BITTER COLD--This past week has been an extremely cold one around our area with temperatures in the low 20's and slick roads and icy ponds everywhere. We had folks in the ditch or doing a dance on the highways, so it was definitely a challenging week to stay on the road and to stay warm. Depending on what weather report you listen to, we could be in for some more freezing rain or snow, so be careful out there. For your own safety, please turn on those headlights as foggy conditions make the visibility of your car extremely difficult.
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating their birthdays this coming week are: Sharon Buennagel, Sharon Schmitz, Laura Bennett, Kayly Kaattari, Brandon McClain, Becky Thacker, Sam Tarabochia, Carol Cothren, Emma Lindsey, Ronda Rose, Leslie Sullivan, Shirley Mae Toney, LeeAnn Bonds, Margie Moore, Daniel Hoven, Sherry Ostling, Linnette Hoven, Gary York, Troy Gorley, Deanna Simpkins, Mike Nollan, Nicolas Kubacki, R. Marshall Everest, Cindi Pedersen and my youngest grandson, Luke Sechler, is now a teenager. Enjoy your special days, everybody!
ANOTHER BIRTHDAY--I failed to mention a very unique birthday earlier this month, and as the organization turned 118 years old, it definitely should be recognized. Can you guess the group? It's Sons of Norway. We have a very nice group of local folks who meet at the Norse Hall on Puget Island on the first Wednesday of each month. January's meeting was cancelled due to illness, but hopefully February 6 will find everybody healthy and all will go as planned.
Here's a brief history of the group's founding: The Great Migration brought 800,000 Norwegians to North America between 1825 and 1925. While the Norwegian immigrants loved their new home, it was natural that they gathered together to help one another and share their foods and continue on with the traditions of their homeland. A group of Norwegians who had come to Minneapolis from Selbu, a municipality near the city of Trondheim, decided to form an organization that would ensure that their families could continue to uphold their traditions. On January 16, 1895, the Sonner of Norge (Sons of Norway) came to be when 18 founders signed the original charter. The organization is still going strong today and now has over 60,000 members. If you'd like to join the group, stop by one of their meetings and find out what it takes to become a member. You don't even have to be Norwegian to do so!
ALMOST OVER--This month is almost over and time is flying once again. Valentine's Day will be here before you know it. I hope you've made plans to make your special someone happy with a gift from a local source, whether it be dinner out, gift cards, boxes of chocolate, or maybe flowers from one of the newest businesses in Cathlamet, Kullerful Bokuets on Main Street.
Naturally, I hope to see you at the Valentine's Dinner coming up at the Skamokawa Grange Hall on February 9th at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the Bank of the Pacific. This event is a fundraiser for the Wahkiakum County Fair. Early sales help those in charge make better choices in the amount of food to purchase and ensures you get in to enjoy this wonderful evening. I know we are all anxious to see who wins the beautiful diamond bracelet, so here's to you being the lucky winner of the grand prize, or maybe even one of the smaller ones!
THIS SATURDAY-- Dory Hicks' family and friends will meet together this Saturday to celebrate her life and remember her with great fondness. She was really a wonderful lady. The gathering will be at the Skamokawa Grange Hall at 1 p.m. Donations in Dory's memory are suggested to the Friends of Skamokawa at PO Box 67, Skamokawa 98647, the Humane Society of Cowlitz County or to Community Home Health and Hospice in Longview.
ALSO HAPPENING-- As a reminder, this Saturday is also the Third Annual Old Time Loggers' Reunion down at the Appelo Archive Center in Naselle from noon to 4 p.m. Anyone knowing Johnny Berquist and Howard Laney, this year's honorees, are invited to come and share your stories of how you knew them and what they did for the logging industry.
MEETING THIS MONDAY--The Skamokawa Grangers will meet this coming Monday with a potluck at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting at seven p.m. Meetings are always weather dependent, so if you're in doubt, you can give me a call to find out for sure.
REDMEN HALL-- Just in case you missed seeing the sign along the highway, Redmen Hall is closed until February 28, and then it will reopen with the Friends of Skamokawa offering new exhibits and new items as they embrace another year of welcoming the public to the historic hall.
EXTENSION HOURS--The WSU Extension office in Cathlamet is open Mondays through Wednesdays from nine a.m. to three p.m. and by appointment. I mention this as it's time to get those thinking caps on and draw up a logo for the Great White-Tail Run design contest. Entries must be submitted by February 15. For all the rules and regulations, contact the Extension office at 795-3278.
CLASSES GATHER-- When some former WA-KI-HI classmates heard that Don Coates was going to be in town, it brought about an impromptu gathering at the Duck Inn this past Monday. It seems Don is always out of town during the regular reunions, so this way he got to chat with quite a few alumni while he was in the area. There were people there from a variety of years, anywhere from the mid-50's to the early 60's. If you've been around here for awhile, you might recognize names like Wages, Moke, Anderson, Healy, Hanigan, Boylan, Jaspers, Ward, Parker, Prestegard, Irving, Pedersen, Lloyd, Ackerman, Longtain, Reid and more. As my Grandma Elsie Everest would say, "A good time was had by all!"
QUICK TRIP-- I zipped up to Seattle this past weekend to see my only granddaughter Tessa Sechler play basketball, visited with all three of the Sechler boys, went up the freeway to see daughter Lisa, and stopped by the new business that Katie and Pete Sechler have opened, Seasons Cafe and Bakery. Katie's folks had planned to meet me at the cafe but Sally fell ill. Thankfully she was feeling better a few days later. The bug seems to be everywhere!
The cold weather made for a weird view coming home. In one area, the trees were tipped with the freezing fog that was enveloping the area. It looked like it could have been on a Christmas card. The thick fog and cold temperatures made for an interesting trip but it seemed the coldest spots were here in our area where fields of thick white frost and frozen puddles were very evident. As I finish this off this Tuesday morning, the thick white frost is everywhere.