Monday, December 3, 2007

Warmth In a Storm

Considering the storm we just had in the Pacific northwest and in lieu of the number of calls and emails we have received from everyone concerning how we "weathered the storm", I thought I would post this letter which I wrote to many of my family members this morning. From this you will see that all is well and that there was another purpose for writing.

Hello everyone,

It is finally light enough that I can see to write this letter to you. As the back side of me is being warmed by the small wood stove in the corner of our kitchen, I am reminded of being young again, back “home”, with the thought of that old “Warm Morning” stove in the “big room”, and except for the coal cook stove in the basement kitchen, that was the only source of heat we had for the four rooms on that level plus the 2 attic bedrooms.
(I am thankful that is a memory.)

The last several days the Oregon coast has been experiencing 90-100 mph winds while inland we have had gusts of around 50 mph. Needless to say our power went out last night around 7, and since it had done that earlier today (for a couple hours) and the day prior (again a couple hours), we just assumed it would be back on some time during the night as we slept.

So as it goes we awakened around 4:30 this morning to a rather cool house and knew the power was still off. My husband said, “I’m going to build a fire… or better yet let’s go down the hill and get a cup of coffee at McDonalds”. We dressed, dislodged the mechanism from the garage door so we could manually open it, got into the car and headed down the driveway only to be confronted with a large tree which had fallen, blocking egress, and power lines dangling in the air along the side of the road. Back up the driveway and chain saw in hand, my husband and I returned, he cutting the large logs as I threw the branches and smaller cuttings into a pile and all the while being cognizant of the wire's position. We then continued down the hill until such time as our electrical co-op might answer their phones.

Our morning was not as pleasant as we had anticipated, but clearly the times 'way back then ' were more difficult for everyone. But there were good times too, and because of our struggles we learned how to earn our way. Look at each of us now and what we have compared to what 'Bobu ' (means grandmother) had. None of us has to pick up coal along the railroad tracks or first heat the water we carried prior to bathing.

Our homes are warm, clean and comfortable, and all we do is flip a switch or turn a knob to make it all happen. We have the best and more than we need, and I don’t believe we know hunger anymore. Thank God. I am thankful for where we are and who we have all become.

That is quite a bit of reminiscing in order to get to another point of the letter: some time ago I told several of you I would make a copy of the family photo with our grandmother Tekle and grandfather Joseph. Aunt Stella, although you had not yet been born and Bobu is holding my mother, I believe it may be the only photo of your father with most of the children. (taken 1921)

I used my digital camera to take a picture of the portrait and scanned it into my computer for there was no other way. When I removed it from the frame, I found the photo to be curved and extremely brittle; in fact, it has developed a crack and any additional handling will only cause it to crumble. Evidently the glass has held the cardboard-like material intact and protected it all these years. My guess is that it will eventually disintegrate just as some of the faces are beginning to fade. When I talked with a photography studio about getting a better quality print, they said it had to be flattened for a better reproduction, so of course that was not an option. So with this we have now preserved this piece of our history and the photo as best we can, and it can be added to your genealogy books.

We will be doing a little traveling during the holidays and wish everyone a wonderful Christmas, Happy New Year, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.

Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and that we love you.