Thursday, November 3, 2005
Cheers to September
Although I always enjoy the heat of the summer, there are several things about September in the Hood River Valley that are very memorable: 1) Kids back in school, 2) Local pears, apples and other fruits that are fantastic, and 3) Plenty of parking downtown.
It is always fun to see our children back in school, and all of the excitement and promise that it brings. Of course we are reminded to drive safely to protect our children as they venture back to our schools.
Fresh pears and apples from Hood River Valley are truly one of our greatest blessings. I have been enjoying Hood River pears and apples everyday lately, and I plan on continuing that practice. In fact, one way to help Promote a Strong Local Economy (Chamber of Commerce Goal #1, by the way) is for everyone in the Gorge area to eat a local pear or apple everyday, or at least one per family everyday. Pears are great by themselves, in salads, on cereal, in stuffing and soups, grilled (very tasty), baked, in pies, strudels, cakes, muffins, well I could go on. The point is to enjoy our local pears in your favorite ways and enjoy them often. People often wonder why I am always smiling, maybe it is the pears?
And now that Labor Day has passed, there is plenty of parking downtown to enjoy all of those activities you may have missed when so many of our visitors were here during the summer.
Yes, September is a great time of year in Hood River, a time to celebrate our good fortune. So drive safely on your way to get some of our local pears and other fruits, and don’t worry about parking downtown because it is after Labor Day. Cheers and keep it fun.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge