Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Death and Decay of Mary D. Hume


 When the steamship Veruna, was wrecked, on the Rogue River sand bar in 1880, her engine was salvaged and re-used in the new Mary. D. Hume, which was built in Gold Beach, Oregon (then named Ellensburg)  She was built from white cedar, and now lies mouldering,  just within a few hundred feet of her birthplace. The journey in between was one of bitter cold, with frozen bodies stored inside her hull through the log winters. She was in active service for 97 years and is rare in that she never changed her name from 1881 to today.


The information sign reads in part, “The Mary D. Hume recorded the largest catch of whale baleen, valued at $400,000”
 (Wikipedia says that is from 37 whales caught between 1890 and 1892)

“after a 29 month voyage, she then made Arctic whaling history with the longest recorded whaling voyage of six years.  During he long arctic voyage, numerous sailors died from scurvy, cold and lunacy caused by privation.  There bodies were stored, frozen in ice until the spring thaw allowed burial on nearby Herschel Island”

  Then she lost two more sailors washed overboard in a storm before becoming a tow boat on the Nushagak river in Alaska.  She also served as a Halibut Dory and as an ocean tugboat.


 There was an effort to preserve her but she sank and there were lawsuits and the money was used in those instead of repairs, so now she sits, un-repaired yet loved and still somehow,  lovely.

                                                                   Feb. 2, 2012

a model of the Mary D. Hume built in Kid Castle

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blackberries where once was only thorns

 I live in a wonderful neighborhood with the kind of neighbors that everyone should have.  They are people who smile and wave, who see you are having problems and offer to help before you even get a chance to ask.  One of my neighbors was in his late 80's when we moved in, but had more energy than my husband and I put together.  Of course we moved in the two weeks between our sons' third and second birthdays and having two boys in the terrible twos can be fun, but is a good explanation for our depleted energy.  Anyway, this neighbor was amazing and often fixed our problems before we knew we had problems, like digging up and repairing a leaky water line while we were out of town visiting family, or replacing a broken pump on our well while we were at work.
 The only problem among the neighbors was a couple who lived so close that we could hear them sneeze in their living room if we both had our windows open.  Did I mention that on top of two toddlers, we had 12 parrots, two greyhounds and two cats?  The fact that we lived in an area with a two acre minimum didn't stop our homes from nearly touching.  We were not quiet neighbors I know, and she worked nights and tried to sleep in.

The problem is that she grew up in our house, and her parents owned both pieces of property, and built her trailer as a mother-in-law house so built it very close.  Then years later, split the property, sold the house and gave her the trailer and that 2 acres.  I am pretty sure she never stopped feeling like it all belonged to her, so resented everyone who lived in the house she grew up in.  And she was territorial and called the sherriff repeatedly if our birds screamed or we parked a tire on her half of the driveway or set our trash for collection day across a line that existed in her head.  She wasn't all nasty and at first out boys got along with her three kids, but then she got a harder job, with more pay and more stress, and their marriage started to fall apart, and they built a bigger house and then had the land foreclosed upon.  I can understand why she became so harsh and unhappy, but living next to her became a nightmare.
 By the time they moved out I was almost afraid to walk into my own front yard, for fear that she would be yelling in my face and flipping me the bird and once more calling a deputy to come mediate.  in fact her last act as she left was to tear down the fence between the properties, which she had always insisted was too far their direction.

Then they were gone and the house stood empty and the neighborhood healed.

This summer I stood on her old front walk, in front of a trailer nearly buried in blackberry vines, and picked enough berries to make three batches of Jelly, one cheesecake and three pies.  Enough to share with neighbors.

 Maybe I should feel sorry that she lost her home, maybe I should be sad to see the trailer in decay but for now I will share the peaceful neighborhood with the new people who moved in, who know how to smile and wave and share a driveway and some blackberry jam.

 So many stomach  churning nights I lay there wondering how to make peace and failing.
 So now it feels like karma took care of the problem for me, turned the bitterness into sweetness and covered over the old thorns with fresh, juicy, sweetly tart, blackberries

blackberry custard pie

and while I hope that her children and even that she has found peace.  I still look at the vines clogging the way into that trailer and breath in the blackberry scented air with a sigh of pleasure.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Colors of My Life

I have been taking pictures for years and storing the ones that I no longer have room for on my overburdened walls.  Then I found the free photo editing site at PicMonkey and had fun making collages until a challenge I am participating in on 365 Project, photo a day site, challenged us to post a picture a day in one of the colors of the Olympic Rings and I got carried away.  I did those colors as collages, then read up on the rings and realized that the white background is meant to be included in the Olympic colors, because those colors, plus white could make the flag of every participating nation the Olympic year that the rings were adopted.  So I added a White collage and then could not stop,  Can you say, OCD?  Or is it just too much time on this near empty nesters hands?



tint (add white AKA Pastel)
shade (add black)

tone (add black and white / gray)
monochromatic 1 color plus black and white
complementary 1 color plus opposite (red/green - blue/yellow - purple/orange)
Black and White

End of The Rainbow