Morning/Evening all:

Daughter-in-law Cathy is truly a driving force in her neighborhood. Through her efforts an inner-city park is getting needed attention; this morning as a matter of fact. A local church (complete with full coffee urns), civic group, neighbors, and I will all descend into Bellevue Park for a grand cleanup. The bottom line being that I am a bit earlier than normal to get my post and chores done—bear with me.

Communications and the speed by which happenings are spread is wonderful. At the office, minutes after the event someone got text messaged that Tonga experienced an 8.0 earthquake. My first inkling was a head sticking around the doorway of my office; “Dirk, isn’t your daughter in Tonga….”

It quickly became apparent that the phone system in Tonga was down. I called the Peace Corps office in Washington. Many of you know how cynical I can get about governmental bureaucracies: in this case, nothing but praise. Immediately I was given efficient attention and an update as they had it. Three hours later came a call with an additional update and a promise for a further update on Thursday. Thursday at 1 PM my phone rang with an “all safe” message. Thanks to all of our family and friends for being with Adrianne in thought and prayer.

It does give insight as to part of the reason why Adrianne is serving there. As I found out in today’s world knowledge of an event can be spread and reacted to as it is occurring. Meanwhile, in Tonga, sitting in the dark, villagers were beating on tin to keep the Earthquake Spirits away. Now that I am thinking it through I could be totally wrong, instead of mocking it, their noise-making could be the perfect way to keep the kids occupied and entertained at what would be a very scary time for them.

Last Saturday Pat and I not only got his boat launched, mast raised, and the rigging trimmed, but done early enough to get a couple of very pleasant hours of sailing in. I had not been on Brookville Lake before, the spring scenery and low hills were wonderful. For the rest of the season let there be wind.

Thursday evening I went with neighbors to a wonderful wine tasting. The owner of one of the premier Oregon wineries – J. K. Carriere – hosted the event. Unlike many tastings where a short description of the specific wine is given Jeff Prosser the Winemaker, sat with each table and talked wines. I learned more about Pinot Noir and how it behaves in a half hour than I had ever learned before. Add to this the fact that our hosts, the folk from Dilly Deli Wines & Gourmet happen to have a never-ending stream of food: Grilled Cedar-Plank wild Pacific salmon, Miyagi Oysters, Crab-Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms, and a dozen or so cheeses. It quickly became apparent that I had become part of a very special evening.

Sorry Marcia, as you can see, while you are helping Kirstin in Florida, I am still struggling trying to cope here. Now I best do a load of laundry before I head for Bellevue Park and the cleanup. Maybe another cup of coffee before I do that.

Make it a great week everyone and may your quakes be tiny.

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