Neighbors Near and Far

A few days back, I heard a very loud and scary crash outside our home… somewhere down the block.  I yelled for hubs and we both went out to see if someone needed assistance.  Doors flew open and neighbors noisily poured out of their houses.

I heard what sounded like a gunshot and hubs saw a car speeding around the corner on three tires.  “What’s going on?”  “Everyone okay?” “Call 911!”   Someone near the corner rang out “I got the plate number!!” and we all cheered.

A car had just plowed into two cars parked on the street in front of our neighbor’s house. One car was pushed so hard that it almost landed on the sidewalk as it damaged the second car.

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While we are standing there, a car speeds down our block, does a U-turn and flies back down the street.  Curious.

We all had our smart phones out and were comparing stories…..”What did you hear?” “Who’s car?”   It appears our neighbor a few doors down had two guests over and their cars were now destroyed.  They just stood there and we tried to make encouraging comments.  They were thanking everyone for mobilizing so quickly.

But the story is not over.  I don’t know how many noticed the car that made the U-turn, but when the car returned I recognized it.

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A kind young man, Robert, stepped out and shared his story.  He was not from the neighborhood, but when he turned down our street he was face to face with a car on three wheels driving like a bat out of hell.  He knew someone was up to no good.  Once he made the U-turn he followed the vehicle for a cat and mouse chase around the back roads, alleys, etc.  The hit and run driver even tried the old “turn off the lights and drive very slowly” trick, but Robert was determined not to let this guy get away.

Robert stayed in communication with the police until they joined him and stopped the hit and run perpetrator.  Knowing we were a curious bunch….he came back to tell us that the guy was in police custody.  We all cheered!

Clearly, you don’t have to live in a neighborhood to be a good neighbor.  An officer arrived and we all said our goodbyes and let the officer talk with the two car owners.

Thank you, Robert (no idea his last name), for being our neighbor.

Remembering our Mothers

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On Tuesday,  I blogged about receiving.  This blog is more about remembering.  Each Mother’s Day since his mother’s passing, Robert has followed a certain tradition.  His mother loved flowers and in particular rhododendron of every color.  Mother’s Day morning Robert circles the house and begins to clip a little here and a little there, creating a bundle of whatever is blooming well around our house.  He does not want store bought.  He wants to bring our home to adorn her headstone.  Depending on the Oregon weather we have more or less flowers to share.  He mostly snips the Rhodies and azaleas that turn our yard into a color-fest around this time.  We drive together to the cemetery and Robert takes care arranging the flowers.  He has his private moments.

I do not yet have a tradition for Mother’s Day.  I am still surprised when I pass a card display that I won’t be picking up a card for her.  Yet, there are, around our home, many objects that bring her close.

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This simple bell, which I keep in the bedroom, floods me with memories each time I pass.  It’s the bell we would use when we were ill and had to stay in bed.  We would ring the bell and help would be on its way: a tuck in, a bowl of soup, or 7-up.

There is no “right” way to remember mothers.  Robert brings our home to her graveside.  I bring mom’s objects into our home.  We both remember in our own way, but are grateful for the love given and the lessons learned.

Mother’s Day

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Felt lucky with the beautiful cards, flowers, hugs and messages for Mother’s Day.  A hanging pot bursting with colorful flowers and elegant card from my husband.

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I received a bouquet of flowers dyed with so many colors it looked like a party in itself.  Along with Bryon’s flowers, Nora added her own card – with glitter, of course.

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A beautiful plant arrived with hugs along with more lovely messages.

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fam card

The plant was huge (about four feet tall) with blooms that will live in the sun for years.  My husband has already lovingly planted the flowers where I can see them from our little deck.

Every single one of the cards made me tear up, except for the last one….which made me laugh so that I had to present it in video form.  There is just no other way to get the full impact of a child’s imagination.

Happy Mother’s Day!  I felt like a queen!

April Ocean

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I got such a feeling of “home” when we check into our room at the Sandcastle in Lincoln City, Oregon.  The curtains are pulled back and I am once again in love with the ocean.

Friday was all sunshine and white wispy clouds.  The ocean was jewel colored and slow moving.  We got to town early and visited family having a reunion on the north side of town, high on a hill with a breathtaking view.  We got a tour of the house, chatted a while, and then hugs all ’round before heading to the next adventure.

On PBS, we learned of a art community nearby.  It was a lovely day for a drive, so we took off outside Otis and wound our way to the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.  This lovely plot of land has a cluster of studios where people come to do workshops or residencies in a variety of mediums.  Robert and I enjoyed walking the grounds and chatting with a couple of the folks there.

Returning to the ocean we enjoyed the afternoon watching beachcombers and kite fliers, more than last month.  As the sun started setting, I marveled at how often the sky changed and how the ocean responded in its reflection.

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Saturday and Sunday showed us a different side to the coast.  The rains came and the wind blew so hard mist rose from the whitecaps.  As much as the I love the ocean, this month I paid attention to the sky.  To say the coast was cloudy or gray would be oversimplification.

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There were 100 shades of gray, clouds moving fast and slow.  Instead of deep blue, the ocean was the same gray as the sky.  Were it not for the sandy beach, I would swear I was watching an old black and white movie.  Stripped of color, the sky and ocean came alive with movement.

Our April visit was the same and different as the visits before.  The ocean, rain or shine, is ever faithful as a charger for my spiritual battery.  On the way out of town the traffic was noticeably heavier.  Ah….so this is what April traffic looks like in Lincoln City.  The quiet season is over.  Now the town begins to come alive.

Worth every minute.

P.S.  I was comforted to spot “our” seal again this month.

 

February Ocean

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Our February adventure at the coast was different in a number of ways.

First, we decided to stay over a Sunday and Monday night instead of a weekend, which changed the ebb and flow of tourists. On the drive out, most were “going home” driving in the opposite direction.

Secondly, while we are used to rain, we did not expect horizontal rain which turned our windows into camera filters.  I call this rain filter, “Monet” because it reminds me of paintings by Claude Monet.  The splashing against the windows was soothing and I think gave the ocean a dreamy effect.  Once the horizontal rain stopped, we had very clean windows.

Lastly, our usual eating spots were closed, so we explored different places.  While I like to hold up in the hotel (we paid for it, I want to BE in it) we took some trips to walk around the local mall and also eat at a famous landmark, Mo’s.

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The food was good and the place uncrowded.  On Monday morning we ate at restaurant that had recently changed hands.  It was decked out with surf boards and nets…entitled “Macadangdang’s Reefside Bar and Grill.”  What a name!  We asked about the history of the word “macadangdang” but the new owners just shrugged and said, “It’s what the last owner called it.”

The service was friendly and the food hearty.  But that word – still a mystery.  A bit of advice: If you look up the word in the Urban dictionary, you may choose not to eat there.  I assure you, the food is fine.  The owners are about the get a smoker in and the menu will change to include BBQ. *happy dance*

While some things were different, there were many things the same.  Two little girls squealing as they chased the waves and were chased back.  Loads of soaring seagulls and floating black birds.  “Our” seal even made a showing.  We were worried we’d miss it.

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Wednesday morning we arose at low tide to see all the branches, seaweed, and logs that the surf had left on the sand during the storm.

As we got ready to leave, I was reminded of my dad, who loved the ocean as I do.  He would say, “I wonder how long it would take for me to get tired of this view.”

I wonder that, too, dad.  I wonder that, too.

Valentine Lock

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I surprised my sweetie with a little lock for Valentine’s day.  From time to time, we enjoy a cheesy Hallmark romance.  This month we watched “Love Locks” that noted a bridge in Paris where lovers would write their names on a lock, attach it to the bridge, then together toss the key.

So on Valentine’s day we watched the movie and at the end, I handed over the lock.  I love being goofy with my sweetie.

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