Yard sale, BBQ chicken dinner sounds like a winner-winner

I have a couple of community events that I’d like to tell you about this week. Despite everything, the communities of Lorane and Crow are going to try to have events that incorporate social distancing.

In Lorane, we are planning a “Multi-Family Yard Sale” to be held on the lawn surrounding the Dew Drop Inn building next to the Lorane Family Store on Saturday, July 25. I am having to clear out the old tavern where I’ve stored a lot of things from the years I used it as the Groundwaters office. Among many, many other things, there will be reams and partial reams of colored paper and card stock available for crafting, two production printers, some furniture and cabinets. Other family and community members are also participating and bringing really nice items. We ask that everyone wear masks and distance themselves from each other. I won’t go into detail here, but it looks like this will have to be a mini-version of our annual Community Yard Sale this year.

Connie Suing of the Crow Grange asked me to post information on the upcoming “socially distanced” version of their annual “Chicken ‘n Pickin’ Barbeque.” This year they are calling it “Joe’s Chicken BBQ” in honor of Joe Canaday, a beloved past master of the Grange. It is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Crow Grange. They will be unable to schedule their live old-time fiddlers music, nor will they be able to offer sit-down meals this year, but according to Connie:

“We will have Bluegrass playing in the background. Please plan to drop by and get your BBQ Chicken dinner to go. We need to keep socially distanced and we will have our masks on, but a dinner that you don’t have to cook is always a good thing and you will be supporting our community service efforts. Dinner will include 1/2 chicken, corn on cob, baked beans, a roll, a cookie and water.” If you have any questions, please contact Connie at 541-556-2609.

In last week’s column, I mentioned that I’ve recently had some bouts of depression, but I think I can safely say that we all have had them during these troubled times. Mine show up as a general ennui — not because I don’t have enough to do; I have plenty of projects that I can be working on — but my energy level decreases and taking a nap or sitting in our recliner-swing outside in the sunshine is about all I want to do some days. It’s a way of recharging, I think, and it allows us to make note of all that is beautiful surrounding us if we take the time to see.

Jim and I find that spending time outside in the yard, encouraging the flowers to bloom and watching, through our family room and computer room windows, the beautiful birds that frequent our many feeders, eases our anxieties. I have been keeping feeders out for many years now and Jim loves them as much as I do. They give us a sense of solace and peace, making it well worth the price of the large bags of birdseed and sunflower seed they go through so quickly.

The bird varieties are ever-changing. I used to write about the beautiful little Lazuli Buntings that came to our feeders every year, almost like clockwork, in mid-April. I had never heard of them until they became fixtures at our house. But, after about 6 or 7 years of their visits, those beautiful little turquoise-colored birds stopped coming. I haven’t seen them for about 4 years now and it saddens me.

This year seems to be the year of the goldfinches, sparrows, red house finches, cowbirds, black-headed grosbeaks and, most prolifically, the beautiful bright yellow and black male evening grosbeaks. The females are plentiful too, but Mother Nature dictates that the female of most species be much plainer.

It was a female evening grosbeak and one of her grown offspring that entertained me the other day. As I watched through the window, the two of them flew in, landing on top of one of the bird feeders. They were the same size and looked alike, except the feathers on Junior’s black head were ruffled as if he had just gotten out of bed. Mom jumped down to the feeder for a moment while Junior waited on top. She grabbed a beakful of seed and went back to feed a very excited baby that really didn’t look like he needed the help. After doing it several times, they both flew away, but returned the next day to do the same thing from the ground.

Simple things like this are what life is really about for all of us. Looking for and appreciating the everyday things that surround us will get us through the bigger “stuff.”


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