Downriver Dispatches

News from Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


December 14, 2023

Darlene Warra Bjornsgard who died last week. Photo courtesy of Chris Dorman.

Photo of the Week: Darlene Warra Bjornsgard. Just a few days ago, we lost a woman whose life impacted many. Darlene was hospitable, generous, and always family first. Here is a quote from Scott Johnson on Facebook that illustrates so well what this woman meant to all of us. He told a story that is an example of the love and care both Darlene and Paul have given to so many here. His message reflects how the community remembers Darlene with such respect and gratitude.

"I will always remember that shortly after moving to Naselle in 1985 that I had to have surgery. The night I came home from the hospital I was sitting in a chair in the living room when a man I hadn't met before (Paul), came to the door with an arm load of food Darlene had made for me (I hadn't met her yet either).

They made sure I was taken care of, and I learned right then and there what awesome neighbors I had up the street. Darlene was most definitely Naselle's #1 Ambassador and one of the most special persons I have ever met. The Bjornsgard family was forever close with my relatives Iver & Rosie Johnson, and many laughs and good times were shared when they were together. Paul and Darlene also helped me when I started my business by renting me their bulldozer when I didn't have one. Just one more thing I will always appreciate. My thoughts are with you Paul, and with your children and extended family, all of whom are special people."

My Dream: This Christmas I have a dream, one that would impact us all. Instead of spending money on gifts, look at what we already have that we could give. We older folks have so many things and I wonder if any of your family would like to receive them as gifts? Look around your house. Who of your friends would love to have your dad's old ashtray or an apron you made? What is there around you that expresses you, yourself, the most? Would a purchased gift mean more than love expressed through giving of your own things? What would that love look like if you could give yourself to those you love, instead of a thing you purchased? It is Christmas, a time for giving; what about donating food from your pantry or buying extra Christmas food to give to the West End Food Pantry? Can you anonymously help someone pay their power bill at the PUD? Can you walk through a hospital on Christmas Day and chat with people who are alone? Do a loving act, share memories, or be the gift by visiting or calling those you love. Let's give the gift of ourselves in every possible way. Inside your Christmas card you could include a note with a story about a memory you have of the person you sent it to. The thought counts, yes, but the love that cares says so much more. In the children's book, "The Littlest Angel," written in 1946 by Paul Micich, the Littlest Angel was "exactly four years, six months, five days, seven hours and forty-two minutes of age when he presented himself to the venerable Gatekeeper and waited for admittance to the glorious kingdom of God." Soon he was asked to bring a gift to the Christ child on Christmas Eve. He saw the fine gifts the other angels had brought, but he felt embarrassed about his because all he had was "a little box with a butterfly's wings, a sky blue egg from a bird's nest, two white stones from a river bank, and a limp leather strap, once worn by my dog who died as he had lived, in love and devotion." After he put the box on the table in the angels' chapel, there was an ominous silence in heaven, undisturbed but for the heartbroken sobbing of the Littlest Angel. Suddenly the voice of God swelled throughout Paradise. And the voice of God said, "Of all the gifts of all the Angels, I find that this small box pleases me most. Its contents are of the earth and of men, and my son is being born to be King of both. I accept this gift in the name of the child, Jesus, born this night in Bethlehem." This book sold over a million copies in its first year because it was so popular as World War II ended, and it has remained so.

Speaking of children, as we look ahead to the coming vote on the Naselle/Grays River Valley School District's levy, I wish to remind our readers that a vote in favor of the levy would increase every student's school experience and enrich their education. The election will be in February. Your vote of support for the School District's levy would help fund services and activities in the Schools that would not otherwise be offered. Without additional funding from the levies, there would be no sports, no coaches, no transportation for games, no counselors, no supplemental food program, no robotics program and no field trips. As Superintendent Lisa Nelson said, "This is how students learn to work as a team. This is tomorrow's workforce. This is our future as we watch our students grow, learn skills for service in their communities, and become leaders." Please vote yes. That vote is also a gift.

Calendar of Events:

Mondays/Wednesdays: Balance Class Naselle Community Center 2-3 p.m.

Second Monday: American Legion at Rosburg Hall, meal at 6 p.m. Meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church. Quilters in morning; knitters in afternoons.

Third Tuesday: Naselle/GRV School Board 6:30 p.m. The December meeting will be at Grays River Fire Hall.

Wednesdays: AA meeting Grays River Grange, noon.

Second Wednesday of the month: Grays River Flood Control District at Fire Hall 5:30 p.m.

First and third Wednesdays each month: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall. Next on Dec. 20.

Thursdays every week: CAP senior lunches, noon, at Rosburg Hall.

Second Thursday: Johnson Park Board meeting at 10 a.m.

December 17: Lighted Christmas Parade at 4:30 p.m. along Knappton Road in Naselle.

December 27: Alumni basketball game at high school gym. Contact Marie Green at the school.

January 17: County conservation meeting. Dan Cothren, chair. 2 p.m. 3rd Floor, Courthouse.

February 24: Memorial Reception for Dale Dutcher at Rosburg Hall from 1-4 p.m.

Word for the week: Personal


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