CELEBRATING SIX-MONTH ANNIVERSARY
By Kat Stickroth
You know, this Wallowa Gal thing was supposed to be a joke in that I was a city girl from the South just trying to make her way in unfamiliar country. But now I’m not so sure…
I was helping a friend with her chickens and noticed the door to her chicken yard wouldn’t shut properly. I studied the dilapidated door. At my feet lay an old bone, bleached white from sun rays, about six inches long. Very easily, I jammed the bone through a hole in the door created by a lost knothole. I cut some wire from a rotted utility pole lying on the ground nearby, made a small loop and wrapped it around a nail on the door post. Voila! The wire can easily wrap off and on the bone to open and close the door.
While visiting a friend in La Grande a few weeks ago, I noticed his storm door swaying in the wind. I saw the door closer unit was missing a bolt that secured the door piece to the frame. Scratching my head for a few minutes, I went to my truck and from the cup holder dug out a fencing nail. This remnant of last summer’s project of helping friends build fence is a u- shaped nail. I inserted one of its legs into the bolt hole, with the other side just dangling, and it’s still holding.
The kicker was last month’s meeting at the Observer for the freelance writers. While different topics were being discussed, my eyes could not avoid a blue cord wadded up in the corner across the room. I glanced at it throughout the meeting, wondering the whole time, “I can’t understand why the Observer would need baling twine in this office.” It later proved to be an unused computer cord.
Be careful what you call yourself, it may come true.
Today marks six months since I began this column and writing for the Observer. I have had so much fun and have been fascinated by the people interviewed for the human interest stories. I appreciate their time for my interviews, but more than that, their kindness. I’ve come home with bags of vegetables from their gardens or gifts from their businesses.
But mostly I’ve received gifts to my heart. Watching a former drug addict mother who kisses her son before he boards the Head Start bus; observing the deep affection shared between an old muleskinner and a single mother, because his friendship and guidance restored her confidence; having a corsage pinned to my jacket by a WWII veteran and ham radio operator who makes and gives corsages to his wife. She has Alzheimer’s and resides at the Senior Living Center. His companion of over 60 years doesn’t know who he is, but he knows who she is, and hasn’t missed a day since she began her residency. He was on day 200 when I interviewed him.
I get choked up recalling these wonderful people, who make me so grateful I get to live in Wallowa County.
Originally published March 2, 2016 in the La Grande Observer. Reprinted with permission.