Oregon Posts

My Nomadic Mama

Me & Mama Hawaii

In Hawaii with Mama in her Jackie O days.


Her bible is sitting on my desk. One of many my mother studied. There’s a pair of black-handled scissors laying across it, and a postcard for one of my books. The one book I’ve written that Mama never read. She died before I wrote a single word of it.

One of my kin told me recently that she didn’t like the way we buried Mama. Said it bothered her that I had just poured Mama’s ashes into the hole instead of putting them into an urn and placing that in the ground. read more

Witnessing the Sacred


There is this place in Oregon, along the Columbia River Gorge, where a person can walk behind the waterfall. Horsetail Falls is one of the most scenic of Oregon’s waterfalls. Not nearly as popular as the grandiose Multnomah Falls, it offers an intimacy the more regal Multnomah lacks.

I hiked up there some years back with my daughters, I think, though to tell you the truth, I remember less about who I was with and more about what it felt like, there behind that cool water thundering off that hillside like a thousand wild horses. If I recall correctly (who can trust their memory, really?) I waded right out into that pool of water and let that waterfall spray all over me. Whoever I was with laughed and hollered at me to get back, but I’m crazy like that around water. I can’t resist a good baptism in whatever form it comes – waterfalls, rivers, lakes, or the marble encased ones found in the churches of my upbringing. read more

Worth the Intending


His name is Caleb Doyle.

He lives in Jacksonville, Oregon, a charming historic town that you would never just happen upon, you have to be intending to go there. But if you are wondering, it’s worth the intending.

You’ll have to go soon, though, if you are hoping to meet Caleb. He’ll be heading off to college this coming Fall.

“At UGA,” he said. “That’s University of Georgia.” read more

About that Redneck Militia


Here’s what the rest of the nation doesn’t understand about Oregon and the way Oregonians handle things – they are a very tolerant lot.  Not a self-righteous bone in the whole lot of them.


Nothing ruffles their feathers, unless it’s an Endangered Spotted Owl, of course.

People who live in high flutin sky-rises in New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas wax on about how come the Harney County police don’t just storm the gates of the wildlife refugee and take that Redneck Militia out. read more

Straight out of a Novel

Xmas. Jackets2

Daughter Shelby called me this morning. Or maybe I called her (who can remember these things after watching The Great British Baking Show, which, yes, I know is an oxymoron).

Today was Shelby’s last day at the law office where she has worked for the past seven years.  Family law. Not the job she thought she’d be doing when she finished up that graduate program at George Mason University. She was sure she would be working in publishing. So was I. read more