate times depending upon what step you happen to be starting next. Give me a break!

On another note, Marc having arrived back in Yuma with some great rocks in tow from his friend’s home in Redding proceeded to further “landscape” our lot. Heads up, LaWana and Dallas. Now if you rent from us again you can wander out front, set yourself down on the rock bench and watch the sunset. See, we think of every comfort for our guests!

Speaking of dear hubby, he will remain in Yuma for at least another month to six weeks more than likely. This almost works better. I have been so busy with the class I told him it is better I don’t have him underfoot to have to cook, clean and entertain. This re-inventing oneself ain’t any fun kids. It’s downright damn hard work. The internet Queen suddenly has an entirely silent computer.
PS: I hear our neighbors are very jealous of our new rocks!