Showing posts with label traveling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traveling. Show all posts

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Picking Pears in Medford



While living in Salt Lake, Roland and I had several opportunities to assist with the welfare program.  When Jenna was in first and second grade, I tried going to the cannery at least one a month. For the most part, the items were actually in bottles and not in cans - at least at the one I went to.




I have been to another location that does actual cans - food like chili, beans, tomato sauce - mostly messy stuff.  Roland and I would work as a team at the pasta plant - or I would team with one of our boys.  We'd assist at the dairy, storehouse, and DI.  All of these locations could be driven to in 20 minutes or less. 




In Oregon we don't seem to have as much opportunity to assist with the Church's welfare program due to our location.  Even to be recipient of the welfare program is a lot different from driving oneself to the storehouse to pick up an order.  From what we are told, orders are shipped from a city larger than Roseburg.

We have not had the need to be recipients of the welfare program in Oregon - and hopefully will not have to rely on that. We had been recipients in Utah probably at least half of Jenna's life (different years off and on). There isn't anything wrong with being recipients - except that it indicates to me tha we are financially disabled.  At the same time I LOVE church cheese and BYU creamery chocolate milk and many products that we get at the bishops storehouse.




The bishops storehouse offers a lot in the way of fresh produce as well as canned goods.  We have had many canned good put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Beans, spaghetti sauce, soup, assorted canned vegetables, jellies, honey, peanut butter, fruit.  Of the fruit, we mostly liked the canned peaches and pears and applesauce.




I don't recall a welfare project in which the members canned fruit in Salt Lake. Today I learned that the pears are canned in Idaho.  I have also been told that the Church's only pear farm is located in Medford, Oregon. We were told that 80 volunteers from our stake (church boundary) were needed to pick pears today.

Originally we had planned on taking Jenna with us and have her pick pears with us.  We were told that the youth had to be at least twelve and Jenna just turned eleven in April.  I had tried to make other arrangements for leaving her with someone, but ended up taking her anyway. 

I set the alarm for 3:20 a.m.  We were on the road by 4:00 a.m. and arrived in Medford just before 5:30.  We signed in at 5:30 to 10:00.  We were also told to give ourselves credit for the three hour travel (or whatever other amount was given.)  We ended signing Jenna up to pick with us, no questions asked.  She was fine.  The farm was fine.  No harm. No accident.  I saw some youth there that looked to be a lot younger than her. And I saw some who were obviously in the Young Men's program that weren't working with the same effort that Jenna put in.





Jenna and I had picked pears before at my mom's house.  Picking from an orchard is a lot different than having Brian or Patrick shake the branches while the rest of us glean from the ground.  The government has placed stipulations and the Church is not allowed to use pears that have fallen to the ground.  That is so sad as the amount of pears that have fallen to the ground were many - pears that are still edible.  Pears that fell to the ground when another pear was picked. It was hard having to leave them on the ground.

In addition to her pear tree, my mom also had at least two pine trees in her backyard (they were put there before I got married and continued to grow long after I moved out)  I remember that she would offer to pay the younger grandchildren a penny a pinecone.  I think pears may have been worth more.  I know I spent more time gleaning pears from the ground than picking them off the tree.  I think that honor went to Patrick's family.

The rows of trees were long.  They seemed to get longer as the morning hours pressed forward.  The length between the last pear tree that weighed my bag to "too heavy for comfort" and the bin in which to "carefully let the pears out of the bag" seemed like miles. Their goal was to fill over 100 bins today.  Surely they met their goal before we left Myrtle Creek.  Our stake was told to work the hours between 6:00 and 12:00.  When we arrived, we were told that they wouldn't shut down until after 2:00. 






We had also been told that we'd have access to doughnuts between 8:00 and 10:00.  That's what we were told.  Fortunately we weren't there for the doughnuts as the doughnuts were non-existent.  However we were hungry and had been before our last shift. We stopped off at a McDonald's on our return.




Jenna had been invited to a party that took place at Stanton Park in Canyonville that took place at noon.  Instead of going directly home to Myrtle Creek, we stopped off at the park so that Jenna could be with her friends.  It had been such a long morning and I was so very tired - of course Jenna is the Energizer Bunny who continues to go and never wears out.





The expectations for the party were placed at a much higher value than what actually took place.  I felt bad as I know a lot of planning went into it, and I think everybody made the best of the situation at hand, but I did feel bad for Callie's mom (Callie is the birthday girl) as she had spent several hours preparing for the event -  a lot more hours preparing than what was actually spent.

Though we had arrived 90 minutes after the party supposedly started, the potato salad didn't actually arrive until after we did.  By then, almost everybody had finished eating (though some of the adults did return to get some)

Though the kids seemed to enjoy the idea of having a colored-water fight with water guns and blasters - it was very short lived.  The piñatas that were made came down after only two whacks.  No one else received a turn at whacking.

Though the piñatas themselves seemed well made, not everybody got their fair share of candy as some of the greedier children loaded their bags leaving no thoughts for the others.  Jenna managed to grab three pieces.  The birthday girl ended up with an empty bag.  So all the bags were dumped into the middle and divided up evenly.

I think the most fun that anybody had was in playing "Red Rover" which I think was just an impromptu game that was suggested while Josie and her husband set up for the water activity.








Roland and I, both tired, didn't want to stay for any of it really.  By the time the cake was served, we were more than ready to leave.  But Jenna wanted to stay as Callie hadn't even opened her presents. Casey and Carley's mom said she would bring Jenna home if we wanted to leave.  I expressed my gratitude and told Jenna about our plans.  Just as we got ready to leave, Jenna expressed her desires to go with us.  And now we are home and I am ready to call it a night.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Shelton-McMurphey-Johnson House, Eugene Oregon

       Today we decided to take a ride up to Eugene and look around.  Roland checked the net before we left so that we would have a specific destination. 


came out extremely small because it was taken with my cell phone

       The historical landmark sits upon a hill.  Many stairs lead to the house.  It reminded Jenna and I of a veggie tale's Sock Drawer in which one feature is a reinactment of the three stooges moving a piano

The initial look on their faces as they look up to see all those stairs
 
I couldn't find a picture that showed ALL the many stairs


watching larry do all of the work



       The history of the house and owners was interesting.  I took a lot of pictures - though the majority of artifacts were actually just condusive to the time period and not the house itself.  It was still very quite interesting. 
        The pictures are not in order of how I took them.  Different rooms, different floors - but as most all of the artifacts were donated to give a visualization to history, I don't suppose it matters


taken in the girls room


taken in the office - all three owners had dr. breadwinners.
 all three doctors died in this room.  I thought that was interesting.


the McMurphy family


was obviously not taken from the best angel


this came out darker than I expected.  Our guide said this room
would be equivalent to what we call a family room


not the original fireplace. But it looks authentic


part of the girls room


miniature in the attic part of the house.  Our guide said
 that it took eight years to create and ended up
costing more than the actual house that we toured


kitchen stove



parlor


Jenna nearing the top


may find a better picture off the internet. 


time period kitchen ware

       You can read more about its history here 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reminiscing a Very Past Memory (maybe three)




          I don’t know how old my grandma was when she decided to get her driver’s license.  She had been born and raised in Utah, but was then living in San Francisco.  I don’t know if she had ever driven at the time she had resided in Utah and maybe didn’t feel the need in San Francisco as she could rely on public transportation.

          Grandpa Ralph was a retired bus driver and did know his way around. I am pretty sure that he had a car, and after he passed way, perhaps Grandma Mary had been missing that luxury of just driving somewhere and not having to wait for the bus or the streetcar or the BART or whatever. 

          I was too young to actually get all the logistics involved.  I just remember my own mom having mentioned it. I know that Grandma had purchased her own car but doubt that she had it for more than two years.  San Francisco has a lot of hills and narrow spaces. Why anybody would ever want to drive (or learn to drive) in San Francisco is beyond me.

          I vaguely remember teeny space off to the side that led the way to underground parking.  I probably would have missed it altogether except for I remember daddy driving through whenever we would visit – which wasn’t often, really.  My grandma seemed okay with the driving part, but was more than reluctant to try to park it.  I remember her telling my mom that she would stop it in the street and wave someone down and offer to pay the individual five dollars to park the car for her.  That always fascinated me as she lived in a very high crime neighborhood.  Yet every person that got behind the wheel would actually park it for her and no one just took it from her.

          My Uncle John had worked for the police force and lived in Martinez.  I remember taking the BART from the mission district to a location that was near to where he could pick me up and drive back to Martinez.  It was interesting to me that grandma had taken me to a BART location in San Francisco where the transportation was located underground which reminded me of a subway system.  And yet when I got to Lafayette (I think that was the name of the station where I got off for Uncle John) it was above ground like a monorail.




          I had gone to Martinez to go to church with John and his family and when he returned me to the station, his police radar had kicked in and as he told me where to get off, he warned me to stay underground.  The mission district was full of crime and he said under no circumstance was I to walk up to the street but that I had to wait for grandma to come and get me.

          I remember telling mom and she kind of made a face and laughed and said, “I’m sure he’s asking you to wait for this little old lady to come and protect you.”

          Grandma was a very friendly and optimistic person.  She didn’t seem to be bothered by much.  I remember my mom telling me that grandma’s residence had been broken into a least a couple of times – but it was while she was out.  I don’t know that she was ever physically attacked.  On the other hand, mom did have a good friend who had been attacked at Golden Gate Park.  I cannot find the original source, but there is mention of it here.

            I don't know what it is that triggered my memory of my grandma.  It still fascinates me when I think about it.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Just Who is in Charge Here, Anyway?



It seems like there is always something to do on the 4th of July.  Salt Lake has their big parade on the 24th, but Provo (not incredibly far from Salt Lake City) offers a parade.  As mentioned in this post, one can find a parade somewhere during the summer.  I think there is one going on every week.  
Fireworks are also shot in the sky throughout the summer.  Neighbors have their personal fireworks and there are shows throughout the valley on different nights and different locations.  Probably the most impressive are in Sugarhouse (offered on the 4th) Rice Stadium (University of Utah also on the 4th) Fire, Water and Ice celebration in Kearns (1st week in August, I believe) and baseball stadiums as well as others. 
I have a problem breathing around the fireworks.  Over the years I’ve tapered off from watching outdoors to peering behind a window – should I happen to be up (usually I’m in bed)
Last year Jenna spent the holiday with two of her brothers and felt cheated on missing out this year.  I looked on the net for 4th of July activities in the Roseburg area.  I emailed our friend in McMinnville and facebooked my cousin in Salem to see if they knew of any events surrounding their towns.  I was referred to Eugene by one and so looked up and actually saw a promotion for Glendale on three different sites – two news stations from Eugene. 
The hype was written something like this:
2015 July 4th Celebration - Glendale Oregon
This is a daily event, running from July 2, 2015 through July 4, 2015. 11:00 AM Memorial Park - Glendale, Oregon (Right across the street from the Post Office on Pacific Ave) 541-832-2245 cowcreekvalley@outlook.com

July 2nd the fun begins at 11:00 am! The Food Booth Opens and all Vendor Booths will be open. The Kids games will be starting also! (Tickets 25 cents each or 5 for $1.00). All children win a prize! THE WATER SLIDE IS OPEN AT 11:00 am!!! Let’s not forget the Car Bash!!! There will be Bingo at 1:00 pm and the dunk tank starts up at 1:00 pm also! At 5:00 pm the Silver scramble will be starting for three age groups! At 7:00 pm the drawing for the 4th of July Raffle (Which includes being able to start the fireworks) will be held! Then we will have the Shirley Davis Memorial Cake Walk!

July 3rd We start again at 11:00 am..... The water slide- Food Booth – Kids games – and Car Bash!!!! The Dunk tank and the bingo will start up again at 1:00 pm! At 4:30 – Pinata’s (three age groups) – this is free folks! At 6:00 pm a Patriotic concert in the park put on by the Churches in the area! After the concert try your hand at a Watermelon Eating Contest! All Ages! then 8:30 to 10:00 pm some music in the park!

July 4th – Breakfast in the park from 8:00 am to 10:00 am! The Car Bash will be still happening and then the Water slide will open at 11:00 am. The Annual Parade line up will start at 12:30. At 1:25 pm the National Anthem will be sung by our own Lyla Rose! The parade will start at 2:30 !!!!

Then the highlight!!!!! THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOW IN SOUTHERN OREGON WILL BE HAPPENING AT THE GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL! The Concession stand opens at 8:00 pm and the Fireworks will start at dusk! If you have not seen it yet folks......You really do not know what you are missing!

Come on out and join in the fun! Hope to see you there!
We decided to take Jenna to Glendale on the 3rd as we believed the 4th would be more crowded.  But first she and Roland went to Roseburg to deposit two checks and to pick up a few items.  I chose to stay home and wait for a handyman to come fix the rental refrigerator.

I seriously was more impressed with taking the drive to the sleepy little town of Glendale and the return back to Myrtle Creek than I was with Glendale itself or lack of activity.  It was major disappointment for Roland and me – and appeared to be even more disappointing for Jenna – until we finally found someone who would man the games.  


Glendale was definitely cooler than in Myrtle Creek (which everybody here says is very unusual.  They say it NEVER gets this hot – which is good to know. Because even though I’m from Salt Lake and people think that I’m probably used to the heat – I will NEVER get used to it) and it was really pretty.  I also enjoyed the temporary Christian music that I haven’t heard much of since living in Oregon. But I think I’ve had my fill of Glendale and don’t plan on ever returning. 
When we arrived, the main street was closed off for a block – as if the town had planned something exciting for the entire community and was expecting loads of fun.  And maybe it was in the average Glendalians mind – but I didn’t think it was very well organized.  Some of the booths appeared to be closed even though they had signs of events taking place.  And some seemed to have events set up but no one to man the stations.  Obviously a trusting town with no crime whatsoever.
We had passed one booth of throwing darts into balloons for used stuffed animals. The lady at the booth told her husband tickets were five for a dollar or fifteen for five dollars.  What kind of deal is that?  
Jenna rode the waterslide three times but didn’t seem happy.  She wanted to play the games that had been left neglected – but looked fun to play in her mind.  Roland purchased some melted ice cream for her.  It was actually a very generous scoop.  It must have been seven times the size of the cone.
I was hungry for real food and decided on some nachos.  While the chips themselves were delicious, I wasn’t all too impressed with the gloppy cheese.  Jenna had intended on sharing with me, but was even less impressed.  We ended up throwing away not quite half – but enough to call waste.
Roland finally found someone to take charge of the games, and Jenna knocked over bottles and cans to win more stuffed animals and ended up taking home an armload of cherished pets.  I’m glad she warmed up and actually enjoyed having fun.  Guess I’ll take her to the swimming pool tonight.  I don’t foresee fireworks happening this year.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Joys of Small Town Living




       Myrtle Creek is really not the first small town I’ve ever lived in.  I started my mission in an area called Ripplemead, Virginia.  In the fall of 1984 it wasn’t even printed on the area map – someone had penciled it in. 

       I had received a bus ticket and was sent on my way to desolation.  I was in disbelief when (after what felt like hours) the bus pulled up at a drug store (out in the middle of nowhere, I might add) and told me I was to get off in Pearisburg, and there at the drugstore stood a sister missionary (my trainer) waiting for me. 

       The drive “home” continued in desolation until finally we were at a trailer park that seemed to have the highest population of anything I’d seen in the last two hours at least.

       New River separated the trailer park from the larger part of Ripplemead.  It actually was not that big of deal – but when I first arrived, I didn’t ever believe I would find my way around.  Everything seemed far.  Everything seemed uphill.




       The area we covered was rather large geographically.  We covered all of Giles County (marked in red) and Monroe County above it (which is in West Virginia) and actually served in two wards – one in Pearisburg and one in Pembroke.



       I remember passing the Pembroke library with my second companion.  We sat on the steps and took pictures of each other sitting by the library just to show how small it was.

       After having just moved and not totally unpacked yet, I have not come across that picture, and so I borrowed this one from the Internet.




       In Pearisburg the life was Hardees or the Pizza Hut.  In Myrtle Creek, we have a Dairy Queen.  Tri-City has Subway.  Both cities have True Value Hardware.  Canyonville has a casino.




       Jenna and I had gone to the Myrtle Creek library the other day to open accounts.  Douglas County Library System is set up similar to Salt Lake.  That is, if there is a book available in Roseburg or Yoncalla – but if I don’t wish to drive to said location (I don't even know where Yoncalla is), I can place a hold and have it delivered to Myrtle Creek. The problem I am having with the library system thus far (aside from their sizes) is the hours of operation.  When we first moved here, the hours of operation were 6 hours a day, 4 days a week.  That has changed.  Now it’s only 5 hours a day and only 3 or 4 days a week (depending on what city)

I like the picture on the library cards

       Myrtle Creek library does not open until noon.  We learned that Canyonville is open from 10 -2 on Wednesdays (wait, that’s only four hours – they cut the library hours in half – for it’s one that only operates three days a week.  That’s only twelve hours!  Holy Cow!)

       Myrtle Creek library is bigger than Pembroke.  Bigger than our house – maybe.  Not much.  The Canyonville is smaller than our house – though the building itself is not.  There are three doors.  One for city hall, one for the library and one for the sheriff’s office.  

       Jenna and I took a ride to Canyonville this morning because Roland suggested that we’d be there and back before Myrtle Creek had even opened.  But we actually didn’t leave Canyonville until after the Myrtle Creek library opened.

       It was very hard to concentrate on my reading at the Canyonville library.  There were only three patrons there in the beginning (this included Jenna and me) but the volume of the librarians conversing with one another is what I found distracting – but also amusing.  One would think of shushing the patrons and not the librarians.

       So that is our adventures (so far) with the library in Douglas County. I don’t think we’ll be in Myrtle Creek for more than a year.  I don’t know where we’d go.  But we’re three to four hours closer to other cities that we had considered and can drive around during the weekends. 

I like the small town life right now, but I wonder if I will get bored with it. Someday I’m going to need to go back on public transportation.  I don’t see that offered here – not in the way that I’ll be needing it.  So no more posts about public transportation – at least for a while.  I can hear my readers crying about that already. LOL


Monday, June 29, 2015

The best day, worst day and longest day scenario



         My brother-in-law’s sister had returned home from a lesson on perspective (I think) and posted a thought about her best and worst Christmas – both which had taken place in 2005. It was a great thought, and I asked permission to share it on my blog.  She said that her understanding was that it was up for Church publication and it would be best if I did not share.  I figured when it was published in Ensign magazine, I could refer to the link.  But I don’t see any evidence of publication thus far.

         I saved a copy to my own personal files, but seem to have misplaced the ubs or it somehow got deleted or something.  I’ll find it eventually.  Meanwhile I have my own thoughts about one of the longest days of my life (starting out with a trip to the Medford Temple and ending with waiting for Greyhound)

         June 5, 2015.  What a day.  Denise and I had actually left the motel room early because she had wanted to go through the Medford Temple.  It was her main insentive for having had driven the much shorter but scarier route.  She had gone online to learn how late the temple would be open on Thursday night.  She failed to look at the hours of operation on Friday.  It was closed.  The gates were locked.  We had driven all that way and couldn’t get inside.  The temple in Medford doesn’t open until 3:00 p.m.  That seemed like the latest time that Denise would have had to leave Roseburg and be on her way to Newport. We had missed going inside.

         I had had a rental car lined up, but had cancelled believing Roland’s understanding of having someone physically take me to the address.  My main reason for being in Oregon was to secure a rental that was waiting for us outside Roseburg.  I had called the property management several times to let them know I was coming.  I was hoping that Denise would be able to drop me off at the rental and I would be able to get a ride back to Century 21 to sign the papers. 

         They didn’t get any of my messages.  We weren’t communicating at all.  I would still have to have a rental car.  What was I thinking?  I called a car rental in Medford, but they did not have anything.  They referred me to their location in Roseburg.  I thought I was all set until they called me back asking for either a major (non-debit) card and/or an Oregon driver’s license – neither of which I had.  So they had to cancel my reservation.  So I called the agency I had initially booked with.  They couldn’t find a car for me until 7:30 that night.  Property management would have been closed by then.  And it didn’t give me enough hours of sunlight that it was worth renting a car for. I can’t drive in the dark.  I decided that I would just take a bus home (originally I had wanted the plane – but the bus was a third of the cost – plus I didn’t have a way to the airport)

         Payments had to be in form of Money Order or a Courtsey check from the bank.  Oh, great.  I have two checks from a credit union that have branches in Utah and Nevada – not in Oregon.  I was frantic.  I did have a bank account number that Corey had given me.  There was a branch not far from Century 21 that I went to – but I had to open my own account and ask Corey to work with me from Las Vegas.

         The procedure seemed long.  I had a deadline for getting back to Century 21 and barely made it.  The girl who assisted acted like she had been put out.  Really?  What about me?  I had traveled three days to get there.  And then they wouldn’t accept my check.  I had to open an account.  It had been very painful.  And the day was not close to over.  Little did I know that I wouldn’t be leaving Roseburg until 2:30 the following morning!

         The location of the bus pick/up had changed.  We drove around the same street three times before Denise pulled over and I went into a sevice station to ask.  Denise hated the GPS and Siri and will probably never use again.

         She pulled up to a service station and had me go inside to make certain I’d really be able to purchase a bus ticket.  If you read my earlier post, you may recall that the bus was scheduled to come at 5:58 – but I had been told that it would be running late.  I did not share that information with Denise or Roland however as I did not want them to worry. 

         As the sun was setting, I started crying, knowing (or thinking) that Denise was still on the road and has bad night vision like I do.  I spent the last 6 hours of the fifth at the service station waiting for the bus.
         As long and horrible as I believed the day had been, there was so much that I needed to feel grateful for:

A kind sister (who was planting flowers near the gate) opened the gate to let us inside and Denise took several pictures and the sister took pictures of Denise and I sitting in front of the temple. 

Denise stayed with me.  She sacrificed several hours of being on the road.  She drove me to Roseburg to get the key and then to back to Mayberry to look at the house – which really is a nice house by the way.

Denise drove me to the bank. She waited for me for over an hour (that is what it felt like anyway) and Corey waited in line in Las Vegas to assist me with my problem.  And it worked.  We had cut it very close bringing me back to Century 21 to sign papers. 

Denise waited for me.  I had called a cab so that she could be one her way. But she chose to stay with me and take me to the bus stop.  She did not get back on the road until after 5:00.  Heavenly Father blessed me big time through both Denise and Corey.

Though the bus had been late, I did not have to wait for it alone.  Jake kept me company for the first five hours – one hour after the station was closed. I also had the protection of Heavenly Father and a good book to read.

After an 8 ½ hour wait, I hadn’t missed the bus due to falling asleep or waiting on the wrong side of the building.  I was safe.