Things I wish I didn’t overhear at the carnival

imageAs I’ve mentioned, during our town’s annual spring Rhododendron Festival, the carnival sets up across the street from our home.

Literally.

If it were any closer, I could high-five everyone on the tilt-a-whirl without leaving the couch.  So each night after work, I walk two blocks home and pass through the carnival, enjoying the fact that the sound of screaming teenagers — for once — isn’t coming from any of mine. I take time to watch the interactions of people, the motion of the rides, the flashing lights, and take in the carnival-specific aroma of frying corn dogs and sweet cotton candy mixed with freshly spewed vomit from the squirrel cages.

Being a writer, this is a target-rich environment of atmosphere, character and dialogue that I store in my memory to either draw from later or, as in the case of what I’m about to share with you, eventually discuss with my psychiatrist or lawyer.

For example…  Continue reading

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The importance of accepting what homelessness isn’t

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With today being National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, it was an opportunity to use today’s editorial to raise awareness about an issue that has often been dealt with through stereotypes instead of solutions…

 

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imageThere are a lot of things we’re proud of as Oregonians:

The scenic beauty we are constantly surrounded by.

Our generally progressive thinking on important issues.

Being outside of California.

Yet, amid all the things about Oregon that make us proud, there’s one thing I find it hard to admit about my beloved state.

While homelessness has declined around the nation, Oregon continues to have the highest percentage of homeless families with children. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of homeless families decreased in 41 states across America while, in Oregon, we experienced a 2.5 percent increase — the fifth highest in the nation.

Right after California.  Continue reading

Finally, my town is known for something other than exploding whales

image Being that my family and I live in a coastal town, we are privy to a run of grey whales passing by on their way to and from the gulf of Mexico twice a year. Whether this migration is the result of natural instincts or male whales refusing to ask for directions is unclear. What I do know is that our small town of Florence, Ore., recieved national attention back in 1970, when a whale caracass washed up on a nearby beach. Though tourism skyrocketed during the first few days, that began to change as
nature took its course and a two-mile radius began to smell like a port-o-potty at an outdoor sushi convention.

City officials were suddenly faced with two crucial questions:

1) How to dispose of tons of rotting whale as quickly as possible?

And

2) Would the “I Had a Whale of a Time in Florence” T-shirts arrive it in time? Continue reading