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This blog entry is a bit like breaking up compacted soil; heavy clay, dry, and so compressed that it has that slight shine; a hard pan in which a party of grass has got a foothold in the wet season, but been decimated by footfall. This blog post is about death and sorrow.

Having a homestead taken away in which one had a space to welcome strangers and entertain friends, and manage the unsafe emotions of loss and self-discovery.


My diaries from 1966 which I have just been reading are full of amazing things, which I'd forgotten.

June 18

"Was just bitten by a bee atop the head, and I am holding the ice cube on it. John took my shoe, tossed it on the beehive, then went back to knock the shoe off of the hive. He did, but returned pursued by bees, and was bitten on the head by one. Grandmother Wolf and I went out to see, Paul drove up, and John and I found ourselves attacked by bees. We ran off, John to home, me into the house. I got in-side, felt a pain, and pounded at it, killing the bee there."

July 3

"Speaking of that, I might as well admit that I almost killed John with the tractor after we had hauled up the floor beams."

July 9

"Next we drove to Joe's place, to pick up a larger truck, and John and I admired an old, circa 1920 tractor that Bob Whitman got going. While there two little girls saw some chicks and said, "Look at the chicks. There are millions of them," to which I replied, "At least six." Then one girl said, "Where did they come from?" Answered I, "eggs".


"Anyway, we bumped out to the main road, and passed through Yamhill, and headed for Forest Grove. At a fork in the road, separated by a bar-and-grill, a "beer joint", we met Bill, turned left  where a sign said "Scoggin Valley", and headed full speed to the lumber-place, so as not to miss the operator.

We passed farms, homes, schools, and a great big lumber mill. Because of a dam, all this will be under water."