Folks keep in step to sounds of love and life

August 28, 2014

Mrs. Doc watched the dancers swirl around the cleared hardwood floor of the Legion hall, and smiled to see her husband, Doc, waltzing with Ardis Fisher. But Mrs. Doc was never one to sit out a waltz, so she looked around at the menu.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Over in the corner, smiling and tapping his foot, was Pop Walker. Pop and several other residents of the Rest of Your Life retirement home were there to enjoy the dance and celebrate summer.  Pop has a hard time with his memory, these days, but always forgets things with a smile.

“Pop,” said Mrs. Doc, “how about a dance?”

“Why sure … uh?”

“Mrs. Doc.”

“Right. Mrs. Doc.”

Pop had learned to waltz back when more people did it, and the decades had smoothed his dance steps with the fine sanding of time. It was a pleasure for Mrs. Doc to go around the floor with him.

She smiled and winked at her husband as she and Pop danced by. Doc grinned and swirled a fancy di-do with Ardis, just to show off. Then she and Pop got closer to the bandstand and there was Dud Campbell playing his accordion. He looked happy and surrealistic in the muted reddish lights on the stage. Next to him sat Carla Martinez, playing rhythm guitar and smiling out on her town and her life. Jim Albertson was up there, too, playing the waltz’s melody on the harmonica, and trading the lead with Jasper Blankenship on his fiddle.

As she and Pop Walker danced away, the bandstand receded in a blur of light and sound. Passing like ships in the night were Dewey Decker with Mavis from the Mule Barn truck stop. Mavis’s hair is growing back in since the treatments, giving everyone in the valley just one more reason to be thankful. Randy Jones and Katie Burchell sailed by on wings of love.

The waltz ended and Pop walked Mrs. Doc to her seat.

“Thanks for the dance, er … honey,” he said.

“Thank you, Pop.”

The people who dance through our lives give us the reason to get up and get dressed each day.

Listen to the “Home Country Hour” podcast on your computer or other electronic marvels, at


School begins: Time to volunteer

August 28, 2014

Parents throughout the Snoqualmie Valley School District will walk their children to school, to the school bus or drop them off for the first day of classes next week.

Ahh, finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee! Or maybe not if you’re dashing to the office — but a new school year does encourage us to be more organized.

As you figure out who is driving the car pool and how to squeeze in some exercise, save time in your schedule for our schools.

Yes, the Snoqualmie Valley School District needs you! The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.

But the best of the volunteer jobs may be working directly with students. Parents, grandparents and other citizens are always welcome to just listen to children read.

Got time and energy for a bigger role? Ask about becoming a mentor to one student, helping guide them in their social development and their studies — or sometimes just to be there to listen.

If you prefer something more athletic, check into becoming a volunteer to help a coach. The middle schools and high schools have an array of sports teams that need both organizational and skills assistance in support of its coaches.

Volunteers at schools are not expected to take a leadership role. Volunteers do not get involved in discipline or instruction. Their role is one of helper.

Need some adult time? Getting involved in school doesn’t necessarily mean more time with children.

The PTSA at each school is looking for parents to volunteer in everything from teacher recognition to fundraising. Start by joining your PTSA, and then get involved.

And here’s something to consider — you can join the PTSA at your neighborhood school even if you don’t have children there. It can use your help.

The school district does require a background check on every volunteer, whether or not you’re a parent. All volunteers must apply and be approved before they get clearance to begin service. In addition to the typical background information, volunteers must undergo a Washington State Patrol criminal history check once every two years.

To get started, stop in at a school office to learn more about volunteer opportunities and get an application. Forms can also be found at the district’s website.

Volunteering is good for the schools and saves tax money, too. We can guarantee you’ll have a great time. And the payoff? All the smiles you’ll get from staff, teachers and students.

Enjoy the school year.

Passing on the right side is legal

August 20, 2014

I agreed with your rants and raves in the Aug. 14 editorial wholeheartedly except for one of them.

Read more

Yes, you can pass on the right

August 20, 2014

“Who is that guy passing cars on the right side while driving along I-90? Passing on the right is dangerous and illegal. Stop it!” Ah. That is wrong. RCW 46.61.115 says you CAN pass on the right. It is legal you just have to do it safely. And go figure, you should be driving safely anyways. If you couldn’t pass on the right then Interstate 405 and I-5 would have some real issues.’

Shawna Litwin

North Bend

The children are (probably) all right

August 20, 2014

Sometime soon, some area parents will get a pair of letters. One is a federally-mandated notice informing them that their child’s school is failing. The other, likely included in the same envelope, will tell them not to worry about what the first letter says — things are just fine.

Read more

Speculating about Mrs. Doc again

August 20, 2014

The speculating began Thursday again. You see, when it’s either too hot or too cold or too windy or the snow’s too deep or we just get tired of thinking about work, we speculate.

It’s one of our favorite sports.

Read more

The irritating, the ugly and some great stuff

August 15, 2014

We need to talk. Things have gotten out of hand again on the freeway.

Read more

Letter write’s hospital questions addressed

August 15, 2014

This is in response to Grant Edwards’ letter “Hospital sale needs more discussion” published on July 31. We appreciate your comments and wanted to clear up a few misconceptions.

Read more

Windy traps audience with words

August 15, 2014

Every hunter knows places to look for in the woods … places where game is more likely to be approached or surprised. It’s that way with Windy Wilson, too.

Read more

Wishes finally wet our whiskers, trees and lawns

August 6, 2014

We walked quietly out and looked toward the west. It seems as though everyone did. Neighbors were out and the dogs were racing around trying to set new yard-to-yard speed records.

Read more

Next Page »