Writing From the Public Library

Write About Anything You Want

I am at the public library. I am here for more reasons than checking out a book. My internet is down at home and my computer is acting up and I’ve been wanting to publish a few posts. The library is the perfect solution with one exception-this is not your typical library, not by a long shot! It’s very, very, noisy here.

I am at the public library. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate. In order to write I have to sit at one of the public tables or use the library’s computers which limit me to one hour.

Right now, I am sitting at a table with two men. One is about sixty although he may be younger but is hidden under a huge beard. He is wearing a large hat on top of his long salt and peppered hair which is braided and hangs down over gold colored coveralls. He is never seen without these coveralls which hang over very big workboots.

I usually see him when I visit this little library. But sometimes I see him staring at me from the window of his little Ford pickup as we’re rolling past each other on the street. He always nods or says hello. He’s seems like a pleasant man although he looks gruff. His name is John. I know this because I hear the other patrons call him by his first name. John uses the library chair as if it is his own recliner.

The other man is young (to me) in his thirty’s. He wears thick cokebottle glasses. He sits at this table five days a week working on his pc. I don’t mean that his computer is broken. He volunteers for the library and researches whatever they need him to. He is a quiet type rarely smiling or looking up from his computer.

It is difficult for me to focus at this table. I feel as though nothing is private.  I do not have tunnel vision and even if I had earplugs and blinders on it would be impossible for me to do any serious writing, that is-writing other than about what is happening around me. So the title of this post being what it is-to write about anything you want-is a good one. One might wonder why I don’t move. There are only two tables with outlets close enough to plug my computer into. My computer is short on battery life. The other table is full.

Our librarian and her assistants are all very friendly as with most libraries. However they are unique because they are gregarious and very entertaining. Many patrons come up to the desk to get their books ‘time stamped’ (literally stamped like they did 50 years ago) and leave with a bit of town gossip or advice. This is not done with whispers. It’s shared in big voices with no sense of privacy. When I first moved to this community and frequented the library, I thought their open policy was a bit too much; Now I think it’s charming, even though-

I am at the public library.

Coming into this small town library to  write about anything I want I can even bring Sunni, my dog with me and she is not a service dog. I can stop by the local bakery and get a bagel with coffee and bring those in with me. It’s almost like my own Starbucks in a town lacking any cafe whatsoever. Oh we have a bakery-restaurant, and a Broiler, a Mexican restaurant and a coffee drive – thru. But no Starbucks or Peets. No McDonald’s or Wendy’s. No Walmart or Target. I think now they would ruin the character of this little town.

I feel John staring in my directions so I wonder why I always look up from my keyboard. But I do.

“How are you?” He says.

“I’m ok. You?”

“You been here long?”

“About 18 months.”

“You like it here?”

“I have mixed feelings,winters…they’re too damp.”

“Where ya’ from?”


“Gonna go back?”

“No. I think I’ll stay here awhile.”

John shakes his head in approval and sits quietly for a few more minutes.

After letting out a huge sigh, he gets up from the table and tells me and the young man to have a nice day.

Everything is different in a small town. It takes some getting used to. My earlier posts had a flavor of frustration likely due to my having been thrust into moving here before I was ready. I missed my own town of 70,000. We are all of 4,000 here.

After 18 months, I am making a fine adjustment. How can I tell? Maybe it has something to do with the public library?


How Far Will This River Take Her

How Far Will This River Take Her

Sunni stares down river picking out every scent the breeze sends her way. I read her body language and it tells me she would give up dinner for one chance to jump in and chase her imagination. After several attempts I finally got her calmed down and she realized she must stay…We enjoy standing on this dock but I know how much more fun could be had with a boat, a raft, even a fishing pole. We might even have caught dinner. Oh well. For now, we take in the breeze and sound of this river. I soak up these simple pleasures and wonder if Sunni realizes what relief these things bring from a complicated world. I bet she does.

It’s Time to Wake Up!

Today will mark my first day back after dealing with a terrible depression. Most of us have writer’s block from time to time and that is what I thought I was experiencing. Now, after nearly a month away from what had formerly consumed every fiber of my being (my blog and the blogs of friends) I know that it wasn’t writer’s block.

I had been nominated for an award by Olivia and I so wanted to accept this with all the fun that went along with it by answering the questions and nominating other bloggers who deserved the Liebster. But it wasn’t happening. Every time I sat down in front of my computer to post, I was blank. So I kept asking myself why. Why didn’t I care to finish the requirements of the Award I was nominated for? What about all the bloggers I had been reading that could be having a part in this. What about my readers? 

I was struggling with other areas of my life. My health and family. I couldn’t  focus. I couldn’t pretend all was alright. So today I am willing to explore this in my blog. I need to. Where I’ve been the last three plus weeks doesn’t matter now. The ‘Whys’ don’t matter now. What matters is that I am writing again. I am reading again. I am alive again. Without those things, I might as well be asleep.

And today I’m asking myself—What really matters?. What matters is that I get back to writing. What matters is that I do whatever it takes to get back on track. And one very important thing that matters is who am I writing for? We write because we want to be read. But when we – when I – write, I am writing for myself. I have to write. It is a necessary part of how my brain functions and without that, I begin to decompose. So the most important thing I can reveal about myself is not found in an Award (although I still want to complete the Liebster). And the most intriguing thing about me is not always positive. Depression can be negative. But I won’t shy away from writing about it if that’s all there is to write about that week. Hopefully you’ll identify with my weaknesses as much as my strengths.

Multnomah Falls

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We thrilled to get out of the car and see these up close. It was a good time to go as they were full. It felt awe inspiring just to be near them.2014-04-25 19.07.472014-04-25 19.10.35


611 foot drop, these stunning falls can be seen right from the highway and we did pass them on the way to Pendleton, promising to stop on our way home. It was worth it – delaying an hour on the trip home.

Highway 84 east of Portland,  Oregon follows the Columbia Gorge and the Hood River. Just one of the incredible day trips from Coos Bay to Pendleton.

Trail To Heaven

Cape Arago

Cape Arago

Trail To Heaven

I like surprises-especially when I discover them with Sunni-girl. It was a spur of the moment “let’s go for a ride!” kinda thing. Sometimes those are the best kind. I drove for 40 minutes past the hustle and bustle of the fishing harbor in Charleston, past Sunset Beach. I had been there many times over the past year but today I drove as far as the highway would take us-to Cape Arago. We wandered around an open grassy knoll and then discovered a a trail with many different twists and turns. I immediately felt a peace come over me. Immersed in sounds of sea lions and gulls we walked and then stopped. There was no wind. What I saw as we came toward the light could not be described accurately by any superlative. Stay tuned for more.


Your post basically sums up the way I feel about books today. I loved, To Kill a Mockingbird, for all the reasons you cited. Thank you-
from a new blogger.

Serendipity - Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Recently, we watched To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) on Blu-ray. I bought it months ago and planned to watch it, but hadn’t gotten to it. After we settled in, we remembered why we love it.

It’s a great movie, a wonderful story. Brilliant acting. Gregory Peck in the defining role he chose for himself. In many way, he was Atticus Finch.

A rare movie in which all pieces fit. It never hits a false note. It takes its time. It’s about justice and injustice, racism, the legal system. It’s also about family and love, relationships, coming of age and learning the world is a bigger, better and worse place than you imagined.

Front CoverCoincidentally, my granddaughter was assigned to read the book. She thinks it’s boring, and though I don’t agree with her, I understand her world is far removed from the world of Mockingbird … so far she can’t relate to…

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River Hound

Sunni-girl and her favorite of all playgrounds. This shot of her depicts contentment not to mention the fact that she has learned to pose for the camera.

At home I am plagued all morning by her following me all over the house in anticipation of going for a car ride to her favorite place. If I appear to be settling down even for a minute, she strikes a pose and stares at me as if to say, I thought we were going? I’m not a fan of the stare so I usually get up and if possible, start the process of getting ready. I have a list of things to do, she has a list of things to smell. 🙂  Into the car we go and the tail is wagging with delight. As we drive, her eyes dart back and forth to see where we are going to stop.  Making a left turn at the intersection I drive a short distance past the Winter Lakes logging company. Hundreds of logs are floating on one side of the road,covering the water completely. This  is the busy season for processing them. (more on this old logging town in another post). The right turn I take next, is the one where Sunni spots the park. She begins to squeal like a little pig!  (I think she’s afraid I’ll pass right by it like I do sometimes.) Her body language and her face are now lit up. I park on the side where the boats dock but there are no boats today. We are good to go. I barely get the door opened and she is off and running. Her tongue is completely hanging to the side of her jowls and she is smiling full and wide as she prances like a filly who just discovered grass.

And the river? As I am walking  her toward the dock her nose goes down to smell the brackish green water running out to sea and I have to get firm with her-No! You can’t get in the water today. Her look up at me is somewhere between resigned and Aww…please just this once? She’s ready to jump in and oh does she love the water.

Last summer I took her to a river where she could get in and swim. She is so entertaining. She makes a move, sort of like a breast stroke, up and down all the while creating big bubbles ahead of her. She then eats the bubbles and bobbing her head up and down breaks all the bubbles with her mouth. This goes on and on until I have to finally call her back because she is chomping her way right down the river and away from me. You’d have to see it to appreciate it.

I am so blessed to have her -she is by far, THE most precious dog I have ever had.  Around town, people stop to talk to her and the first thing they say to me is: “She’s so happy.”  She definitely is. The next question they ask is usually, “What kind of dog is she?” And I say. A River-hound. Just a good old river hound.

***Unfortunetely, all of my attempts to load a picture of the river with her in it have failed. The pics are on my phone -W app is not working for some reason.


Yellow for Friendship and Spring!

Yellow for Friendship and Spring!

Today the sun was telling me to get outside after breakfast and do some weeding in order to make way for the stunning array of color that will soon burst forth in the garden. I could already see little baby violets peeking out. Miniature bouquets on my windowsill are a treat to look forward to. I was also happy to transplant some rhizomes from one side of a fully stocked bed to a rather empty area and noticed a plethora of nasturtiam growing right before my eyes. They are coming up early and fast (They are so good in salad -adding a peppery flavor). The hydrangeas are summers joy here in Oregon and I trimmed two back last week with three more to go.
The Ranunculus and lobelia were part of my California garden and I hope the new homeowner’s are enjoying them- or will be soon. For me, the contrasts of the tiny deep blue of lobelia against the deep cadmium yellow brought unceasing pleasure each day I walked by them. I have since found my favorite of favorites (if there can be such a thing) and it is the palest of pink nearly transparent petals. And deep down with each petal joins with the others, the pink is seemingly lit up with a tinted yellow orange. I tried to uploaded this picture from Getty’s images but again…I am not able to? If you decided to check out the link http://www.gettyimages.com/…/ranunculus-stock/ – be prepared to swoon if you have time to look at “Stone” the name of this one. ref#165478074 under Ranunculus.

Spring is here! I have so many ideas. Will I have time to write? Will you? What are you looking forward to in Spring besides the weather?