Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

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Let’s start out this week’s column with a rousing cheer for Pete Steen: Seaview neighborhood disaster preparedness captain, good friend to many in Cape Meares and beyond, fanatical outdoorsman, grandfather par excellence to 11 grandchildren, fabulous father to five and father-in-law to four, and my dear husband. Happy 79th birthday today, honey!

Elk were playing on the beach the other morning. We have seen their hoof prints in the sand many times, but this is only the second time we have spotted the herd right down near the ocean. Both times, the young elk cavorted around and actually splashed a bit in the surf while the older elk looked on indulgently. What a treat to see! Unfortunately, I had only my cell phone with which to take pictures, but at least I was able to document the event to share with family and friends. There are many who have been in Cape Meares longer than the 30 years we’ve been here who have yet to catch sight of elk on the beach.

The elk weren’t the only ones playing. Sally McGee’s puppy and a neighbor’s puppy were romping about when they managed to entangle Sally and cause her to fall. Poor Sally broke her ankle while the dogs partied on. She reports that kind neighbors drove her to the hospital; now she spends long days watching the garden grow through binoculars. Her daughter, Susannah Nord and former “Queen Bee,” has come down from her throne and washes her mother’s feet while Susannah’s son, Henry, provides constant entertainment. Sally says watching her nine-month-old grandson is more fun than watching TV! Susannah put her real estate career on hold so that she and Henry could come from Portland to help in her mother’s time of need (however, Sally says her daughter would be glad to help you if you need to buy or sell a house). Neighbor Callum Lust, age 10, feeds and tends to Sally’s menagerie. Neighboring teen Sophie Widmer walks the bad puppy, and kind friends Yasmine and Regina water the garden. It is tough to be sidelined, but what better time than during a pandemic, when the safest place to be is home? We all wish Sally a full and as-prompt-as-possible recovery.

The Memaloose boat ramp is open Mon.-Fri. this week under special rules: only three persons per boat; maintain six feet physical distance in parking lots, boat launches and boats; masks encouraged in parking lot; and vehicles to be out of the lot before 6 p.m. on May 22. The ramp will be closed Sat.-Sun. Now for a springer to bite!

At the time of this writing, Tillamook County has applied to the State of Oregon to reopen. Let’s hope this process goes smoothly and we can get our county back in business. Those of us in the most vulnerable populations can still take personal precautions, such as limiting outings and wearing masks, to reduce potential exposure to the coronavirus while allowing individuals to go back to work and provide for their families. It’s a win-win!

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