Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


March 23, 2023

Karen Bertroch

It's been Eagle watching time on Grays River for several weeks. There are still some "sitting around" Grays River west of Duffy's Pub.

Congratulations to Diane Hollenbeck for being named the Woman's Club Citizen of the Year. Diane, you are a wonder to your friends here in Grays River/Rosburg. You show up to help and you do it without thought of yourself. You deserve this honor one hundred times over.

My friend, Kayrene Gilbertsen, is coming to the "Catching the Last Ferry!" event this Saturday at the Hope Center in Cathlamet at 2 p.m. I hope to connect with her there. It's hard to see friends I've known for 20 years sometimes when they marry and move away, so this will be a fun afternoon. This event is going to be full of history, so I hope to see you there.

And for fisherfolks, this weekend offers the Hook the Hawg Salmon Derby at the Cathlamet marina. Get registered by 10 a.m. to participate. It starts today, Thursday, and continues through Saturday. Great fun for the entire family. To register go to:

This past week, I have been working on my end-of-life issues. I went to see Betsy Penoyar at the Joel Penoyar Law Office in South Bend to update my will. With her help I was able to decide how to set it up. I filled out my Do Not Resuscitate paper and put it on the refrigerator so EMT's would have it, and asked Lori Sharrow at the Naselle Clinic to sign it. It's now done and on the frig. I also have determined who will have my Power of Attorney and that's taken care of as well. I hope you all have taken care to set up a will so that at the end of your life, it will be an easier time for your loved ones. The best part of working with Betsy was her ease in giving me advice for my situation and they have a quite reasonable cost.

Last Saturday, I attended Linda Elliott's St. Patrick Day's Tea at the Dahlia House. The drive out there is beautiful. I always see new houses and places where land has been cleared for another house to be built. Indeed, Altoona/Pillar Rock Road is a beautiful drive. The road can get a little tight toward the end, but the county has added asphalt in key places which helps. The scenery can't be beat and Linda's hospitality is top notch. The food was incredible and all Irish, of course. I sat at a table where two women realized they had both grown up here and attended the same schools and had the same teachers. Neither still lives here, so that was a fun time for them. Even Bendog enjoyed himself as he stayed near the back porch where he had his own treats and water. I asked Linda if she has other teas, but she said the annual St. Patrick's Day tea is the only one. However, she would be happy to host a reception, family reunion, shower or other event there. What a beautiful place for a small family wedding. Linda is at (360) 465-2519.

On another note, there have been many rumors floating around about the future of Okie's Store in Naselle. I have tried to get the actual news, but they are not ready to announce it just yet. Let's all be careful of what we post on Facebook or elsewhere. Nothing is certain for the public currently. I'm trying to get the updated facts for you when they are available. Let's all hold back from assumptions and spreading rumors as they can be wrong and they can cause problems for those involved.

I want to send some thoughts about depression into the community. I work with my own issues around mental illness, specifically depression. The best explanation for depression that I've read is "anger turned inward." Sometimes, as often happens, folks who experience it don't want anyone to know. How a person experiences it is often not easily seen or understood. I believe mine was inherited from my mother. And I suspect one of my adult children may have it also. It can be hidden by alcohol, jokes, happy words, diverted eyes or spurts of anger. It can be brought on by an experience that brings back trauma, such as PTSD. It is painful to experience emotionally and it usually is caused by trauma in years past, so it has no easy explanation. Trauma is present in many lives, but how it is handled, especially with children, can impact a lifetime. When I was younger, it was rarely mentioned or discussed. I was aware of it in my young adult years but would never have spoken about it at all because it was seen as a "weakness." And many who had "nervous breakdowns" were clinically depressed and put into a hospital. It's true that deep clinical depression can cause a person to retreat from their life and need professional help. What I know to be true is that it is no one's fault when a person is so skilled at hiding it that they are incapable of sharing their story or asking for help. We see it in teenagers, elderly, veterans, brand new mothers, in a "midlife crisis" and those who had thought life would be different. There are so many underlying factors we don't see or know about. But the result is often tragic. Take a look at how your family members are behaving and practice listening. That's the best way to open the door for sharing. Build love and trust. Call their doctor or take them to see a doctor. Lori Sharrow at the Naselle Clinic takes good care to see that I have what I need in medication to deal with it. God bless her and Margie Godfrey.


Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church sponsors quilters in mornings and knitters in afternoons.

Wednesdays: AA meeting at the Grays River Grange at noon.

First Thursday of the month: Gardening group meets at Johnson Park at 6 p.m.

First Thursday of the month: Caregiver Support Group at Naselle Library with hospital staff from 1-2.

March 25: Bunny Bingo at school. Hot dogs/Potato at 4:30 and bingo at 6. Concessions at school.

March 26. FAFF's building committee meets at 2 then FAFF Board meets at 3 at Naselle Comm. Ctr.

April 8: Easter Egg Hunts in morning and evening.

CAP Senior Lunches: CAP/Thursday Senior Lunches are located inside Rosburg Hall at noon.

Next Wednesday Senior Lunch Club is on April 19. Hope to see you there.


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