APRIL ... from my desk: Museum construction from A to Z

The History Museum

A is for architect — Bud is the best

B is for banging — on the walls without rest

C is for contractors — coming and going

D is for demo — the holes are now showing

E is for electric — that must be planned right

F is for flooring — but the budget is tight

G is for grants — I’ve written a ton

H is for hoping — that some will be won

I is for idle — that’s not what we are

J is for joy — from near and from far

K is for kitchen — the coffee is on

L is for lighting — the old ones are gone

M is for museum — of course, what’d you think

N is for nice — we need a new sink

O is for open — and bright, clean and light

P is for poles — they will look just right

Q is for question — you might have a few

R is for restrooms — they will look brand new

S is for super — all of our crew

T is for timing — if only we knew

U is for us — we’re working so hard

V is for very — exciting new courtyard

W is for watch — and see what we do

(I know; “do” doesn’t’ rhyme — but I’m almost out of lines)

X marks the spot — on the big building plans

Y is for yellow — pine poles that we’ll sand

Z is for zealous — we’re committed to finish

And that’s all the letters — a total refinish

So every once in a while, this all catches up with me and I lay in bed at night wide awake. Part of me is thinking about all that I have to do the next day, and part of me is thinking and getting excited about how wonderful this will all be when it is done.

That’s why it’s 12:38 a.m. and I’m sitting at my desk at home writing this news blog for April. Sleep was just eluding me so I might as well get up and use the hours for something productive instead of tossing and turning and disturbing the cat.

Every day brings new challenges, excitement and just a tiny bit of nervous trepidation. There are so many little and big details that need to be addressed each and every day.

Tomorrow is our weekly contractors meeting and we will be finishing out the electrical planning. I have learned so much in the past week about control boxes, motion sensors, electrical chases and low-voltage vs. high-voltage wire.

The planning is vital to be sure that we have looked at all the scenarios of operation and have taken into account the needs of the staff, volunteers, our visitors and guests. Then we add in the phone system and the computer network and server system and it is way beyond my technical understanding.

But that’s why we have professionals. I have been blessed and touched by so many members of our business community that have responded to my calls for assistance in a variety of areas. All I’ve had to say is “Hi, this is Connie from The History Museum. We’re on a very tight budget,” and people have graciously responded and helped us in so many ways.

So — we just keep moving forward. Just like the members of the Historical Society did in the mid-‘70s when they built this building for the sole purpose of having a wonderful place to store and display the treasures of our community for future generations. And we couldn’t do it without the community support. I’ll talk more about this in May’s blog.

While all this is going on, we are still taking care of our normal museum type duties. Casey Housen, our AmeriCorps education and volunteer coordinator, has some great programs planned for the summer months most of which can be found in the recent Community Ed catalog.

And don’t forget she is starting the downtown walking tours on Saturday, May 19. These are one-hour tours with highlights of local history along with way. We hope you’ll join us by meeting on Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the patio by the library. These will run through May and June.

We are also hosting a very special event on Saturday, May 12, at 9 a.m. at the Mount Hood Railroad depot. This will be the 70th anniversary of the forced evacuation of our Japanese-American friends and neighbors from the Hood River Valley.

The museum received a donation from the Sydney Babson Family Fund/Gorge Community Foundation to cover the costs of an interpretive plaque. This will be unveiled at this event. Please join us in remembering this sad moment in our community’s history.

And for those of you who have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the dates for the 2012 performances of Cemetery Tales, they were just set yesterday based on the 2012-13 football schedule at Hood River Valley High School.

This year’s event will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21, 22 and 23. Mark your calendars; tickets will go on sale on July 25. All proceeds from Cemetery Tales support ongoing museum education and collection needs which are areas not covered in our day-to-day county operating budget. We’re hoping for another sold-out year, so plan now to gather your friends and attend.

We have so much to accomplish over the next few months. We’re seeking a qualified short-term volunteer who can assist with marketing and fundraising for the months of May, June and July. Contact the museum if you are interested and we’ll send you the position scope and qualifications. Résumé deadline is Tuesday, May 1.

Maybe this isn’t your cup of tea, but you might know a family member or friend who would be perfect at this type of position. Please help us spread the word. We are looking for someone with computer skills, social network knowledge and detail-orientated organizational abilities.

Someone once said “I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday.” This is so true in everything we are accomplishing here at The History Museum. We just take the somewhat overwhelming task at hand, and break it down into smaller tasks, delegate and share it among friends and step by step we will reach our goal. All our efforts are our gift to you — our community.

It’s now almost 1:30 a.m. and the alarm is going to ring way too quickly….so for now… from my desk. Good night.

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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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