There’s Seeing and Then There’s Seeing

Every year since 1969, Oregonians and friends have been doing their part to care for one of their own. In this case, they have been caring for the 363 miles of publicly accessible beach that creates the entire western edge of Oregon. It may be no big surprise that in 1969 then governor of Oregon, Tom McCall, called upon Oregonians to unite to Stop Oregon Liter and Vandalism (SOLV) what with the long-heralded ecological mindset of Oregonians. The fact is,  only two years before all those glorious miles of beach and shore had been designated publicly accessible and suddenly Oregonians saw just how much liter and waste washes up every year on those beaches.

The Oregon SOLVE teeshirts donated by the Chinook Winds Casino.

The Oregon SOLVE t-shirts donated by the Chinook Winds Casino.

This year, on March 22nd, folks gathered and did it again. According to SOLVE, 45,955 pounds of liter and marine debris were collected, including 14 tires. I think we can all agree that those are some impressive numbers. Continue reading

Hangs in the Balance

The hospital is quiet.  I suppose it is a good thing because noise in the ICU means different things than other places.  And yet the room is loud. Loud with noises no parent should ever listen to as machines keep him alive.

He isn’t my child. And yet he is. He is mine in the sense that there is a spot in my heart with his name on it.

I once told a parent that children may be other people’s babies but once they come into my room they are my kids. My room’s desks may have been replaced by couches but it is still true.

The last time I saw this frail boy of a man, he was smiling. That same smile I will always think of long after memories of pink hair hanging in his eyes fade away. The smile will stay.

But will he? Because this time, now, he isn’t smiling.  This time, he hangs in the balance.

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I Believe In You

When I was a middle schooler, I went out for track.  Because my dad thought it would improve what he labelled as my athletic deficiencies, I laced up my already well-worn KMart shoes and headed out to the field one spring day.  I practiced a variety of events and improved my general cardio fitness throughout the season.  Each practice started out with a short run and then we practiced our individual events.  I wasn’t the first runner back from each run, but I wasn’t the last either.  Even in middle school I ran just ahead of the turtles.  It mattered a bit to me that I wasn’t fast, but I liked the act of running more.  I liked being outside in the sun, the feel of the sun on my skin, the sound of my shoes and my breath in a smooth cadence of motion.  However, it was clear to all that I was no “runner” like some of the other kids.

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