Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

And we didn’t even think to take a picture!

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

From 2013 — Lucille Pierce and Sharon Van Heuitt (Nine years later, Lucille looks just the same!)

The four of us met for lunch — Lucille Pierce, Cherry Harding, Barbara Bennet, and I — for the first time since the Pandemic.  It might have been the first time, too, that Lucille had not driven herself from Portland for our “almost annual” get-togethers.  But then, she is 101!  She does still drive around her Portland neighborhood (near Reed College) and tries to do the “all right-hand-turns thing,” she told us.  Otherwise… no concessions to age.  She goes to church every Sunday, enjoys the symphony regularly, takes a yoga class, and… she wore the rest of us out, just hearing about it.

Barbara Bennett Parsons – photo from,m

Barbara Bennett Parsons is the youngest of us four but says she has “practically” retired now.  Although she and her husband now live in Montesano, she maintains an office  in Hoquiam where she grew up.  There, on the second floor 0f the historic building that houses the post office, Barbara  lovingly takes care of the extensive legacy of her father, the late Hoquiam artist Elton Bennett (1910-1974). Most of Elton Bennett’s work consists of serigraphs (also called silk-screens).   And she gardens and rides her trail bike and is active in so many community events, it’s hard to believe that she has time to organize these luncheons.

The Quintessential Cherry Harding!

Besides me, the only Peninsula-ite was Cherry Harding.  I wish we had each stopped to tell how we all came to know one another.  Since we didn’t, I’m afraid I can only share from my perspecitive! Long ago, Cherry worked for us at the Bookvendor and, since then, she is everyplace all the time — the schools, CPHM, the library book sales.  Cherry is the Queen of the Volunteers! When Lucille lived here she, also, was active in everything but I always think of her as the Grand Dame of Water Music — one of the first movers-and-shakers of the Festival.  And Barbara lived here for a few years and ran an art gallery in Long Beach (or maybe Seaview?) on the east side Pacific Avenue.  Plus, of course… it’s the Peninsula!  If you live here long enough, eventually you meet other “like-minded” folks and, if you are lucky, continue having an annual lunch-get-together with them for about a gazillion years.

We laughed and talked and checked on each others’ health issues. We remembered old friends, lamented those who had left too soon, and talked about old times.  And, of course, we all said, “Same time next year!”

Oysterville: In joy, in sorrow, a safe harbor.

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Bud Goulter

It’s been a week since my last entry in the Oysterville Daybook — a week of love and laughter, of deep sorrow and reminiscence, of outreach and introspection.  Our house has been filled with friends, new and old, and the village has hosted at least three weddings — at the church, at the schoolhouse, and at one of the neighbors’.

We’ve also lost our oldest, most colorful “character” — Bud Goulter.  He was 95 and, the last time I saw him (just a few weeks back at the post office) he asked after “Niles.” commented on the “newcomers” in town, and gave me a hug and a buss on the cheek!  Our meetings weren’t always so cordial through the years but, with the news of his passing, I’m glad about that last encounter.  A kind of closure to a lifetime of knowing one another’s families and foibles and skeletons in the closets.  I wondered, briefly, if I’m now Oysterville’s oldest citizen…  but I think it must be Charlotte by a few months.

Les and Ann Driscoll, Ava’s Parents

It wasn’t too many days later that our neighbor Sue told us that Ava, her neice, was gravely ill.  “Too young!” we thought.  We saw on Dan Driscoll’s facebook page that she had died; we’re not sure of the day.  Our hearts ache for all her family but most especially for her parents, Ann and Les.  It never seems that the order of things should allow a child to pre-decease the parents.  Words seems so inadequate… especially for lifelong neighbors in this tiny village.

Mark, Dale, Cameron, Helen, Sydney, Nyel

And in amongst the sorrow here… our friends Cameron, Dale, Helen, and Mark — the Rose City Mixed Quartet — arrived last Saturday.  They brought food for that evening, all-day Sunday, and Monday’s breakfast PLUS their sleeping bags (placed so carefully on the beds upstairs, I can’t tell that they were used at all) and their towels etc.  We laughed and visited and caught up with life-since-Covid and, to top it off, they did a House Concert for a small group here on Sunday evening.  What a gift they are in our lives!  I could hardly stand to say goodbye.

Barbara Canney – From Her FB Site

But… Barb to the rescue!  Barbara Canney, my friend since 1978 when my Uncle Willard “hired” her to organize our family documents and put me “in charge” as her mentor.  Our roles have reversed and yo-yoed over the years even though she lives in Massachussetts and we see each other less frequently than we would like.  She’s here for ten days and then her husband John is joining her for a mini-vacation.   And why is she here (you might wonder)?  Nyel hired her to help get my computer files (especially photos) in order.  It was my 85th birthday present but Covid interfered and so… here we are!  We laugh, we cry, we talk about old times and speculate about the future.  We might even get something done on the files!

OMG what a week!  I left out so much — and probably forgot a whole bunch, too.  Day by day blogging is oh so much easier and I hope I can get back on track.  Sometimes it’s hard when you live in Oysterville.

An Old-fashioned Sunday Afternoon…

Monday, April 25th, 2022


Erik and Pat Fagerland came visiting yesterday.  We did some serious “catching up” with family news, with personal concerns and achievements, and just with the usual guzz’n’gossip that a long-time friendship entails.  It was THE BEST and reminded me of Sunday afternoons of my childhood when my grandparents sat in this very same room visiting with their friends and loved ones.  If these wall could talk, oh the stories they could tell and the warm embraces of friendship they could share!

Barb: My belated birthday present!!

Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Barbara Canney – From Her FB Site

For my 85th birthday in 2021, Nyel’s gift was to have my friend Barbara Canney of Cohasset, MASS, come and organize my files — computer files or hard copy files, my choice.

(Background: in 1980, my Uncle Willard arranged for Barb — who was about to begin her Senior Project at Evergreen — to come and catalogue the Espy Family Papers.  He agreed to pay her a stipend for one academic quarter; the project took her a year and a half and became the foundation for the Espy Archive, now housed at the WSHS Archive Center.  I was her “mentor” during that project… )

What a FABULOUS gift!  And who would be better qualified to dive into the morass that loosley qualify as “my files”?  In that long-ago year and a half that Barb was here, we became fast friends and have remained so — never mind that a continent and family obligations etc. etc. separate us.

The Canney Family, 2014

Unfortunately, though, Covid and other health issues have intervened and my gift has yet to be delivered, but… NOW, FINALLY Barb has her ticket and will arrive May 17th!  St. Patrick’s Day!  She’ll be here for a week and then her husband John will join her for a week-long vacation here in the place where they did their courting long ago.

I am SO excited!  Never mind that I need to organize my office so that Barb can organize my files.  And never mind that we’re not sure if she should start with documents or photographs.  And never mind that, like her initial work on the Espy papers, this week should segue into several years…  It’s a start.  And so much more!

My husband has the best idea for presents…ever!!!

Sorry we missed saying “goodbye,” Margie!

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Marjorie Cochrane

Clay wrote a note today to say that he was home in Sandpoint, now that Margie had passed away…

His mother-in-law, Margie Cochrane — tiny, soft-spoken, eleven (almost twelve) years older than I.  Also a writer, we shared drafts of books yet unpublished and encouraged one another when we could.  Mostly it was during the intermissions of House Concerts or sometimes at the Bayside Singers’ presentations.  Our paths seldom crossed, though we lived within a few miles of one another.  Always, though, her bright eyes and interested smile belied her frailness…

We were in Seattle — Nyel fighting his own health issues — and though he asked me to bring him the papers, I think he was too ill to read them. I am so sorry we didn’t know.  Sorry I couldn’t have sent good thoughts as she took her last journey.  Sorry I couldn’t tell Clay how much we admired him and his wife for their years of devotion.  Sorry we didn’t spend one last intermission together…



The Annual D&L@TBB Gathering Resumes

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Nyel and Michelle

Yes! It was The Annual Don(McQuarrie) and Laura(Creekman) at the Bridgewater Bistro Gathering last night.  Almost all of us were there.  We almost always have been there for the last fourteen years — or so.  We really can’t remember.

Last night, besides Don and Laura — who long ago lived on the Peninsula and moved away when their three children were small — there were Noel and Pat Thomas who also used to live on the Peninsula in those days, and Nyel and me who still do, and Tony and Ann Kischner who still do but we can hardly remember that because they are the owners-operators extraordinaire of the Bistro and that’s where we usually find them.

Don, Laura, and Tony

Missing from the usual Gatherers were Chris and Dave Jensen who, also, still live on the Peninsula but were not quite home from some exotic get-away last night.  And, we had one extra surprise person — Tony and Ann’s youngest daughter, Michelle (Doctor, Wife, Mother of Four) who came to hug us all and to tell us how important we each had been in her life.  What an incredible woman we “collectively” (according to her own words) turned out!

Part of Tony, Ann, and Nyel

And, there you have it!  We hadn’t gathered since Covid struck and, since then, many milestones have been approached and dealt with — bad health issues for several of the guys, a grandchild on its way for Don and Laura — expected in October on Laura’s birthday!  And between Don and Nyel enough weight lost to equal another person!  OMG!

That we have survived the Pandemic (thus far), that we still have lots to laugh about, that we all teared up at Michelle’s remarks, that we all remember Red’s and MaryLou’s and the days when Fred Rutherford was mayor, and that none of us can quite believe that we all got this old — all that and more will keep us coming back in the years ahead — god willin’ an’ the creek don’t rise!

It’s lambykins for dinner! Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 17th, 2022

Gerbera Daisy — Beloved by Deer and Slugs and ME OH MY!

This day went by in a flurry. First I was late with my morning call to Barbara Canney in Cohasset who said, “OMG!  I thought you might have gone to church!”  We laughed and I recalled the time that my dad thought Charlie really needed to know about church attendance.  So he took Charlie on Easter Sunday to Grace Cathedral on San Francisco’s Nob Hill for the “full meal deal.”  Charlie was ten.  Grandpa loved every minute of it but as I remember Charlie was silent on the matter.  Charlie’s next “church experience” was six or seven years later when he was visiting his father in NYC and went to see “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

The Cutest Easter Bunny Rab EVER – By Nanci Main

Our friends Petra and Michael came by — brought us smoked salmon and stories and lots of laughter. It was so lovely to see them!  Then Nyel got busy making dinner.  The plan was to eat at four o’clock.  As I write this, it is six-oh-one and the lamb has just gone into the oven.  Yes! A four pound leg of lamb, boned and rolled that I picked up at Gulley’s Butcher Shop in Astoria yesterday.  Nyel specified what he wanted over the phone and my mouth has been watering ever since!

Chef Nyel and The Lambykins!

To add to the ambience of Easter and the season — a lovely Gerbera Daisy from Pat Fagerland that will go into the garden when danger of frost is over (as in WHEN do you think THAT might be.)  AND the sweetest Easter Bun Rab in town from Nanci Main — I know the bread will be delicious but can we really cut into this cute little fellow?

Happy Easter Everyone!  I hope yours is as memorable as ours promises to be!


O is for Over the Moon in Oz & O’ville

Sunday, April 3rd, 2022

Nyel by Deidre Purcell, 2015

The word is just in — Nyel comes home tomorrow!

Meanwhile — ‘O’ has been for Overload here.  The editor literally pulled my Spooky Stories book off the press and has given me 48 hours (beginning yesterday morning) to review the PDF, note the errors, supply substitute images (I think there are 22 photos plus 10-or-so drawings that need replacement.)  All I can say is… it’s a work in progress…

But… first and foremost — Bill and Sue are picking me up tomorrow a.m. and we are going to Oz to fetch Nyel!!!  Yay!!  (Did I say that my 6’2″ husband, who a few years ago weighed about 170, is now at 147 pounds and the wizards are hoping for still more fluid loss.  And when the doctors asked when he last weighed 150, he thought a minute and then answered, “Probably when I was 12.”)

Cast Members – “A Bag Full of Miracles”

Little Red Hen was still hanging in last night — had hunkered down on the floor below the nest boxes; apparently without energy enough to fly up to the roost.  Though it was late — about 10:30 I think — Slutvana (who was on the roost) was wakeful, keeping an anxious eye on her friend.

And one final FABUOUS part to report — The BEST NEIGHBORS EVER Tucker and Carol treated me last night to dinner and the theater — a great meal at the Compadre and an absolutely hilarious time seeing so many friends in “A Bagful of Miracles!”  I loved it all!  And I’m absolutely sure that one of the miracles that Rita has been toting around in that bag of hers had Nyel’s name on it!  How else do you explain an early morning call today with the joyful news!  Bill and Sue say they’ll be picking me up at seven ayem for the ride to Oz!  I am definitely over the moon!

“Reunion” in Oz – Day 21

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Jayden’s in South Bend

When I read the email from my friend Pat Moss yesterday morning saying she was going up to Seattle to the UW Medical Center and could she take anything to Nyel, my response was instantaneous.  “Yes!  Take me!!”  And then I asked, “When?” which, after all, was immaterial.  “Today,” was the answer.  “When can you get here?”  It was then 9 a.m.

I was in Ilwaco by 10:30, enough packed for two days and nights plus a library book Nyel wanted, some papers from Lum’s for him to sign and two or three of my wits along for good measure!  It was a leisurely trip up “the back way” with several stops enroute, including take-out sandwiches from Jayden’s in South Bend which were FABULOUS!  We caught the 4:15 ferry from Bremerton which put us in Seattle too late to visit Nyel that day, so here I am back at the Residence Inn.  I’ll catch the early morning shuttle to UWMC to see him.  Woot! Woot!

AND on that front… last evening the doctors began Nyel’s transition to oral meds so he can be untethered from the IV drips and, hopefully, stabilized and homeward bound in a few days.  I have alerted our “Beach-to-Oz Medical Transport” (Bill and Sue Grennan and their van) and it may well be that I’ll go home tomorrow with Pat and have only a day or two turn-around before coming back again to fetch Nyel and say farewell to Oz for a good long time (we hope.)

On The Ferry From Bremerton

On the home front:  As of last night, Carol W. reports that Little Red Hen is still hanging in — just sitting, almost comatose in the coop run.  On Teresa Millner’s suggestion, Carol made a mash of yogurt, poultry food, and water and took it to LRH.  “I stuck it under her beak so she could smell it and she began eating it right away,” Carol told me on the  phone.  “And Slutvana came right over to help her out!”  Nurse Carol left the bowl of mash with them so we will see what today’s report brings.

So, all-in-all, things are looking up for the Oysterville-Oz contingent.  We can’t thank all of you enough for your good thoughts, your prayers, and your encouraging words. We aren’t out of the proverbial woods quite yet but the clear skies over Willapa Bay are beckoning.  Stay tuned…

Report From Oz – Day Five

Monday, March 14th, 2022

The first flowers arrived here at Residence Inn — addressed to Sydney and Nyel from Kitt and Doug “with wishes for sunny days.”  A gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses and daisies with small white carnations hither and thither, and all in a bright yellow pitcher with a smiley face on it!

And then, today, at the hospital — an elegant arrangement in lavender and white to Nyel from Stephanie and Dave.  It came just as I was leaving for the day and, with those posies looking over him, I actually felt better about Nyel’s situation than I had with all the nurses and doctors and poking and prodding that had gone on since my early morning arrival.

All-in-all, the day was a difficult one.  Not much obvious progress which was way overbalanced by much discomfort — shortness of breath (read: gasping), abdominal pain, spasms, tremors, etc.  But, gradually, as the Wizards see that the meds are not working, the formulas and amounts are being adjusted.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day.

And, “back in the real world,” through the magic of telephones and cyberspace, we consummated the purchase of our 2022 Prius from Lum’s in Astoria.  Details — like the trade-in of our Subaru and all the paperwork and financing arrangements — will wait until we can get back home.  Salesman John K even offered to drive the car up to Seattle and complete the deal right here at the Residence Inn!  Right now, it sort of depends upon how long Nyel and the UW Medical Center take to consummate their relationship and wave us off to Oysterville.

Meanwhile… it’s raining in The Emerald City (Kitt and Doug’s lovely wishes notwithstanding.)

Rain Rain You Can Stay
But Please Send Nyel
Home Soon to Play!