Saturday, June 2, 2018

Rear Viewitis

I don't want to look!

My anxieties will run me over if I keep looking in the 
rearview mirror.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Birds of Pray

I cut the branches from the plum tree to look up, up at our sky.I was not alone—someone was looking down at me.

Friday, May 4, 2018

s e e k e r


For spiritual guidance, the right path, contentment.

A lifetime of working and finding that certain calmness.

But Ha! I found it and it was right here next to me all this time.

My big ball of yarn!

When I'm knitting, everything is all right with the world.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

spring fling

"It is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives, for which we should be particularly grateful."
—Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


and it shall be given you. Matthew 7:7

Saturday, March 10, 2018

our UNIVERSAL wood stove

--- by Michael John Byrne

A hundred years ago, surely, bread was baked and tomatoes stewed on her.

This beautiful wood-fired cook stove with nickel plated legs and trim sits idly by, while the new gas range gets all the first-team reps. 
The warming oven stores bread and chips. Wine bottles are laid on their sides and chocolate bars in foil wrappers.

Stove top is counter top, denizens changing daily.  
Honey pot and sugar bowls —morning cereal, and canning jars coming up.
Plenty of available space, maybe today's mail or a small vase of late summer flowers.

The oven is storage for cast iron pots; their heaviness matches the stone solidity of 

Not sure at all how she got there.  
In a barn on Barrett's Cherry Ranch—out Mill Creek.  
I accept without comment, 
the notion that cherries are not farmed, but raised on a ranch.  
At least in The Dalles.

The fruit was always picked by migrants.  
Back in the day, they came from Oklahoma and Arkansas; the remnants of a dust bowl diaspora that saw thousands of displaced farmers spread across the agricultural west picking the crops by season.  

Cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and apples.  
South to north, as the fruit ripened in the sun.  Families, for the most part.  

Little kids picked the bottom branches, while dads handed the wooden ladders to their wives and set 30' spikes for themselves to get the cherries on top.

Back to the story:


Was picking cherries with Paul Hasbrook on Barrett's Ranch in The Dalles—
up Mill Creek Road.

I looked in the window of a old barn and saw the stove.

Asked Jim Barrett if I could buy the stove and he said, 
"Yeah, for $50."
I told him I would come back in the fall to pick it up.

When I got paid, Jim made out the check, but for $250 too much.
I asked him about it, "Are you sure?"
He said, "Yes."
Paul elbowed me and said, 
"Let's go!"

Before I left town, I opened a bank account and put the $250 in it. Just in case.

We took off.
June. July.
Went to the beach and to the Meadow.

In the fall of that year, Jim Barrett wrote to say he changed his mind and wasn't going to sell the stove after all. "Sorry."

Because I was feeling guilty about being overpaid, I wrote Jim a letter stating I still had the money from which he overpaid me. I gave Jim my new address since I was moving to Colorado. 

Three months later, I needed the money to live on (Ski bum days). Used it all.

In the Summer of '71, I got a letter from Jim Barrett stating they discovered the 
financial mistake. 

"Will you please return the $250, but as a reward for your honesty—you can have the stove."

So, I immediately came back from Colorado and worked in Aubert's orchard in Parkdale; 
picking pears to make the money to repay the Barretts.

Meanwhile, Phil Swaim and I had time off to drive down to Eugene to see the Grateful Dead—the band members were friends of the folks at NANCY'S HONEY YOGHURT - the Springfield Dairy.

We ran into Julie Price and she said, "Hey, why don't you guys come down to Otter Rock?"
So I finished picking pears and paid Jim Barrett in full.

Picked up the stove, but had to store it at Dave & Sherry Jackson's place in The Dalles until they moved it up to the Mosier house in 1974. 

During those years, I had gone to see Julie and her brother Bruce Price. 
Bruce asked me if I wanted to fish with him on The Anastri in Newport.

"Of course I do," I said.


Friday, March 9, 2018


rather liberating to go a full week without anyone calling or needing me—
tells me they are doing well and gives me permission, to do the same!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

"It's not that I belong to the past, 
but that the past belongs to me." 
                                                                                                 Mary Antin

Saturday, March 3, 2018



Friday, March 2, 2018

I R I S H proverb:

You've Got To Do Your Own Growing—
No matter how Tall your grandfather was. 

My Irish grandfather, Peter, came from Tullamore.

Tell me your story, Peter.

Monday, February 26, 2018

cute baby

chubby girl
with your ruddy cheeks
and dimpled arms.

Want to hug you tight,
won't do any harm.

Let me kiss your nose
and count your toes
And never, ever, let you go.

I'm your mother
your sister, your nanny, 
your lover,

your friend, your counselor, your priest and your nun.
your teacher, your father, your brother, your mum.

I am you— little baby
I am you —but old
I am loving you now
with a story 
to be told.

Once  upon  a  time 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

C O N G R E S S M A N schooL


My husband, Michael Byrne, 
started running for a Congressional seat 
in January 2017.
I started running away from him in March 2017.
This race has not been easy for me.

Michael on the other hand, is focused and tireless. 
He understands my discomfort 
but gave me permission 
to do whatever I want. 
However, I don't know what I want. 
Needless to say, we have fought over this issue 
throughout the year.
Or shall I say, I fight over it. 

His sister, Kathy, told me I was selfish. 
She repeated that word, four times while pointing her finger.
 I couldn't breathe and my
 soul became bruised.
My face was red and I cried all the way home 
from their house.
Michael did nothing to soothe my tears and fears. 

He simply said, "They believe in me."
Democrat Candidate for Oregon District 2

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


am running away—

Whenever hubby and I don't see eye to eye, 
I want to move to Friday Harbor. Ha Ha! Never been there, but it requires a ferry ride and a rain coat. I imagine myself walking along their shore and sipping a latte in a quaint coffee shop. 
A massage and pedicure to complete the day. Yarn and time would leave me alone with only inspiration and gratitude.

But where oh where would I find peace and true love?

With my hubby.

At home.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


He's away for 10 days, so I ordered a large cone. Peppermint Candy.

Had an excellent day at work and rewarded myself with a hot fudge sundae.

Drove home from the city and simply had to have a chocolate hazelnut milkshake for the drive home.

Why do I feel like a kid in a candy store without parents around? 

I sense there will be a repercussion of some kind—

tight pants!

Friday, January 26, 2018

floor fairies


 Mom told me,
"Don't sweep from 
room to room."

She learned that advice from Aunt Eliza, 
Daddy's Irish aunt.

"The floor fairies belong in their own rooms," 
mom was told. 

"That is a fact."

Now you know why I'm a fairy-tale girL.

Look who were my first teachers.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


When I was growing up, I was a big sister but did not know it was a given title. 
My sisters were extensions of my body—part of my limbs, part of my voice.
I didn't think of them as younger or older or
any of that.
We had the same momma and ate at the same table.

"Big sister" came later, at midlife.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped trusting them.
It confused me. 
After all, they were a part of me. Soon, I even stopped trusting myself.

When I was little girl, I tip-toed around my mother during her nightly rage.
 Careful. Ouch. 
She hurt my heart.

So why was I tip-toeing around my sisters? 

One sister offers bee-sting comments. 
Other sister offers aloofness; highlighting my loud, caffeinated voice.

What does "tip-toeing" mean?
To dance around a crisis to avoid confrontation.
Well, no more tip-toeing.
On the corner of 59 and 60, I realized my sisters are part of me, but not all of me.
 There is no crisis.

Let's dance for fun not fear.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

best day ever!

"Today is my favorite day!" I announced, while sitting 
at the dinner table.

"But you said that yesterday," my brother jabbed.

Daddy leaned into my shoulder 
and asked, "What did you do today?"

Saturday, January 13, 2018

yours + mine

you have music and skis and many books

I have coffee cups and cameras and car keys

you have patience and work glasses and dungarees

I have scarves and earrings and short skirts

you have piles of rocks

I have skeins of wool

I have a hundred words for love

you have endless words for God

you have time

I have space

you are the candle

I am the flame

I am the candle

you are the flame

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

20 / 20

for some reason - i just don't know
i close my eyes.

in church —I listen listen listen with my eyes closed tight.

I close my eyes while watching the news.

When hubby is driving, I close my eyes.

When Sierra is driving, I close my eyes.
When Heidi is driving, I close my eyes.

If there is danger nearby, I close my eyes.

When there's more than enough joy to go around, I close my eyes.

Give me a compliment, I close my eyes.

Shame me, I close my eyes.

Blame me, I close my eyes.

I close my eyes when I over-eat.

I close my eyes when I dance.

I close my eyes while soaking in the tub.

my eyes are closed when i pray.

my eyes are closed when i hope.
eyes are closed when I think of daddy.
eyes are closed when I think of mom.

But when baby girl comes over, my eyes are wide open!

Friday, December 1, 2017


We entered through those huge, thick doors—big work to do.

My insecurities are flaring up and I'm itching to quit, but Michael is my rock and I once pledged,"Until death do us part."

So time to get our homework done!
fund raising letters & stuffing envelopes

Thursday, November 30, 2017

1972 yearbook

They wrote, "Don't ever change, Therese. Stay the way you are."

So why have I spent my entire adulthood trying to change?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

b r e t h r e n

the b r o t h e r s  T

were you wondering about
my big 
Michael's little 

     memorial services                                                      side by side 

TAD   OCTOBER 8 1957 — SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
TIM   AUGUST 12, 1949 — SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017


60 miles an hour down the highway;
purse, phone and keys all set.

I miss my kitty 
her loveliness her patience
her power to create cozy.

But in her death
I found free time.
Liberty to leave.
Permission to travel without cat food on the list.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

you win

"I've been there recently," she said.

36 years in this house

Oh, please stop by. 
I've made some changes since you've been here.

"No no. Your place is always the same.
So reassuring; but it's always the same."

No it isn't. The walls are painted.
We bought leather furniture.
I got a dishwasher and new silverware.
We have wi-fi and Facebook and drink espresso.

"No no. Your place is always the same.
You heat with wood.
Squirrels live on your porch.
Birds are forever asking me to move out of their way.
Your towels are crunchy and your bathroom window is always open."

I got a new kitchen table.
I learned Spanish. 
I don't bite my nails anymore and we have a Bose stereo.
I won't ask you to rake our pine needles.

"It's not your house, it's that cold mountain air."

Ok. Okay. 
See ya in Florida.