Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easters From Yesteryear

Today is Easter and I thought it a perfect time to take a little journey to yesteryear and share a few pictures of Holly and Gregg having an Easter Egg hunt or two at their Grandpa and Grandma Scearce's house on Belmont Road in Hood River. These pictures must have been circa 1954-56.

 Holly & Gregg with their grandma's brother, Uncle Steve Roberts.
Their grt. grandma, May Zimmerman-Roberts on the left and their mother, Maryann Scearce-Hanners on the right. Gregg & Holly in the middle. Can you see their baby bunny?
Here is grt. grandma cut off, but Holly is seen with a better sight of the bunny and dad, Dan Hanners and mother, Maryann. Isn't that a nice view of the yard and orchard?!
Holly with her dad enjoying the tiny bunny rabbit, which Gregg is coming to see.
 Looks like Holly is going away to see the baby duck and left her dad holding the bunny.
Here they are admiring the baby duck. Dad, Holly, Gregg and this time their grandpa, Dick Scearce.
Isn't that a darling little duck?!
 Gregg almost looks like he is giving it a kiss. He sure looks happy.
 Looks like Holly isn't sure if she wants to get close to it or not?!
Here's a good one with Dad, Mom, Gregg, and the duck. That must have been a fun Easter.
 As you can see this is a few years later, at yet another Easter at the grand-folks house. Looks like grandpa, Dick Scearce is peeking from behind Gregg and Holly. They have some nice baskets full of eggs too.
Here are the two a few years older. I wonder whose idea it was to get their picture taken with the scary man in a rabbit costume?! This is one of those pictures that could scar you for life. Gregg looks relieved that the rabbit has grabbed Holly and not him and poor Holly looks like she is just waiting to run.

These pictures sure bring back lots of memories of Easter out at the Orchard and all those fun egg hunts we put on for the kids. Remember the year Dads guinea fowl went around and pecked holes in all of the eggs we hid, so Mom went and bought plastic ones and filled them with chocolate eggs instead?! Or the year Mom rented baby bunnies from the pet store just for the day, so all the kids could enjoy them?! I'll never forget those fun times and all of those lovely Easter dinners with the family all gathered together.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Clouds Like Cotton Balls Filled The Sky

Every day there seems to be something new and interesting about our Island home. Yesterday it came in the form of a lightening and thunder storm that rattled the windows and shook the doors. However in the morning the sun was out and the birds were singing in the tree's like nothing had even happened to interrupt their tranquility.

The other day I went out with my camera and went crazy taking pictures, because the sky was just full of clouds that looked like cotton balls all lined up neatly in rows as far as the eye could see. I just couldn't believe it. I thought I should post a few shots, so here they are for your enjoyment. Have you ever seen anything so lovely?!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tygh Valley All Indian Rodeo - Good to see they finally covered the stands!

1975 Tygh Valley, Oregon All Indian Rodeo

Today I came across the only picture I have of the one time I went to the Tygh Valley, Oregon all Indian Rodeo. Now this picture doesn't really seem like much I know, but the truth it is hiding in it pixels is hilarious in the extreme.

Over all I would have to say that the rodeo wasn't all that interesting. It was very hot where I was sitting and there wasn't a speck of shade. I had come there with my boy friend and his family, thinking it would be an interesting diversion, but instead I was soon hot, tired and bored out of my skull, and feeling very annoyed because the people near us had a very small baby which was being burnt by the sun and they were too busy drinking beer to take notice.

Anyway, after watching the umpteenth Indian bucked off a nag and off several bulls, and the usual hitching, roping and wild cow throwing, I was really tired of it and just wanted to go home. The most interesting thing of the whole day, inside the arena, had been the trick riders, the clowns, and the Indian princess done up in fancy regalia.

I had become so bored I borrowed a pair of binoculars and was idly scanning the far hill with them, when I lit upon some objects in the far distance under a tree.

This is the original snapshot I took of the rodeo and the far hill in the distance. I noticed that the hill had a dirt trail leading to the top, not far from the objects I saw under the tree. At first I couldn't tell what the objects were so I zoomed in with my binoculars, thinking it was goats or cows laying there chewing their cuds. It was not! There on a nice cozy blanket a couple naked as jaybirds, were enjoying a rodeo of a different kind. Embarrassed I quickly panned my binoculars away, just in time to catch sight of a man on a motorcycle barreling up the trail towards the couple on the blanket. Fortunately for them they heard him coming and I watched as he reached the point in the trail right across from them. I panned back to the couple who were grabbing for their clothes, and then back to the rider who had paused and nearly fell off his motorcycle from what he had seen. I couldn't help it I burst out laughing. The people around me were staring at me like I had lost it or something, but I didn't care. I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped off this picture, not because I could see anything the couple was doing or even wanted to, but because I wanted to always remember this crazy hilarious moment.
Below I have diagrammed my picture so you can see the funny sequence of events.

The black circle shows where the couple were enjoying themselves under the tree.
This picture shows where the dirt path went that the motorcyclist was on.
This picture shows the motorcyclist on his way back down the hill after his wild encounter.
Needless to say I have never forgotten my singular adventure in going to the Tygh Valley Rodeo that day, and remembering it still makes me laugh.

Memories of Childhood On The Old Cunliff & Tupper Ranches

Back in the early 1970's, in my teens, I lived for a time on a wheat, cattle, and alfalfa ranch, a mile or so west on the Cunliff Road, near the small rural community of Blockhouse, Washington. This was a close knit one horse town that if you blinked you would miss it, but we did have our own volunteer fire station with a couple of antique fire trucks, and an old country store run by the Bellamy's.

A conversation with a friend a few days ago, brought back memories of that place in my childhood days where I rode my horse and roamed freely over the countryside, when not hard at work doing farm chores. Unfortunately I have but few pictures from those days. We couldn't afford much in the way of camera's and farm life was mostly of such common everyday occurrence that no one thought about taking pictures of it.

I have only one picture of a Combine and it is not one belonging to the farmer my step-dad worked for but belonged to the father of a friend of mine. It is nearly identical however to the type of machine I used to drive so I will post it here.

Here I am on my Paint horse Papoose, in the alfalfa field just north of the house. Looks like our dogs are out in force as well. I used to ride my horse all over the ranch every chance I got. I remember riding her swiftly over that very field towards the west, forgetting the large irrigation ditch. We were running at full gallop when suddenly it loomed right up in front of us. Before I could yank hard on the reins to stop her, she gathered herself and leaped over, with me sailing right along with her. I think it gave us both quite a thrill. Before that I never knew she could jump at all and I was truly grateful we didn't wind up spraddled in the middle of that deep wet ditch.

Here is the old John Deere Combine I mentioned above. This is how the grain was unloaded from the hopper into the waiting grain truck. I remember that day was hotter than a fire cracker, about 120 degree's in the shade. The yellow jackets and grass hoppers were thick as flies and we had to park the machine in the sun to keep the bee's off of us, as they liked to hunt the grasshoppers that the combine had chopped up. The seat and controls were so hot when we got back on the machine after lunch that it burned our hands through our gloves and our rear ends right through our jeans. Add to that the dust and chaff that got everywhere in our clothes and would have got down our throats, if we hadn't tied a bandanna over our faces and you can just about get the picture of what miserable work it could be. This was before the days of air-conditioned, air-ride cabs, or at least the farmer my step-dad worked for wasn't going to purchase anything so expensive as that, when the old machine would do, and neither was my friends dad.

One thing I always wish I had taken a picture of was the long row of old used up Combines that were lined up near a fence on the old Tupper place. It was like looking at the history of Combines. Some of them were so old they had lots of wooden parts and wheels with spokes.

I don't have any pictures that are of the Swather my step-dad and I used to drive but was lucky enough to find some on the web, so include them here.

This old Case Swather is pretty identical to the one we drove. I used to follow behind this machine sometimes carrying a short piece of two-by-four, to swat the mice with. Our dogs also liked to hunt mice behind the swather. Dad would swath and the mice would run for the uncut portion of the field. Sometimes when he got to the end of the field, there would be no place left for the mice to hide and there would be gillions of the buggers and I would be running around like mad swatting left and right. The dogs always made sure that none got away. They would just bit a mouse and drop it and run to the next one.

You might take notice of that single wheel on the back of the machine. It pivoted as the machine turned so as to allow it a tighter turning radius. One day without thinking I ran up and jumped up onto the back of the machine, because I had got tired of walking. I was fine until Dad got to the top of the field and turned the machine to start back down. I was sitting too close and that wheel spun around hooked both of my legs, threw me on my face to the ground, and ran me over. Fortunately I was unhurt. The whole thing had happened in a flash and Dad couldn't see me back there, so he never knew what had happened. I didn't bother to tell him either because I felt really stupid for making such a silly mistake. After that if I needed to hitch a ride I made sure I was clear of the wheel.

John Deere 55 combine - Closest Model I could find To the One I Used To Drive

John Deere 1950's Model A -This was my Dads personal tractor that I drove. We tilled the garden with it.

1963 JOHN DEERE 4010 - This is the type of tractor I drove as a kid. What fun memories.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bracaidus The Bramble Dracken

Here is a poem I wrote inspired by an old tree rooted bramble I found on a ramble I took with my boys at Lost Lake. Later, tho I went back and searched and searched I could never find this bramble again.

 Bracaidus The Bramble Dracken

Today I met a Dragon in the wood,
he asked me if I thought my taste was good?!
I told him it was very plain to see,
no Dragon was intelligent as he.
The flattery was not a vainful boast,
I meant every word or I was toast.
For Dragons when they’re hungry can be coy,
they love to play with you just as a toy.
He said the grass is green come sit a while,
I sat but it was very hard to smile.
For tho he spoke in tones of honeyed bliss,
I did not care to get a dragons kiss.
He smiled sweetly thus again he spoke,
by now my heart had caused my throat to choke.
You look so good so rosy and so well,
I’d like to know your secret please do tell.
I did not think he meant to pass the time,
by gossiping about my health sublime.
He looked too hungry for my peace of mind,
I shivered even tho he did sound kind.
For if he chose ‘twould be the end of me,
just one swift gulp and I’d no longer be.
But how to make him leave and not offend,
a dragons claws could me so easy rend.
So there we sat together in the wood,
him wondering if my taste was really good.
I thinking I did not want for him to know,
for tasting me would only make him grow.
I said, if I were you I’d fly away,
I’ve heard there hunters in the woods today.
You wouldn’t want for them to catch you here,
he smiled a smile that looked more like a sneer.
I saw his look then said with trembling plea,
I’m not the meal you think that I would be.
The plumpness that you see is just my clothes,
remove them and my thinness you’ll expose.
He blinked his eyes and looked me over well,
just what was in his mind I could not tell.
He didn’t look convinced but said to me,
your clothes are tasteless that I will agree.
With that remark at least one thing I knew,
that Dragon was as tactless as a shrew.
Just then we heard a crackle in the wood,
with fear filled mind I jumped up and I stood.
Was it another dragon?! Something worse?!
I heard behind me then a stifled curse.
A group of hunters entered on the trail,
I raised my hand and gave a hearty hail.
Then turned my head at such a hissing sound,
that Dragon made me tremble to the ground.
But then as if a mist dropped from my eyes,
I saw as if ‘twas in another guise.
For there instead, a tree root in its place,
you should have seen the look upon my face.
No Dragon but a root within the wood,
no hunters but some stumps where they had stood.
I do not know what happened to this day,
it is a place most haunted locals say.
I took myself from out that mystic sphere,
just glad that all was naught, and I am here.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The House That Time Forgot

Gregg and I went for a lovely drive today among the lanes of one of the nicest area's of the Island. Ainaloa it is called, and tho the smoke from the Volcano can sometimes be seen, not far from this area, it sits safely upon high ground, so is not in any danger from lava flows itself. We often enjoy driving here, because its higher elevation makes it somewhat cooler, and the bird life is abundant.

While driving we came upon an unusual sight of this poor house reclaimed by the jungle, so I took a picture of it. When I got home and looked at the picture I felt moved to write about it, because it seemed so sad and forgotten. I wondered what its story was and how it came to be so sadly abandoned?! It inspired the poem below.

The House That Time Forgot

 I saw you there, beyond repair, within your jungle plot,
 and wondered why, what made you die, the house that time forgot.
Was it famine, was it flood, was it poverty,
that left you there beyond repair, it seemed a shame to me.
Did laughter ever happen, within your sagging walls,
did children play there every day, with happy shrilling calls?
What made you so abandoned, what caused your sodden rot,
the saddest house I’ve ever seen, the house that time forgot.

However, I was also inspired to write a description, as a real estate agent would write it, were he or she selling this house to an unwary, "Mainlander."
A Timeless Jungle Home
This timeless lovely home is set in an idyllic setting amidst the beautiful jungle verdure. It has a very open feel, with the sweet aroma of mountain flowers wafting through its windows. The ceilings, vaulted in several places, makes for a very unique atmosphere and look. With open air bedrooms, living room, and kitchen. You will feel as if paradise is residing right within your walls. The abundance of birds and blooms is simply stunning, and must be seen to be believed.  Arranged to admit the utmost privacy, it is nearly move in ready. It will not last long at this price so call today and own your very own special piece of paradise. It is for sale for the reasonable asking price of 4, 5000, 000. All taxes, leans, and arrears must be paid by the buyer.