#205–A time for beginnings . . .

 

January is the beginning of a new year, and many folks are basking in the smugness of still sticking to the resolutions they made. Some find it a time to restart or revamp some aspect of their lives or even to start something brand new. I don’t do resolutions, but this year, the second sentence totally applies to me.

Restarting Facebook Page

I was having so much trouble with Facebook that I decided to just have nothing to do with it. But it was a place where I posted my blog and many of my followers dropped out because they stopped seeing any new blog posts on Facebook and figured I was no longer doing it.

So I spent a few hours one day working out some of the problems, and decided to quit complaining about it and start all over again.

Now I not only post my blog on it, but I’m posting other stuff too. At times a conversation string gets going, and at other times, there are a lot of likes. And within these names are friends I’ve known 50+ years since college days, friends I’ve known for 30 years, and newer friends as well as family and neighbors. These folks––all jumbled up from various parts of my life––are now a part of my Facebook experience, and that’s what I like best about Facebook.

Revamping PowerPoint Presentation

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These are the posters seen from Florence to Newport about the premiere showing of my newly revamped PowerPoint presentation.

I’ve given between 50 and 60 presentations about the topics of my books: bridges, history of Florence, and rescue animals that made great pets. About 40 have been about the bridges. My first bridges presentation, after Crossings came out in 2011, included a lot of old-timers’ stories. On these presentations, I heard “That was the best program I’ve ever heard!” again and again.

In 2013, when The Crossings Guide came out, I totally changed the PowerPoint presentation to cover the part Crossings and I played in the bridge celebrations, interactions with bridge aficionados, and then taking them down the coast bridge by bridge. It always had attentive audiences, but never over-the-top reactions like the first one.

So I’ve totally revamped it, which took a few days. I kept favorite parts of both presentations plus added new stuff. I really like it, and I’m excited about it. Of course, my passion for the bridges hasn’t dimmed.

The premiere showing will be at the Yachats Commons at 6:30 in the evening on February 4, 2017. It’s a part of the Yachats Academy of Arts & Sciences (dig that name), a lecture series. I’ve delivered posters around Florence, posted on Facebook, emailed folks I thought might be interested, and wrote a press release for the Siuslaw News. The YAAS are taking care of Yachats to Newport. So I hope a good crowd shows up.

Starting New Book

I have begun my new book, which will be a guide to the ‘unexpected’ on the Oregon coast.

Carole in whale rib cage

Carole, my downstairs renter, in the ribcage of a whale at the Washed Ashore Museum. Everything is made from litter collected on the beach.

I’ve got folders made for each of the 35 possibles, printed out a new revised list, gone over the list with my publisher, Bob Serra, who added a couple, and started the research.

Astoria Column

The Astoria Column has the history of the area spiraled from bottom to top in an Italian fresco type art form.Inside spiral staircase 164 steps to the top.

Everyone to whom I’ve talked about it has asked to be put on a list for a copy, which sounds promising! So I think it will do well, and I’m anxious to really get going on it.

I’ve included photos of a couple possibles. If you have any suggestions, send them my way. At this point, nothing is set in stone.

Becoming More Active in the Democratic Party

I was so disappointed, saddened, and really scared for our country when Trump won, that I truly wanted to move out of the U.S. for the next four years. My spirits picked up when I listened to Obama’s wonderful farewell address. He said not to drop out when things don’t go your way, but to do your part in making a change. Think of change as opportunity. Pick up a clipboard and dive in. And that he’s not going to fade away. That he will jump into the fray in the event any principles (and he listed a few) become threatened.

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Stephanie Ames holding sign with which I totally agree.

Well, I dove in this last Saturday with the Women’s March here in Florence. We had somewhere between 250 and 350. I’m not sure of the official number. Even though we had some rain showers, it was a terrific showing. We stuck to sidewalks and tried not to block any intersections or side streets. It was great fun. I saw many familiar faces and met some new folks. There were no Trump bashing signs. There were folks of all ages and a fair number of guys too.

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We kept to sidewalks and didn’t block intersections–all 250 to 350 of us in the Women’s March in Florence.

Later we heard from five speakers at the Florence Events Center. And, again, there was no Trump bashing. We heard a rallying cry for women to channel their disappointment into doing more for women’s rights, became more knowledgeable about what Planned Parenthood actually does (only 3% abortions), received a report on the state of homelessness in Florence, learned about being more inclusive as opposed to becoming more exclusive at all levels, and discovered how a ‘living wage’ not just a ‘minimum wage’ helps not only people affected but the country as a whole. I came away energized!

These are my new beginnings. I’ll keep you posted as the year progresses.

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About crossingsauthor

Freelance writer/editor and author of Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges, The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans, and Around Florence. Spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.
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