Yes, I admit it. I was excited about our snow forecast. And not just a puny amount, but inches-no, I hoped for a foot of the cold, white stuff. Just like when I was young (listen to My Music Man Chapter 2: Ice and Snow below). I envisioned fastening on my skis and puttering around the neighborhood, something I have done only a handful of times in the 30 years we have lived on this steep West Linn hill, best for sledding and impossible to safely maneuver with any amount of ice. Yes, we had food — but, frankly, I’ve…


I was updating Mom’s new social worker a bit about her life the other day. He wanted to know the important details, and soon agreed the part about Mom and Dad first divorcing, then remarrying eight years later indeed fit the mark. He mentioned what I already knew — reunification after divorce is rare, especially when it lasts the remainder of the couple’s lifetime. …


Maybe it’s the glimpse of January sunshine inviting me to daydream both ahead and back to moments of wilderness glory. Or, perhaps it’s the claustrophobia of being sandwiched during the pandemic, between telework and caring for a mostly bed-bound loved one. I peer outside to catch the summit of Mount Hood to the east, and the full grandeur of Mt. St. Helens to my northeast. I sigh: it will be sometime before I’ll get much time to scramble amid mountains, streams and meadows whether blanketed in snow or not. …


One would think I’ve written enough about typewriters. After all, not only do I share memories of Dad’s click-clacking away in My Music Man, but even after that I featured this two century-old appliance in its own blog (see: Pen, typewriter, computer). I would have stopped there -if it hadn’t been for the essay I read in the bathtub the other night. (Confused? Maybe you missed this one: Tips for reading the bath (or how to avoid fines and electrocution).

I have purposefully meandered, admiring extra-long sentence elucidations, the pages of Brian Doyle’s final book, One Long River of Song


Epic pirate treasure hunt on Long Beach Peninsula, WA 1999.

A most favorite pastime of mine during the pandemic days of summer and fall, splattering into the wetter and colder days of winter, is watching kids outside: carrying on as life was before, not even bothered by mask requirements. This has given me great hope. Imagination is both a remedy and an ally during good and bad times. Oh, I hope that all children find the privilege and opportunity, even during difficult times in their young lives, to escape into the world of imagination. And while families feel the drudgery of our current times: exhausted parents struggling to wear so…


For several decades I have faithfully planted a dozen or two Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs shortly after Thanksgiving, patiently awaiting the arrival of their white blossoms and heady fragrance. This was not a tradition I grew up with and I’m not sure what or who inspired me to begin it, but now it is as much of a ritual of the season as decorating a Christmas tree. Forcing bulbs trick spring flowering bulbs into blooming in the middle of winter, a process first practiced by Europeans in the 17th Century, beginning with blooms like hyacinths. …


My family treasures library books. In My Music Man I wrote about how, as our family prepared to evacuate our Eastern Oregon LaGrande home because of a 1972 wildfire, Mom insisted we gather the library books hiding in the crevices of our home together with cherished family photo albums. (Okay, there was that one other time . . . see Tips for reading in the bath (or how to avoid fines and electrocution).

Hmm. Perhaps now isn’t the time to ask Mom about the library book I now hold in my hands — a copy of the The Little House


It was after my dad died six years ago that I understood I had joined a new club, one whose entry requirements are unfathomable until a parent dies. Late last month I made another transition, one carrying its own membership criteria: adult children caring full time for a parent with dementia. Before the move I remarked to friends how I was going into it with my eyes wide open. True. Did I know every detail and step and challenge? No. Was I prepared for the moments Mom would tell me to leave the room or that I wasn’t her daughter…


Lake Oswego Log Hoist building, Sept. 2020

I suspect only those most familiar with this special stretch of the Willamette River can readily identify this structure. The morning fog in this photo adds an eerie, surreal aura enticing our imaginations to wonder: what’s the back story of this structure from our past? If I didn’t know better I might imagine it to have once been a fortress, its view providing safe lookout from invaders. Better yet? An isolated hideaway gifting an artist space to create. …


Just over a year ago I worked a full day at OHSU, boarded Tri-MET and conveniently jumped off a few blocks from Portland’s Amtrak station. Within an hour or two I boarded the Empire Builder train and undertook my overnight journey to Whitefish, Montana. I traveled without hand sanitizer or mask, and my biggest fear about the guy who got on and sat next to me later that night was the worry that he might snore. ( See Hello Montana: How we connect.)

So much has changed since then. We are in the midst of a pandemic, uniting us with…

Dede Montgomery

Dede muses on life in Oregon. Sometimes she also publishes books. More at https://dedemontgomery.com.

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