Video -- Kay Dahlquist: A loving life of books

February 8, 2012

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Kay Dahlquist reads to students from Bambino’s International Learning Center.

Writing books was always a joy for Kay Dahlquist of Hood River, the Hood River News reported in its Feb. 1 edition. Reading them to children is an even greater one. The author, 97, still looks for opportunities to read to local school kids. She lives at Hawk's Ridge Assisted Living, where a group of pre-schoolers from Bambino's International Learning Center got to hear Dahlquist read from her book "Kindergarten At Last." It was a fitting subject for kids who next year will start "regular" school. n "I can't describe how I felt when my first book was handed to me," said Dahlquist, who began writing in her 80s. "I was up in the sky. I can't believe how popular they've been." Dahlquist raised six children, including Sharon Guidera of Hood River. She has 12 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren Her books, all written by hand, are "The Kindergarten Mystery and The Wee House"; "The Little Brown Donkey"; Hopalong's Adventure" ; and "Kindergarten At Last." Irish folk tales and her own experiences as a kindergarten teacher for 14 years influenced her stories. Becoming an author late in life,"just happened," she said. "I don't really know. I sat down one day and began to write and before I knew it I had a book." Reading to the kids was her favorite part of teaching: "I liked reading to them, discussing the book with them," she said. Children inspired her stories "100 percent" but she turns to another Author for how the stories came to her. "You have to ask the good Lord that. I don't know. It just came from him."

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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



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