Tsunami Readiness

The first day we arrived for our work/camp hosting at Bullards Beach State Park, we attended a meeting with our Park Ranger, who along with telling us all about our work duties, also told us about Tsunami’s, and showed us where the Tsunami evacuation route is located.

I tried not to let the idea of a Tsunami worry me too much because I like to think positive and want to believe it won’t happen… However, it is real hard not to think about Tsunami’s around here because everywhere you go there is a big sign reminding you of what to do and where to go in the event a Tsunami strikes.

I finally decided Bill and I better get educated as best we can on exactly what to do if a Tsunami does strike while we are here. So, last Thursday evening, Bill and I attended a Tsunami readiness class offered right here in the park. The park brought in an expert guest speaker from Coos Bay to enlighten us on the facts about Tsunami’s. It was very informative, and we learned a lot about how Tsunami’s happen, and how often they occur, on average, here on the Oregon Coast.

I was surprised to learn that, on average, a Tsunami has hit the Oregon coast, every 250 years. Right here, in this very spot where we are located. Now imagine my “deer in the headlights” look when the instructor went on to inform us that it has been 315 years since the last Tsunami hit. He went on to tell us that when (not if) the next one hits, it’s going to be huge. He said the first and only warning we will have is the huge earthquake that will proceed the Tsunami. He told us the earthquake will be violent, and last for at least five full minutes. He actually set a timer and continued talking just to show us how long that five minutes will be… He said we will think the world is going to come to an end, but it’s not, and that we will think we are all going to die, but we won’t. He said the earth will be shaking so hard we won’t be able to stand up or walk at all. He told us to drop, take cover, and hold onto whatever we can find as protection against things falling on us. He said when the shaking stops we will have about 10 minutes to get to our ‘safe zone” before the Tsunami hits. Then he said “now I don’t tell you this to scare anyone, but rather to help you understand how important it is for you to be ready”. OMG! Well it’s already too late to try not to scare me about this! And, now, knowing all that will happen, that put a whole new level of importance on making sure Bill and I know what to do, and where to go, not if, but when the next Tsunami hits!!

Important things we learned were to have a “to go bag” packed, and at the ready, to grab and run with. In the grab and go bag you need water, medications, food, flash light, extra set of cloths etc. for at least three days. The instructor told us we will be on our own because bridges will be gone, there will be no power because all the power lines will be gone… and no one is going to be able to come and get us for days, or even weeks… You better know I’m a planner, and our backpacks are packed and ready right this very minute..

We were also told to practice the Tsunami evacuation route so we know exactly where to go and how long it will take us to get there. So this morning, instead of taking my usual walk around the park, Bill and I practiced the Tsunami evacuation route and timed how long it will take us to reach “the safe zone”.

This is the route we have to take. The pictures are not as sharp as I would like, but when your trying to run and shoot pictures at the same time, you take what you get… Also keep in mind, after the earthquake stops, you have about 10 minutes to get to the “safe zone”.

So, here we go… We have to leave our campsite

run past all the other 100 plus campsites

run down this long road

turn a corner and run down another long road,

turn another corner and go to the Tsunami route trail head

run up the evacuation route that will take us up 80 feet high. It’s a long, winding trail.

Oh, look, sand… now where did that come from. Keep in mind our park is 3 miles from the ocean/beach…

keep running up, up, up…

dodge trees

 

Oh, more sand…

and try not to trip on tree roots that stick up out of the ground and might be hidden by all the sand… I asked Bill where he thought all the sand came from? He said he didn’t know, but it was probably from the last Tsunami. Are you kidding me!!! This is supposed to be a “safe zone” that will keep us above the Tsunami waters…. Now, I’m not always the brightest bulb in the bunch…, but something is  not adding up for me with this picture… Especially now that I remember the instructor saying some Tsunami waves can reach heights of 100 feet or more… This “safe zone’ is only 80 feet high… Do you think that adds up??

But no matter how high the “safe zone” is, it’s better than staying in the campground where the Tsunami waters are for sure going to cover everything… so just keep on running until…

finally, you reach a clearing which is the meeting place for us, and all the other hundreds of people that will be heading for the same little spot…

Bill said it took us seven minutes to reach the “safe zone” from our campsite. Not good enough, because we were fully dressed with shoes etc. If we were to have to do this in the middle of the night, we would have to get dressed, or at least put our shoes on, then grab our to go bags… Thankfully, they are all packed and ready to go..

I just hope all the other folks around here are packed and ready like we are. Because, if they aren’t, and I saw some little kid looking at me hungry, or cold… I would have to give them all our stuff and we would end up just like we never prepared at all..

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Looking For Common Sense

Anyone that knows me, or follows my blog, knows my husband, Bill, and I legally adopted our first granddaughter, Shantel. She had both eyes enucleated due to cancer before she was two years old. If anyone reading this doesn’t know what enucleated means. The dictionary says it means ” removal of an organ or other mass intact from its supporting tissue”. In layman terms, it means both of her eyes were taken out. I hate to be that blunt, but as you read this post you will understand why.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many people, from the time Shantel first lost her sight, to this very day, come up and ask what caused Shantel to be blind. When she, or I, explain she had to have both eyes removed due to cancer, and that what they are seeing when they look at her are prosthetic eyes… These folks will actually ask if she can see anything through her prosthetic eyes?I have to say, I think sometimes, the folks Shantel ,and/or Bill, and I come in contact with when we are out together, just don’t grasp what we are telling them about Shantel’s loss of sight. They ask questions before they really think about what they are saying…

But I will never, ever, excuse that kind of questioning from people in agencies, that are supposed to be there to help people in their time of need.

To say the very least, Shantel losing her sight, and all that followed trying to help her become the contributing member of our society she wants to be, was a horrific experience that I would not wish on anyone. But it was a journey both Bill and I were willing to take with Shantel to save her life and because we love her.

Because Shantel is totally blind, she can, and does, receive social security disability insurance from time to time. I say from time to time, because Shantel doesn’t want to depend on any government assistance. No, she wants to make her own way in life.

Shantel went to a Community College, and graduated with two AA degrees. One in psychology, and one in general studies. And, she also has a license to sell life and health insurance in Arizona…

All Shantel wants to do is work. When she graduated college, she made it her job to find a job. She went on endless interviews. I took her to these interviews, so I know first hand what she was told.

Over and over, Shantel was told ” you don’t have enough work experience… Of course not, when she was in High School, like all her High School peers, she applied for jobs in every burger joint etc. around our community, and not one place would hire her stating “we have more qualified applicants”…

Fast forward several years… Shantel is out on her own. Living in a one bedroom apartment. She finally got a job working in a Call Center. She LOVED working there even though they couldn’t support her need to have a screen reader on her workstation. She went through two training sessions, because they were not ready for her to take active calls after she graduated the first class… So, finally, she was assigned to listen in on calls with new employees and help them know what to say to the customer… She worked there for about nine months when the company was sold, and the people in the division Shantel worked in where let go.

So, what now for Shantel? Well, she applied for unemployment benefits, and was told she would have to go to get a note from a doctor that says she is “visually impaired” before she can receive unemployment benefits.  Shantel told the unemployment office she has a doctor’s letter from Social Security stating she had both eyes enucleated before she was two years old.

This is where I’m looking for  “common sense”. .. The unemployment agency actually told Shantel,  “you need to have a letter stating that you are still blind today”. Apparently the unemployment agency does not understand what enucleated means…

So Shantel had to go to yet another Doctor today, just to give her a letter saying… YES, YOU ARE TOTALLY BLIND, and your EYES ARE NEVER GOING TO GROW BACK!!!

OMG, as her parents, and going through all that we have gone through just to get Shantel where she is today, which is where we are so PROUD of her to be… We just can’t believe she still has to deal with this kind of incompetence …

If you know where common sense is… please let me know!

Beyond belief…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson In Futility

One of the items for sale in the Lighthouse where Bill and I work two days a week, is a Jigsaw Puzzle of the Lighthouse. The pieces come in a cute little pail, and I decided we should purchase one so we could work on it together in the evenings when it was raining to hard to be out and about…

Now, I’ve never been big on games and such, but I thought this jigsaw puzzle might be perfect on rainy nights, because we don’t have any TV reception here…

I don’t know whatever possessed me to think this was going to be a good thing, because I’ve never put together a jigsaw puzzle, and had no idea how frustrating they can be when all the pieces begin to look-alike, and I have the patience of a gnat for things like this. I just thought this was a small item, that won’t take up much space in our RV, so we bought it.

 

Well, the first thing we realized, a little too late, was that we needed to go buy some kind of board, or tray, to put the jigsaw puzzle together on. Because, if we put it together on the table, we need to be able to pick it up and move it when we have dinner or need to work on the computer…

So we went off to Walmart to purchase a cutting board to work the jigsaw puzzle on. We decided on a cutting board because I have a rule of making sure anything we put in the RV needs to serve at least two purposes… I wish I would have remembered that rule before we bought the jigsaw puzzle..

Finally, it was time to begin working the jigsaw puzzle. We spent hours here and there, spread over many days, working on our puzzle. We talked, and laughed, and had a lot of fun trying to get all the little pieces into the right positions… And, Isn’t it pretty?

What a great feeling of accomplishment and creativity it was to place the very last puzzle piece into its proper place. We stood back and admired our work with big smiles on our faces.. Then, the “big picture” sunk into my head. What are we going to do with our master piece now? We can’t frame it because we have no wall to hang it on, we don’t have a coffee table to set it on etc. .. No, it’s still sitting on the cutting board that we move from the table to the sofa and back again as needed. All we can really do with it is take it apart and put it back in the cute little pail it came out of…??

The dictionary says the definition of futility is “having little or no purpose or importance or has little positive outcome“. That’s exactly how I feel about our jigsaw puzzle right now… Ha!

Bill said “we can at least use the cutting board for the next jigsaw puzzle we buy” to which I promptly said “why would we ever need to ever buy another jigsaw puzzle when we can just keep putting this one together and taking it back apart again? He said “you’re the one that thought it would be a good, fun, thing to do” and I said “well, what do I know, I also thought it would be a good idea for us to volunteer to take down snow fences in Wyoming, and that didn’t turn out so great for us either”. 🙂 🙂

I don’t have the heart to do it just yet, but soon, I will take our jigsaw puzzle apart and put it back in the cute little pail.  I will just take pleasure knowing that the little positive outcome from this was that we had fun talking and laughing while we put our temporary masterpiece together. And that made it all worthwhile.

Stay Tuned!

 

Take 1, Beach Sunset

Bill and I went to the beach last night to watch the sunset here at Bullards Beach State Park. We are located just three miles from the beach, and when we left our campsite at 8:00 p.m. the sky was a little cloudy, but clear with no sign of any rain/storms…

When we arrived at the beach, just three miles away… the picture was very different. The water was very choppy, and there was a lot of fog and haze hiding the sun from our view.

Every now and then we could see a bit of an orange glow in the clouds, but the sun never really showed itself.

We watched, and watched for the magic to happen… because

I wanted to see the sun, looking like a big orange ball, set right down into the ocean just like you see in all the beautiful ocean sunset movies…

The weather chart we used said the sun was to set at 9:00 p.m. We were at the beach at 8:00 p.m.  I was ready and waiting for the breathtaking scene to take place… But, it didn’t happen last night…

When I told my bro, Danny, we were going to the beach to watch the sun set, and I was so excited that I was going to get to take pictures of it, he said “sorry for you”. Ha! Now, when he asks me if I got the pictures I wanted, I’ll just have to tell him no, but that he can keep feeling “sorry for me”… as we go out again, and again, until it happens…

Stay tuned!

 

 

Florence, Oregon

Today was a picture perfect day here at Bullards Beach State Park and surrounding areas. It stopped raining, the sun came out for a visit, and blessed us with blue skies…

Well, when that happens, it didn’t take long for Bill and I to get the “big picture”, and take advantage of every beautiful day we have here, especially when one falls on our day’s off…

 

So off we went, to visit the lovely, quaint, little town of Florence, Oregon.

 

 

 

We are on a quest to sample clam chowder, and fish and chips, from various areas along the Oregon coast while we are here. Last week we had some folks come into the lighthouse while we were working our shift, and they told us if you want “really good claim chowder” you must go to Mo’s, in Florence.. Well OK… Mo’s it is…

Both Bill and I had the fish & chips that came with a cup of clam chowder.

In all honesty, it was just OK. Both Bill and I agree, that so far… (and we have only been here 17 days), Captain Jack’s Crab Shack in Charleston, has the best clam chowder, and Bandon Fish Market, has the best fish and chips… But, hey we still have six weeks to explore many more good seafood eats in and around Bullards Beach State Park.. 🙂

Lunch didn’t meet our expectations, but it was well worth the beautiful drive to visit this pretty little town.

Stay tuned!

Tears in Heaven

I’ve heard it said that when we get to heaven there will be no more tears and no more pain… But I now believe there will be tears in heaven, at least for me there will be.

Today is our daughter, Shantel’s, birthday. She is 24 years old today.

Shantel lost both her eyes to cancer before she was two years old. Because she was so young when she lost her sight, she doesn’t know what Bill and I look like. In fact, when she first lost her sight, I would always say “hi, Shantel, it’s mama” whenever I picked her up from her crib etc. so she would learn to recognize my voice.

As she got older, and I would go to pick her up from daycare, or even a little later when I would go to pick her up from school…, I would always approach her saying “hi Shantel, it’s mama”, and she would always answer “hi mama”.

A couple of weeks ago I had a dream that was so real, and affected me so profoundly, that I couldn’t even tell Bill about it because it just overwhelmed me with emotion. I dreamed I had passed away, and was in heaven, and I became aware that it was Shantel’s time to come to heaven, and I was sent to meet her at the gates of heaven. I stood at the gates of heaven and watched as Shantel approached me. Of course, she could see now because she was made whole and had both her natural eyes again. As she came closer to me I said “hi Shantel”, and she looked into my eyes and said “mama”? I said “yes”, and she said “oh, mama, you’re so beautiful”, and we hugged each other so long, and so hard, and let me tell you there were tears in heaven that day… tears of pure joy!

Happy Birthday, Shantel.

I love you,

Mama

Destination, Cape Arago State Park, Oregon

Today Bill and I took a short, little day trip, outside of the park. Our destination was, Cape Arago State Park, here in Oregon. But first, we just had to stop off at Cap’n Jacks Crab Shack in Coos Bay. We read about this little place on-line, and wanted to see for ourselves if it was as good as it is advertised to be…

 

When we arrived, at 12:00 noon today, Cap’n Jack himself was just opening the door and welcomed us in.

And when I say Cap’n Jack, that is for real… He actually, owns the place, and he is the Captain of the fishing boat that goes out to catch a lot of the seafood that supplies a lot of local restaurants. He has his own boat, and a full crew. We know that for sure, because while we were there, several other restaurant owners, that surround Cap’n Jacks ,came in to put in their orders for the next week…

The next picture is of what Cap’n Jack told us is a rock crab. He said when it’s in the ocean it looks just like a rock..

And of course, they have fresh crabs for sale in their showcase for you to purchase and take home to cook..

Bill/Bro had a clam chowder bread bowl that he said was the best HE ever had, even better than what we had in San Francisco.

I had the fish tacos, Yum, Yum, but only because they said crabs would not be ready for a while, and we wanted to get on our way…

After lunch, we stopped off at Sunset Beach, to check out the tide pools. We were able to collect some feathers on the beach, but we were not able to really get to the tide pools. Or at least we didn’t see how we could get there…

Moving on, we made our way to Cape Arago State Park. Oh, my, it was just breathtaking to Bill and I. I talked to our daughter, Shantel, who is totally blind, on the phone today, and tried to explain what all we saw today, and of course, as her mother, it always brings tears to my eyes when I see this kind of beauty, and know I don’t really have the words to help her understand what she can’t see..

We could hear the sea lions barking, barking, barking, from these rocks… But I couldn’t get a close enough picture, because some of this area is closed off due to sea-lion pupping season..  When I told our daughter, Shantel ,about the sea lions, she wanted to know if we could pet them… It’s just so hard to explain what we see, and what she never will..

Driving home we took the “seven devil’s” road. It was beautiful as well…

Another beautiful day. Another reason Bill/Bro and I are so thankful to be here… And, I’m still being told… “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…

Stay Tuned!

Bandon Oregon

After Bill and I attended 10:30 a.m. Mass this morning in Bandon, we went to try a fish & chip place our supervisor, Ranger, Patrick, told us about in Bandon, called the Bandon Fish Market.

 

This is a tiny little place with only about five tables inside and some benches on the outdoor patio. There is a constant line of people, that wraps around the building, waiting to get in to order their baskets of fish etc. When we saw all the people Bill and I were hoping this was going to be as good as Patrick told us it was, and it was!

Bill and I love fish and chips, and we both agreed that this was some of the best we’ve ever had. YUMMERS! They give you huge portions, six pieces of fish, and a seemingly bottomless box of fries, as well as coleslaw or garlic toast on the side. It was delicious, and we will definitely go back for more sometime.

After lunch, we walked around Old Town Bandon. What an adorable little place it is. We visited this little shop that is attached to Tony’s Crab Shack.  We asked the man behind the counter to tell us about the crabbing pots (big wire basket looking things stacked in the front of the store), they have for rent outside the shop, and about the crabbing season. He explained that in the summer, usually towards the middle or end of summer, is when the larger male crabs come in towards the pier, and are more readily available for catching in the pots. He said there is a size limit and you have to release anything that isn’t the right size… He said you can purchase a crabbing license, rent a pot(s) and go crabbing right off the pier behind the store. And when you catch your crabs, Tony’s Crab Shack will even cook them up for you if you don’t want to take them home and cook them yourself.. How cool is that?

 

This little shop also sells every kind of colorful whirly things you can imagine.

All up and down the pier you can find all sorts of interesting boat dock related things to explore.

And, they have all sorts of wood carved figurines placed all around the pier as well.

In the middle of the pier, they have an enclosed area with all kinds of unique wood carved furniture.

This weekend the pier was also showcasing a local grade school’s art work project.

There were sea gulls flying overhead, and I was hopping one would drop a feather or two, because I’m trying to find some feathers from different kinds of birds for my frister who needs them for some of her special art projects. So far no luck…but I keep looking…

The streets of Old Town Bandon are lined with one of a kind little shops, and all the stores seem to be adorned with the most beautiful flowers.

If the men folk get tired of shopping with the ladies… they even have special waiting areas outside the shops just for them…

It was a really fun day exploring the Old Town Bandon area. Before we left, I did purchase a colorful three tiered whirly wheel to decorate our little campsite yard. Now, if I had about six more colorful whirly things to place around our campsite, we might look like we fit in with all the other camp hosts that come here every summer.. Ha! I did find a really cool, colorful windsock that said “Happy Hour” on it, but I wasn’t about to pay $24.00 for a windsock. Nope, I’m just as happy with my colorful little whirly wheel.

Just before we were ready to leave Bandon, I stopped in the restroom, and captured this note someone wrote on the inside of the restroom door.. While I don’t think it’s at all nice to write on anyone’s property, since it was already there, I thought it was a nice thought, and so I will leave you with it too..

Stay Tuned!

Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon

I was asked to write my thoughts about my first impression of the Oregon Coast. Well, guess what? For the first time, in a long time, I actually don’t know what to say. I don’t think I even know words that can begin to describe the beauty Bill and I are sitting in the middle of here at Bullards Beach State Park. After a year of waiting, planning, and anticipating this Oregon adventure, we are finally here. And, all I can say, is that I am overwhelmed by the absolute beauty everywhere I look.

From the moment I looked up and saw a glimpse of the Oregon coastline as we were making our way to Bullards Beach State Park, all I could do was cry. I know some folks find it hard to believe, that at 65 yrs of age, I have never traveled across country, until Bill and I retired and started our full-time RV life, but it’s true, and I have never seen anything like Oregon. I just can’t wait to get out on some day trips, and explore all that Oregon has to offer, because I’ve been told “you ain’t seen nothing yet”… But, for now, I will share some pictures of what we are enjoying within the Park we are calling home for the next two months.

Welcome to Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon.

This is our campsite where we are all set up to sit a spell with coffee in the mornings, happy hours in the afternoons, and a campfire in the evenings…

Of course, this is the awesome lighthouse where we work two days a week.  LOVE it!

And look closely in the middle of the next picture and you will see two deer romping around.

This park even has a horse camp area, complete with corrals, where you can have your own horses right in your campsite (Laurie Archbold). Now who wouldn’t love having a horse to ride on the beach…? This girl would… 🙂

There are several trails within the park that lead directly to the ocean/beach…  Bill and I followed this trail that lead us to …

these awesome sights!

I guess I’m rocking the windblown look right?

Bill is mesmerized by the ocean waves..

Like I said, I don’t know what to say, because everywhere I look, everything I see is beautiful.

Bill and I are so thankful, and grateful, for this opportunity to be here. Everyday is a new blessing for us, and we are like two kids at Christmas just running from one thing to another as we take it all in.

Tomorrow we will go to Mass, at a small Catholic Church we found in Bandon, and you know Bill and I will be giving thanks, because we take absolutely nothing for granted..

Stay Tuned!

 

 

Wheeling It: Tales From a Nomadic Life

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