Opinion & Editorial

Rural school districts need help; rediscovering the joys of winter

There are some requests sent out from the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District that I’d like to share with others this week. 

• First, the district is in need of two community members for its Budget Committee to help determine the district’s budget for 2023-24 school year. It will require only a few evening meetings this spring. 

• In addition, the district is looking for substitute school bus drivers. Training will be provided by the district. Please contact Donna Willits at the district office, 541-935-2100, or stop by for an application at 85955 Territorial Rd., Eugene, OR  97402.

• While we are on C-A-L School District news, let me tell you about the beautiful $100 Charcuterie Board gift certificate that the Crow High School Junior Class is raffling off on Feb. 1 as a fundraiser. The board is filled with a selection of cured meats or pâtés, assorted cheeses, crackers, breads, fruits, veggies, olives and other goodies, beautifully arranged and presented to feed 10-12 people. Contact the Crow Middle/High School office,  (541) 935-2227, if you would like to purchase some of these raffle tickets.


These cold and/or rainy winter days we’ve been having lately are never fun to be “out and about” in, but they offer Jim and me a chance to let life around us slow down a bit following the busy holidays. We no longer have a fireplace or wood stove in our home.

I miss the wonderful smell of wood smoke and the warmth that seems to penetrate my bones so completely. Our heat pump provides a great year-round temperature, but on rainy days, especially, the dampness and chill still seem to creep in when I’m not physically active, so I usually don a sweater. 

Even better is the license I give myself to soak in a hot bath or cuddle beneath a soft, warm comforter to read a book or take a short nap whenever possible – usually with a cat or dog or both – curled up on top of me.

When the need to do something productive makes itself known, I spend time on my computer, working on a book project, writing a column, answering emails, paying bills, or just browsing through the news and family photographs posted on social media.

This time of year, I also find I have to coax myself into getting out all of the paperwork needed to prepare for the taxes that will soon have to be filed. 

Throughout most of my life, winter has been my least favorite season; as a farm wife I always hated having to bundle up, put on knee-high rubber boots and wade through the mud to do the necessary chores. I didn’t mind the chores themselves so much, because I loved our livestock and the warm, fragrant smells of a barn sheltering them from the elements. 

The part that I disliked so much has always been the deep mud outside the barn that occasionally sucked a boot off, threatening my balance and sometimes miring my foot in the goo. 

I find that, as I have aged – now that there is no more mud to contend with (but no livestock either) – I find more and more to like about these winter days. I can put aside the guilt of being lazy and enjoy the perks of enjoying hearth and home.

I believe that I’ve earned this time to regenerate as best as I can so that I’ll be ready to head out into the sunshine and warmth of late spring days to prepare flower beds, pull weeds and mow lawns on the riding lawn mower. 

With its aches and pains, life is most certainly winding down as time passes, but we are able to find the comfort that can accompany each day if we are willing to look for it and, best of all, I have been able to leave the guilt behind.


Our prayers are with those in California right now whose lives and homes are being destroyed by the catastrophic floods and mudslides that Mother Nature has sent their way. We are thankful that our Oregon winters are usually much kinder to us.

Online: allthingslorane.com



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