Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle

Song By Randy Newman -

“I think it’s going to rain today”

Broken windows and empty hallways

A pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray

Human kindness is overflowing

And I think it's going to rain today

Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles

With frozen smiles to chase love away

Human kindness is overflowing

And I think it's going to rain today

Bright before me the signs implore me

To help the needy and show them the way

Human kindness is overflowing

And I think it's going to rain today

This describes my reality in the fall season of preparation – Advent. I tend to live with depression in these days of leaves dying and flowers disappearing. Leaves on the roses will eventually fall and I will turn inward to the house and live with artificial air and light, not feeling natural anymore. Medication has helped me for many years. On the other hand, I turn to the coming changes from fall to winter and start to remember the coming lights of Christmas and the day of officially giving thanks, and my heart warms up again. I don’t think this is meant to be a sad song. Rather, it helps me realize that the most important gift of life is the list of relationships we can all celebrate every day, rain or shine.

As we move into fall, let’s remember the opportunities to change our habits and prepare for the rainy days. Here are three suggestions to help adjust to the darkness. First, perhaps volunteering. With so many activities on the calendar, where could we help? Being a volunteer gives us a chance to meet new people in a setting that’s equal because we’re all focused on achieving one purpose, somewhat like a church service where we’re reminded how important it is to serve others and come together in humility. This weekend alone, there are several places we could be present and offer to help.

Second is sharing. At the West End Food Bank, it’s amazing how many families come for food and how many bags of food are delivered to those who cannot get to the food bank. Volunteers drive food to these folks in a friendly, helpful manner. When you visit the Food Bank at Johnson Park, you see so many busy people helping folks inside and others loading their cars for deliveries out into the community. It’s a very energetic and rewarding place to enter. Please consider going through your pantry and pulling out not only extra cans or packaged food, but also staples like bags of flour and sugar to help others do their holiday baking. I find myself looking on the back shelf and seeing things that I’d forgotten I had. It’s like cleaning the closet. Taking food to the food bank makes us discover this is a wonderful way to make God smile. Share what you have. It doesn’t have to be much. It is in giving that we receive (St. Francis’s Prayer).

Third would be giving. Though I have lived here for almost 20 years, I continue to learn about Scandinavian values and am always humbled. One I learned a few months ago impacted me. Think about that line in the song, “Human kindness is overflowing.” My friend Anita Raistakka is always happy to see both me and Ben dog when we visit her. We usually sit out on her back porch and visit, but first she gives Ben a lot of attention. She loves him and touches him and talks to him with so much affection. He knows her and loves her as his own friend. Whenever we leave, she’ll find food to give us, cans of chicken for Ben or a piece of meat that’s in her fridge for me. I asked her, “Why are you always giving us food?” She said, “It’s what we do.” Whenever she uses that word “we” in a certain way, I know she means, “It’s what we Finns do.” She told me that Finns coming to the door usually give a gift, then those who were visited give a gift as their guest leaves. And this goes on no matter what the gifts are, big or small, but it’s the gift of giving that shows not only respect for each other but love and attention. It shows we are aware of what each loves and honors. It shows we are making a commitment to the well being of those we love, family or friend. Could there be any finer gift? It’s love that sees beyond the gray. It moves us from a sad loneliness at the beginning to the joy of being with family and friends. And the rain needn’t be sad if we see human love overflowing all around us.

Calendar of Events: Don’t forget football season is starting. Go watch a game!

October 29: Rosburg Christmas Bazaar at Rosburg Hall, Hours 10-2.

October 29: Kids’ Halloween event from 5-8 at Naselle Community Center.

October 29: State Patrol office in Naselle has candy for kids from 3-6.

October 30: Finnish American Folk Festival Board meets at 2 at Naselle Community Ctr.

November 2: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon.

November 5: Prime Rib Dinner at Johnson Park catered by Country Catering/Travis Boggs from 5:30 to 7 with To-Go orders picked up at 6 p.m. Kids $8 and Adults $18. To pre-order tickets call Denise Blanchard: (360) 355-0472 or (360) 465- 2310 or a board member.

November 7: Put your clocks back one hour.

November 9: Grays River Habitat Enhancement District at 5:30 at Johnson Park.

November 12: Holiday Bazaar at Naselle Lutheran from 10-2.

November 12: American Legion Breakfast at Rosburg Hall at 8 a.m.

November 12: Appelo Archives annual Harvest Dinner and Auction at Rosburg Hall at 5 p.m.

November 19: American Legion Ladies will sponsor a bingo at Rosburg Hall at 6 p.m.

December 2: Tree lighting at Naselle Community Center.

December 3: Bazaar at Naselle Community Center.

December 4: Christmas concert at Deep River Church, home tour and soup supper.

December 10: Craft Day/Make a Christmas Centerpiece at Johnson Park 11 – 2. (360) 355-0472.

December 11: Christmas Baking classes at Naselle Community Center.

December 18: Tour of community lights – get those lights up, guys!

December 31: New Year’s Eve 2022 at Johnson Park from 9 p.m. to midnight. Potluck, games with family and friends/ Weather permitting.

Senior Lunches: CAP/Thursday Senior Lunches are now located inside Rosburg Hall at noon. The next Wednesday Senior Lunch will be on November 2 at Rosburg Hall at noon.


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