Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Talk about timing! Ciel Downing has it. She put out the word for an impromptu neighborhood gathering in her front yard on the last good-weather day of September. About 20 neighbors answered the call, showing up with food and lawn chairs. Eventually a fire was lit and everyone enjoyed good eats, good conversation and lots of laughs around the campfire. Thanks for hosting such a fun evening, Ciel! The group is already talking about a future gathering: live music? Movie projected on a sheet? It was certainly a welcome social occasion, in part celebrating Ciel’s recent recovery from a bout of COVID-19. She is fully vaccinated, but was one of Tillamook’s breakthrough cases. Glad you are getting back to good times, Ciel.

I came across two men in wetsuits with surfboards, contemplating the ocean before they headed down to the beach. I asked them if it looked good. One said, “The waves could be bigger” and the other pointed to him behind his back and made a face. I took that to mean the pointer was more risk averse than the speaker! At least the fog had lifted, so they could see where they were headed.

Good news on the hunting and gathering front. Fisherfolk may keep one wild coho this fall season (until sometime in mid-Oct.; date not specified yet) if it is caught on a Wednesday or Saturday. Also, at the time of this writing, razor clamming is open from Tillamook Head south to the California border. Go online to dfw.state.or.us for a full explanation of rules and regs.

Longtime Cape Meares resident Harold Bennett walks around our village for daily exercise, including up and down 3rd St. NW two times in a row. Not long ago, he came up the hill with two companions. Turns out that his daughter from Alaska, Phaedra, and his middle child from San Diego, son Bradley, were visiting. I asked Harold if he put them to work. His reply was that they had put HIM to work! Phaedra spearheaded a big project to scrape mold off the garage walls and paint them bright white. She got her son, Skyler, to come from Tillamook to help, too. Harold has another son, Kevin, who lives locally and helps his dad with many daily chores. The family sorely misses matriarch Merry Ann, gone about a year now, but is soldiering on. So nice for Harold to have such solid family support.

We attended a family birthday party in the valley recently. How wonderful to be able to see family members once again, with all those eligible vaccinated. We were still careful, knowing COVID-19 can be spread even by vaccinated individuals. The party was held outside. We were fortunate that the sun broke out and the temperature was mild. We had the usual birthday fare—pizza, beer and cake—but participated in an unusual party game. The youngest birthday celebrant got to choose which tattoos party-goers would have, and her assistants applied them. Fortunately, my sparkly butterfly was temporary, as was Captain Pete’s glittery fairy. Many happy returns to granddaughters Millie and Sophia!


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