Claire Lovell

• In my mind, I liken the Seaside of today to an overweight teenager. He's so eager to grow up—and build up—that he gorges himself on all the fanciest, richest foods; always eager to try something new, maybe even a few steroids. He has lots of help and mollycoddling, plus a painful case of growing pains. After a while, it gets the best of him. He has increasing feelings of discomfort and begins to erupt with unsightly lesions here and there, breaking out where they're least expected and every week or so, a new trouble spot.

The only thing is, its' suspected that he may have a terminal illness which is going to be the death of him.

All of that body building for nothing.

• What fun is there in getting a ham license these days if you don't have to know Morse code? That was always what separated the sheep from the goats in the old days. I thought about doing it once but didn't have a key to practice so that I never could receive worth a darn.

But I did know Morse code.

• I had such a good visit at Providence Seaside ECU on the last Sunday in April. Everyone was in the dining room—even Walt—and all were in good spirits because of the sunshine. They were cheered by an earlier-in-the-week visit from their old friend, Morey, too. When a person is in a nursing situation, it doesn't take much to make him or her happy.

I also visited my friends Irene, Stuart, Theresa and Norm at Suzanne Elise.

• I had company of my own as well—daughter Robin, and her friend, Stan, who accomplished a lot in the yard. It's great because I can't do much of it anymore.

• Don't know if I'm ready for another political campaign, designed essentially to exchange lies and empty promises. With candidate Edwards' visit to Portland, I'm reminded how much I dislike politicians who jab their finger at you. Clinton did a lot of it and he had long, strange looking fingers.

• How can it help to give a relocating fee to vacate your home when there is no place to go but to another town, perhaps miles away? It's housing they need after all.

• Astoria has the right idea to reclaim and restore its old houses, honoring the heritage for those who call it home, although I did notice that a whole historic neighborhood in the area of the new Safeway, seems to be gone? Alderwood?

• The first-two hour driving practice was so stressful there was no way I could relax when it was over. I am sure I won't be able to do any projects or follow any schedule until all this stuff is behind me. One thing, reviewing the DMV book has made me so aware of the mistakes made by other drivers—and me too, of course.

My teacher figures that if the whole population had to be re-tested, 60 percent of them would fail because it's so easy to fall into bad habits.

• Thursday morning was the 16th National Day of Prayer breakfast at Dooger's—the 15th celebration there. It was the 56th national observance, which takes us back to 1951. I've been going 10 years or so. We began with breakfast at 7:30. The meeting at 8 a.m. started with a proclamation by President George W. Bush and a prayer by Tom Kenny who led the meeting, first with the singing of several patriotic songs, followed by various prayers from leaders of our local churches.

I sat with my own pastor, Christina Freidel of the Seaside United Methodist Church and Paul and Diane Hailey. Paul has been a local chaplain whose sermonettes have appeared regularly in the Seaside Signal. We were sorry to learn that the Haileys will be moving to King City soon but maybe they'll visit us once in a while.

It was a good observance of the day and a beautiful day as well. Leaving Doogers, we walked a path of pink snow—cherry blossoms ground into the sidewalk. It looked nice.

Our thanks to Doug Wiese for the substantial breakfast that at least kept us going until dinner. And for the use of the hall, of course.

• In my trips to Astoria there have been two large cruise ships at the pier within a couple of days. The one on Friday had a Dutch name starting with “OO,” but I didn't get the rest. They're so high in the sky and use a lot of white paint!

• I remembered one of John's jokes—the punch line, anyway, but the rest I'll have to improvise.

A shabby little church needed attention. The congregation was not rich enough to pay for all the needed repairs so they agreed on a paint job as something to make the people feel better. "How can we paint the whole church?" Asked one guy. "We have only four gallons on hand."

"We'll add more liquid so it will go farther,” offered the priest.

So they began their project. In a few days it was obvious that the diluted paint wasn't doing the job. There were many streaks and bare patches. "What shall we do?" asked the workman.

"There's only one way out," said the priest. “I say, repaint, repaint, and thin no more!"

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