Sunday, September 20, 2020
Sept. 20, 2020

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Press Talk: What we lost and missed

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A lost summer. Right?

You know, kind of like missing in action. Sort of like our #Commanderinchooch. (Hey look it up.) He was completely lost this summer. Now he’s encouraging us to vote twice to help prove the upcoming election will be rigged? Really? Yes, the head clown is lost. He’s lost in space, he’s lost his marbles and he’s a lost cause. But this column isn’t about how the country has lost a leader.

It’s about us. And how the coronavirus cost us our summer. A summer we can never get back.

We could have prevented this entire virus mess if we had had the political leadership to shut our country down for a couple of weeks in early March. But as somebody said, “It is what it is.”

So what did you lose this summer? What did you miss? I’d love to hear from you. Me? Well, please continue reading.

• Salmon Creek: I missed getting back to Vancouver this summer. Well, Salmon Creek, specifically. When we retired four years ago we decided to summer in Vancouver and winter in Florida. But this March — while in Florida — COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

Washington was a hot spot back then and Florida was doing well. So we waited until June — when we’d normally head back — to see how everything would play out. It didn’t play well. Air travel was strongly discouraged — and you just can’t hop in a car and drive to Washington from Florida in a few hours. So we chose to ride out the summer in Florida.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but dodging hurricanes is not my idea of summer fun. So yes, we miss Salmon Creek. We miss our neighbors — Garry, Yvette, Chris, Bill and Sandy. We miss our walks to Starbucks and miss the cool evening breezes.

Chinook salmon: I miss the freshest, best fish in the world. I miss the drive down to the Bridge of the Gods where I’d pick up just-caught spring and summer chinook from members of the Yakama Tribe. The things I can do with that chinook! I would bring some to my fishmonger in Ridgefield and get it smoked. And I’d always ship some of that smoked chinook to Florida so I can enjoy it here as well.

Friends: I miss hanging out with my friends in Vancouver. Really, there are too many to name, but you begin to really appreciate the little things when you don’t have those little things. Just saying “Hi!” in person. Or even giving a glancing nod and smile. Hope to see you soon!

Parties: I miss parties. I’m not a big party guy, but I do partake. One of my favorite summer parties is the one Jim Mains — Mister Community Everything — runs. A few years back he began a bocce ball tournament and — no kidding — Maley and I won every one. Until last year. We were soundly thumped. We were looking forward to navigating our way through the brackets and taking a crack at regaining the crown this summer. Maybe next year.

Portland: I miss going to Portland. I know, I know, parts of Portland this summer have been a “no-go” zone. And, yes, the liberals are playing right into Trump’s reelection game plan by keeping that protest going. Do you get the feeling that liberals just don’t get it? What’s their main goal this year? Are the protests — and resulting problems — advancing that goal? Come on, people.

But I miss what Portland has to offer. It’s eclectic and strange and weird … and full of great lunch places.

Apples: I miss apples. More specifically my two backyard apple trees. When we first bought our Salmon Creek home — more than 20 years ago now — I didn’t even know they were fruit trees. Then I saw it: An apple. What the …

I sometimes get more than 1,000 apples from those trees. Truth is, they can create quite the mess. I often compost many of them back into my garden.

But I had a real issue this year because I wasn’t there. Madame Mayor to the rescue. Yep, Anne McEnerny-Ogle. In addition to navigating Vancouver through these turbulent times, she is a baker of apple pies, mostly for good causes. In past years I’ve brought grocery bags of apples to her. So this year I called her and asked if she was interested in going over to my place to pick some. She agreed.

It was a win-win! She was able to use the apples for pies and I didn’t have to return to rotting apples in my yard.

• • •

Well, there you have it. A lost summer. Let’s hope we can find ourselves and our country as the holidays approach. Who’s with me?

We’ve missed enough already.

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