Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

There’s a new structure in Sally McGee’s back yard. I had thought it was an arbor, but Sally explained that it is actually a pergola. The structure, an attractive wooden arch with pillars supporting crossbeams and an open lattice, forms an entry to her garden. Sally has been watching YouTube videos to learn how to graft flowers onto the pergola; she hopes it will someday be covered with New Dawn roses. Sally is grateful to Sonya and Jerry Thompson for allowing her to take cuttings from their lovely New Dawn rose. We neighbors will have to keep an eye on that pergola; it’s going to be even more beautiful with climbing roses!

The real estate market is hot, hot, hot. Our son and his wife sold their home in Portland for 5 percent over the asking price in just 36 hours. Right here in Cape Meares, the Nelsons on 4th St. NW sold their house a week after they put it on the market in June (it had been on the market about a year ago, then taken off for several months). Scott and Lisa are looking to buy a house in Wenatchee, Washington, close to their grandchildren. The Nelsons are living in a rental house in Cape Meares until they locate just the right property up north. We’ll miss you, Scott and Lisa, but can certainly understand your wanting to be closer to family.

This year’s fall “Hogs ’r Runnin’” fishing derby, hosted by Pete and Erik Steen, has been postponed. This would have been the 30th year of the family-and-friends competition that raises money for salmon conservation in Tillamook Bay. The father-and-son duo aim to have the tournament up and running again in Oct. 2021. In the meantime, three-time Big Hog winner Karen Walz is keeping her fishing skills sharp. She has caught two fall Chinook over 20 pounds up in Nehalem Bay this month. Congratulations to Karen and her fishing “guide,” husband Steve. Karen’s tip for the rest of us? Maintain a positive attitude even when the weeds are bad and the fish aren’t biting.

We’ve had another family visit: one adult child and her family to lunch on the deck with Grandma and Grandpa. We fixed a meal of individual servings (salmon burgers, veggie cups, slices of watermelon, small containers of applesauce, and string cheese) and sat more than six feet across from each other. After lunch, we walked on the beach, then came back to the deck for ice cream and cookies before they left. We all wore masks when not eating or drinking. We have five children; three visits down, two to go. They are allowed inside to use a bathroom, you’ll be glad to know; it’s set up with paper towels, soap, hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes. I wait for several days after they’ve visited before thoroughly cleaning that bathroom. This has been a successful arrangement, giving us an opportunity to see family in the safest (outdoor) environment. What will we do once the fall rains start? That remains to be seen!

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