"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sunday Salon: August 11, 2019

A lizard so intent on capturing a butterfly he let the photographer get quite close. (Credit: Don Bennett)
Weather: Overcast with a few rain showers, temperature is in the high 60s. It is unusual summer weather. Friday night we had a thunderstorm, also unusual for the Pacific NW.

A view of the Deschutes River near Eagle Crest. (Credit: Don Bennett)
Eagle Crest: Last week my family (minus daughter #2) joined my mom and my sisters for a vacation at Eagle Crest outside of Redmond in Central Oregon. The weather was lovely, not too hot like it can get this time of year. We swam, golfed, walked, played games, read books, and ate. Nature was a theme for the week, as you see from the photos on this post. The two pics above were taken during our trip by my hubby, who has a talent for photography even if it is only using his phone.

Mom and her daughters in front of her childhood home in Bend, Oregon (Credit: Rock Ruddy)

A walk down memory lane: My mother, who turned 90 last March, grew up in Central Oregon and always feels at home when we vacation near her old home. All week Mom guided her daughters, their spouses, and her granddaughter down memory lane as she talked about what it was like growing up in Bend during the 1930s and 40s. One evening she decided to host us for a dinner at the Pine Tavern where she and Dad celebrated their wedding reception back in 1951. As my sister drove the car, Mom tried to guide Kathy to the restaurant by saying things like, "Turn right after the street where the Pilot Butte Hotel used to be." My younger sister, Grace, and I were sitting in the back seat trying to muffle our laughter. How was Kathy supposed to know where the hotel USED to be? After dinner we drove past mom's old house and found it was for sale. Mom, the friendliest person ever born, got us an invitation to go in for a tour by the current owners. They remembered her from a previous visit and it was so nice to see how the house has been remodeled. A few days later Kathy and I escorted Mom to the church she attended as a child and where her parents were members until they died. Mom stood up during the service and introduced herself and said she would dearly love to talk to anyone who remembered her or her parents. It seemed unlikely that anyone would remember her since she's 90 and not many people live to that age. But sure enough, an old man approached mom and told her his name. Mom used to babysit him when she was in junior high and he was in elementary school. It was a precious moment for both of them.

A view of Elk Lake and Mt. Bachelor from the cabin. (Credit: Anne Bennett)
Saying goodbye: On Thursday of the vacation week the family jumped into three cars and drove 50 miles to a small mountain lake where my family has vacationed for decades. The cabin on Elk Lake is owned by old friends and a timely crease between their family visits allowed us to spend a whole day on the lake without impacting them. While there we held a brief personal memorial service for Dad, who loved Elk Lake so much. After sharing memories, and singing a few songs we spread some of his ashes in and near the lake. My daughter and son-in-law even rowed the kayak out to the old favorite fishing hole and sprinkled a few of his ashes there. It is lovely to think of Dad's spirit at Elk Lake forever.

Ian enjoying music played by "Ga" (Grandpa) [Credit: Kathy Kingsbury]
The wisdom of Ian: When you hear music you like, dance to it and ask for more. (Photo: Don is playing a guitar we found at the cabin and Ian danced and danced. Later the family sang the blessing before dinner and Ian kept asking us to sing it again and again. Such joy!)

Reader's dilemma:  I have too many books to read (consume) within the window of time I can have the books. Argh! Why does this always happen? I just got notified that Overstory (e-book) has been checked out to me by the library. I read a portion of the book back in June but wasn't able to finish it before it was due back. I have less than three weeks to finish it or back to the library it goes and back in line I go. Earlier this past week, I checked out a print edition of an upcoming book club selection, Daisy Jones and the Six. It is a special 'Lucky Day' book which means I get it for three weeks only and can't renew it. In addition, I'm listening to an audiobook, On the Come Up, which I've requested three times from the library and finally have time to start it. But then the library sent me the link to another book club selection, the audiobook for Astoria. I can't listen to two books at the same time so I am sure that one book will be returned to the library unfinished. Sigh!

Books finished since my last Sunday Salon: 
  • The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom. Albom is a favorite author and his books usually contain some spiritual aspect. This book is no exception. Print.
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. A collection of over twenty vignettes of one summer's activities of a grandmother and her granddaughter on an island off of Finland. Translated to English. E-book.
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers. This YA book, published last year, has lots of rave reviews. I liked the book, too, but it deals with the very disturbing subject of pedophilia. Audiobook.
  • Red Bird Poems by Mary Oliver. Published in 2008, I found a lot in this small collection of poems which spoke to me and to the politics of today. Print.
  • Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. Another YA book, this one set in Philippines. It addresses President Duterte's killing squads which have surprisingly a lot of support from the Filipino people. Print.
Very disturbed by racism in full view: This past week's shootings and the rhetoric coming from the White House and elsewhere is so racist and ugly. We must not stand for it. I recommend you watch the Rick Steves' special about how fascists came to power in Germany. This is a very thoughtful program which makes many good points to consider.Watch the trailer and then see if you can find the full program available on your cable or streaming service.



  1. I love this post and all the special family times and beautiful places you describe so well. I'm so glad that I'm supporting Rick Steves ideals and his company by going on one of his tours! Your mom is a fabulous lady; I so enjoyed my time with her at the Michelle Obama talk.

  2. When I get a "Lucky Day" book I try to read it in three weeks - but sometimes decide it is worth donating 25 cents a day to the library to keep it another week or two!

  3. What a wonderful week in Bend! It must have been so different when your mom was growing up there. I love your mom's navigating. I remember figuring out what my parents meant when they referred to businesses by what they used to be known as, even though it was before my time. Piggly Wiggly?!? Now I'm the one going "That used to be an empty field...I remember when that was an A&W..."

    A few years ago my family scattered my parents' ashes at a special place on Mt. Hood. I'm glad your family had a lovely farewell to your dad at Elk Lake.

  4. We have spent time in Oregon, mostly in the eastern part of the state, mostly rock hunting. We stayed in Bend at one point. It was lovely. My favorite part was going to Portland and visiting all the Beverly Cleary things (statues, Klickitat Street, the public library).

    What a wonderful time you had with your family! Aren't grandchildren the best? Your Ian loves the guitar.

    I live in a county with a wonderful library system. I never have any trouble keeping my books as long as I like. For a long time, the system had a policy of allowing teachers and librarians to check out books for six weeks at a time. That was especially helpful.

    Have a great week!

  5. Oh my! Thank you for sharing the Rick Steves special on fascism. Everyone should watch this.

  6. I'll definitely see if I can find the Rick Steves show, thank you for that. Like you, I am disturbed by the direction our country has taken and it only seems to be getting worse by the day. Just yesterday I compared myself to the Germans who did nothing as Hitler came to power and did nothing. And, like many of them, I am not sure what I can do.


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