Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum and Naselle

 

September 30, 2021

Courtesy photo.

Mary Steller's donkeys, Oliver, left, and Tumbleweed.

Rain has come! And fall is here! Seasons have a reason. I think transitioning to a slower pace is the reason for fall. Plants and animals hibernate, so we should, too. It's a great time to pause and remember the joys of summer and to realize, as days get shorter, that we are now given permission to rest and be grateful for all we have. I am most grateful for my friends, my home and my dog, Ben. What are you most grateful for?

Happy Announcement: After talking with Justin Laine, principal at Naselle GR Valley schools, I am happy to announce that 17 year old senior, Grace Hunt, will soon begin a column in The Eagle called "Student Voices." She will be writing student news from the students and teachers. She is doing this as a community service and I'm so happy to see her do this for us. I will be working to help her get started and Mr. Laine will give her news of the student body and his own updates, as well. Please let her know you'll be reading her new column.


Apology: Last week's photo wasn't explained well, so let me give you more info. The photo of Mike Ennis and Mark Zimmerman was a "thank you" to these two men who helped me find the mouth of Seal River.

Pioneer Salmon Creek Cemetery: I looked for the old Salmon Creek Cemetery a few months ago and was disappointed to find the old road up the hill to get there was grown over and not passable. But recently, I was so happy to see it has been cleared and brush cut down, so it is open, and the road is easy to drive. There is an area to park and turn around. The trail from the parking lot is easily seen and the climb is short. I was happy to see the road open and want to thank those who did the work. All cemeteries in the area are privately owned so they are maintained by volunteers and landowners. This includes the newer Seal River Cemetery, the Grays River, Deep River, Eden Valley, Seal River, and Peaceful Hill cemeteries, too. There are also family cemeteries on land where generations past have lived and are buried. In some years, Naselle Youth Camp kids have done the work as well. We need to thank these folks often.


Suicide Prevention Month: An old friend sent a reminder about the need for awareness and kindness with folks. She said, "You never know who may be in such inner pain that they are contemplating suicide. Happy on the outside does not equal happy on the inside. Be kind to everyone - you may just change one person's mind. September is Suicide Prevention month. In remembrance of some who should not have gone. - Jenny Lyn Peters Smith, Haines, Alaska.


Property for sale report: Mike Swanson told me he recently closed on the American Legion building in Deep River. It was purchased by the folks across the road. In Grays River, there is a house for sale on Fossil Creek Road close to the Gorley property before the first gate.

Finnish American Folk Festival: Barb Swanson tells me there are lots of plans for celebrating Christmas. We will once again have our Christmas program at the Deep River Church on Dec.5, followed by the Tour of Homes and the Soup Supper at the Community Center in Naselle. There will also be a parade of lights. Barb also mentioned there will be a painting party for the center on Nov. 13 to paint the inside. More information to follow.


4-H Year End Celebration: The Wahkiakum County 4-H End of the Year Celebration will be held at the Grays River Grange on Oct. 30. They will follow WSU COVID protocol. For more information, contact Carol Ervest at 465-2275.

Ahlberg Park Trees: During our first storm, two trees in the park lost some limbs, primarily on the "inside area" between them. Thanks to Phil and Sulema Zerr for working to clean up the limbs from the ground. Many thanks to our volunteers from the Grange.

Photo of the Week: Mary Steller's donkeys Oliver, and Tumbleweed. Greeting visitors is one of Mary's joys. She, like many of us older women who live alone, enjoys having folks drive down to the end of Waranka Road that starts past the Wahkiakum West office on Miller Point Road. Mary owns a wonderful piece of property across from the Oneida boat ramp, with not only donkeys but a beautiful retriever named JJ. She is one of the nicest people I've come to know here. She is retired from teaching elementary school at a native village, Kake, in southeast Alaska. She moved to her property in 1994 and built her house with two floors so she's safe when the land floods in the winters. She has a seven foot grand piano and makes great tea. Mary also enjoys children who like seeing a farm setting and donkeys. For many years she took her trained donkeys to events and special occasions, so they were well known. Her two current donkeys are rescues and not trained, but they are very friendly and one of them likes to give kisses. If you have children who would enjoy seeing the donkeys, feel free to give her a call. She's in the phone book and is happy to have visitors.


Halloween: As you plan for Halloween, there are a couple nice things happening in the area--this Saturday, the Pumpkin Patch at Miller Homestead in Deep River and on Oct. 31, at the State Troopers office next to the school in Naselle, a Trunk or Treat from 3-6 p.m. I have heard great reports about the Troopers' event. Grandma Queener tells me that grandson Owen talks all the time about what fun it was last year. Kids will get to meet the WST officers and get treats from the trunks in their cars.


New Naselle Clinic opened this week with patients in the building for the first time to see Lori Sharrow, the Family Nurse Practitioner. You can sign up with Lori at (360) 484-7161.

Calendar:

Grays River Diking/Enhancement District: Their next meeting will be Oct. 6 at 5:15 at Johnson Park.

Senior Lunches: CAP box lunches are available on Thursdays at Rosburg Hall at noon. Call Denise to reserve a lunch at (360) 762-3111. The next Senior Lunch Club luncheon will be at Rosburg Hall on Oct. 6 at noon, and the potluck luncheon will be Oct. 20.


Word for the week: Share.

 

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