a week in the life

Since returning to work fully full time I have little time or energy for other than—work. Newberg Friends Church is rebuilding from its foundation after a major split. I don’t know if we are taking baby steps or giant steps, but we are fully focused! When I say “we,” I mean many who have stepped up to take on big and little responsibilities and roles in a pastorless church. Pastorless until a week ago, that is. A former NFC pastor, Dick Sartwell, has returned for nine months as interim while a search committee finds a good fit for lead pastor.

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We have only one worship gathering now, as you can see.

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But the church is full, as you can see.

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This morning the handbell choir played. (This was their rehearsal, explaining the open platform door.) Some ringers nervously played for the first time, but they did remarkably well, encouraged to try it again.

So those of us who have stayed with the church feel encouraged for our future but also the sadness brought about by the departure of so many.

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On Friday I said farewell to my coworker Denise after 14 years. She’s moving her workday across town to a place I’ll still see her on occasion.

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I was still in a boot so couldn’t participate in a local event that opened the still-under-construction bypass for walkers and riders. If you look at the rider behind the lead you’ll probably recognize facial features that belong to Mauri Macy.

I snapped a pic from the Newberg Graphic . . .

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. . . along with this quote.

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This is Brynn. She was visiting her Mamaw and Papaw in Arizona with Erin (who posted this pic on Instagram).

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Our Beautyrest mattress, guaranteed to outlive us, did not. So Mauri ordered a new one online. It came in this box, weighing 95 pounds.

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They’ll come pick it up if in 30 days we decide it doesn’t work for us. I’m sure you will wait right here to find out.

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Mauri posted this picture of his beloved Martin guitar on a vintage guitar Facebook group page. He had just suffered three months of separation from it while an expert in Eugene worked on it (new frets and a long list of adjustments). He was extremely pleased and wanted to share kudos on the page that led him to this expert. Around 40 “likes” last time he checked and some fun comments.

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Beth is in Virginia with the kids. She and Taylor flew east to have some family beach time and then to be with Beth’s folks in Herndon, Virginia, for a while. The “for a while” has turned into a lot longer. Taylor was still on paternity leave when he looked into possibilities for a company transfer to the DC area. Long story short, they are moving. It’s very exciting for them, given the nearness to Beth’s family, but very sad for the Andersons, who loved having them close. Sad for me too, of course, since AZ is much more accessible than VA. But we always have FaceTime!

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We don’t get out to the beach very often, but Rachel’s birthday was last week, and that calls for a Macy/Williams family outing.

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After the drive out we were all ready for lunch. Imagine walking into a small cafe at noon and asking for a table for 13! The host/waitress wasn’t the slightest bit flustered by the prospect, and as you can see managed to fit us all in—and together!

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We even got to meet baby Nile, the newest addition.

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Another keeper!

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Who ordered this beautiful day for us? If it was you, THANK YOU!

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Oh dear. Looks like something is heading our direction.

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No worries. The Macy brothers always come prepared for any kind of weather. John says “I’ve never had a bad day at the beach.” They quickly built a shelter and a roaring fire to cover us and keep us warm.

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And when the rain stopped, the guys kept their hackysack tradition.

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Mauri and I headed back before the others, figuring our dog at home would appreciate some relief and some food. So we might have missed out on gathered remembering of Rachel. But I was ready with my remembrance of this scarf, her last gift to me. She was very intentional in choosing it, and always with love.

Posted in family matters, in the neighborhood | 1 Comment

nut dryer

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The day started like this for Mauri on the 71st anniversary of his birth. He did the cooking, of course. I provided the ambiance. He would have a rehearsal in the evening, so any other celebrating would happen between 1 and 5 p.m.

“What would you like to do?” He didn’t have a good thought so early in the day.

By mid-morning an idea had sprung to mind, and he acted right away to set it up.

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Sometime in the early ’90s, Mauri stopped along Schaad Road to take pictures of a nut dryer he’d been eyeing as he often rode his bike across the ribboned gravel roads of Parrett Mountain .

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His interest grew every time he passed as he wondered if it would ever be for sale (he asked, it wasn’t) to convert to a home. He had a vision for what it could become!

Linsey recently closed the deal, making Russ and Jess the new owners. Between the time of Mauri’s interest and this new transaction, the nut dryer had been owned and moderately renovated by a winery as storage space.

Our close association with Russ and Jess through church and their design and remodel business (and through the work Russ did on our cookin’ room, giving us the “pullouts” we still exclaim over) opened the door for Mauri to text Russ to ask “Can we come up to see the inside?”

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The doc put me in a walking boot a week ago, allowing me to clomp around the property and inside too.

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These two have four young children, so they’re living an adventure in temporary carved-out living quarters while the renovation work is done.

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Mauri was in heaven, but I might not have noticed, being in a heaven of my own just looking up at this open ceiling, those long beams, smelling the wood.

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They’re going to put insulation above what we can see so they can keep as much of the original detail as possible just as it is.

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My pictures severely limit the whole project, but you can get a sense for how much history hangs under all those beams.

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Yes, of course they’re going to use that barn door, a style now made famous on Fixer Upper. Mauri is pointing to . . .

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. . . this. He has known the Schaad family at least as long as that message was written there. A big advantage of living in one place so much of one’s life.

Russ and Jess have hired a professional photographer to capture all the stages of their project, start to finish. But I couldn’t resist grabbing these few pics to share with you.

By the end of the day, Mauri still hadn’t stopped talking about his big birthday highlight. We are so excited for our friends to design and accomplish this renovation of a lifetime. I hope it will tie them to Newberg for many years to come.

Posted in family matters, in the neighborhood, nostalgia | 3 Comments

hot dog!

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This was not your typical hot dog stand. No no. It was an EVENT!

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These girls and their parents advertised well, worked hard, and it paid off with a large turnout! And what better cause than to help build a house for a deserving family in Juarez?

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The food was great and we got to see all the local family except Linsey (whose weekends are busy with showing and selling houses because who wouldn’t want to live in Oregon?)

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If you want to watch a fun video of last year’s build, CLICK HERE for John Macy’s time lapse. It’s too wonderful for words.

Posted in family matters, grandkids, in the neighborhood | Leave a comment

sidelined

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This workshop was offered just one day too late for me. I’ve done the “staying healthy” part. I passed my annual wellness appointment with flying colors, even with accolades. But that didn’t help much on Wednesday morning when the side of my shoe caught in a small lip in the pavement of the office parking lot as I turned from a conversation to go back inside. My body kept turning, but my foot did not! Gravity took over and I went tumbling down: palms instinctively went first, then knee, then ribcage/arm, and finally, temple. George Fox University Serve Day was just underway, so the potential was high for an audience (which no one wants in moments of such grace) but I was glad our custodian, Brent, was nearby to give me a hand back to my feet and to watch as I assessed the damages. I hobbled inside and sat down. My ankle hurt a little and started to swell, but my attention was focused much more on the set of ribs on my left side. Whoa! They would give me trouble!

The office was abuzz. Carolyn reminded me to elevate my foot; Julie found ice for the swelling. Mauri brought comfort: his own plus a hot chocolate from Coffee Cottage. Lisa encouraged heat/ice alterations for my ribs. She moved my car when those assigned to powerwashing the parking lot got too close. And Brent was appropriately attentive, checking in on me while he directed the students’ work.

As the shock died down, I grew more and more bummed. My job has returned to 40-hour weeks because there is so much to do these days. We try to fight the sin of indispensability, but in some ways I truly am indispensable. The church is counting on me in a variety of ways — right now! So I stayed through 1pm, the end of office hours, then went home to lick my wounds and my withering spirits. At 4pm I dug through old meds and found a Vicadin. From 2011. I’ve kept it for such a time as this, so, yes, I swallowed it with some water. And became oh so happy.

At 6pm I took the encouragement of several to see a professional, and Mauri drove me to the ER.

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Since I had zero pain in my ankle, I was very surprised and dismayed to learn it was broken. Of course it wouldn’t be anything like the damage I did in our blowout 11 years ago. It’s only a small break and will hopefully heal fast.

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I went home in a splint and will remain hopeful that in a week I can go immediately into a boot rather than a cast.

But my ribs! Another matter entirely. They are furious about what I did to them and they make this known every time I move.

Which means neither crutches nor walker turn out to be very useful as transportation.

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Ta-da! Meet my lifeboat! Cathie Jo, the owner of this little beauty, has become my sweet soul sister in recent months. I’m pretty sure she hides wings under her clothes. She stepped up to “man” the office in my absence, says “I can do that!” to every need, and asks “what else can I do?” A true God-send. On top of that, having just recovered from an ankle break herself, she offered this to aid my mobility.

So I’m not the indispensable one after all. Mauri and Cathie Jo and all the other good people helping me are the heroes. And I’m grateful.

Posted in 514, in the neighborhood | 2 Comments

a rose by any other name

We decorate the neighborhood every year with our streetside rose garden. It’s a satisfying “effort.” I put effort in quotes because the effort expended has nothing to do with me, beyond the money we spend to have it maintained and watered.

I’m home from work today (Labor Day) and took a minute to walk out the front door to check the air (we have smoke and heat). Our roses are clearly fading, having done their due diligence, especially through an extra hot summer. I haven’t cut a single one to take inside, so today was the day.

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The white ones in the first picture grow from the spot we buried Paul’s cremains 23 years ago, the memory of Margaret-Rose only a few feet from there.

I did a search on this site to see if I’ve ever shared the 55-word story I wrote about this rose garden. I had——in 2007, ten years ago. Maybe it’s OK to share it again, since it’s on my mind and fits my thoughts only days after the 29th anniversary of MM-R’s death:

Love, Continued

They had met long ago. Only letters spanned
the intervening years. Nothing romantic developed;
their hearts belonged to others.
“I wish you’d known him better,” she said.
“I wish you’d known her better,” he said.
No jealousy exists as the two watch
from some celestial porch.
“They remember us in those roses.”
“And our children.”

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coffee anyone?

In my last post I included a little story about Cassidy and why she and her mom accompanied Dusty to South America on a business trip. Our children live exciting lives, full of travel and adventure, and I don’t often share their pictures. But today I’m making an exception because, well, because Quinn sent story-telling pictures and because I can!

Here’s how their day (yesterday) went:

“We picked coffee beans today in the Andes Mountains, no big deal. (Except to us, it was a big deal!!) Once in a lifetime experience… @ Cumaca, Cundinamarca, Colombia”

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Dusty was sure I’d want this picture in my collection. Can you see why? (I’ll save the answer for another post.)

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Considering the altitude . . .

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I asked how it tasted: “Delish. Your granddaughter ate five freshly roasted beans before we cut her off. It’s in the genes.”

Posted in family matters, grandkids, travels | 1 Comment

birthdays and more

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The prelude to Declan’s second birthday was to face his carseat forward, as state law permits or requires. He’ll have a whole new look at the world from now on.

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I doubt he remembers anything about his first birthday, so every part of the celebration of his second year of birth was exciting.

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He won’t likely remember his second birthday celebration when he turns three, but I could be wrong.

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Daddy forgot to buy candles, but crayons make a more memorable cake, since Declan loves to color. Lighting them might have been a challenge, though. His great aunt Debbie arrived the day before to help Taylor and Beth with the twins, and caught this shy birthday smile.

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Speaking of helping with the twins, you can see that Declan is starting to help too. This is Avery.

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And this is Emery.

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Their one-month pictures. Avery . . .

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Emery. They’re growing. She’s more than six pounds!

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The very next day, this girl—Cassidy Laine—turned 14! And she spent the day traveling to and celebrating in Bogota, Columbia, South America! Here’s the story, in short. The Andersons, preferring to gift their children with experiences, decided to take Cass out of school in order to accompany Dusty on a business trip to Columbia. It was an opportunity too good to pass—happening on her birthday and a trip to South America! Not long ago Cassidy realized she’d told people that South America was on the list of continents she’s visited, when in fact she’d been to Central America. “My whole life has been a lie!” Turns out her own parents had led her astray, thinking Guatemala was in South America. So parental error. 😂 But now, she’s officially been to four continents! Cass is a young woman of integrity, and that’s why this mistake bothered her so greatly.

And just look at that newly braces-free smile! Dusty has nice teeth too, but given his recent health scare, we focus more on the fact he can work and travel and live life almost to the full (his knee not entirely healed).

[As I wrote this post, Quinn texted some pictures of their time in SA. I’ll add them at the end so can see part of their adventure if you want. She knows how much I enjoy being part of their adventures through pictures.]

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These fun boys, Will and Lincoln, were my charges last night, so I snapped some pictures of them playing together in their backyard. They are a kick in the pants!

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Darcy Girl isn’t our grandkid nor is it her birthday, but yesterday was National Dog Day, which should count for some mention, don’t you think? Here is her reaction to learning about the national notice she received.

—  BONUS PICTURES FOLLOW  —

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On their way up to Monserrate.

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The end (for now).

Posted in family matters, grandkids | 1 Comment