Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

Mark your calendar: The Cape Meares Labor Day potluck will be Sunday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m. at the schoolhouse. Get ready to send summer off in style!

We had a visitor from Norway last month. My husband’s sister, Helen Andrie Steen (she goes by Andrie), has lived in Norway for more than 20 years. Two of her three daughters live in the States, so she usually comes back for a summer visit. She went out of her way to be sure she included us on her itinerary; we were so pleased!

Andrie had some interesting statistics to share about Norway. The country has a 97% literacy rate, 70-80% of the residents are bilingual (50% are trilingual!), and about 80% hold a bachelor’s degree. Norwegians love being outside; everyone walks, rides a bike, skis or otherwise enjoys the outdoors. Their national pastime is hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. Although prices are about 30% higher than the U.S., incomes are commensurately higher. And medical costs are low! Andrie says she pays a $400 annual health insurance deductible and a general income tax of 36%; otherwise, she has no outlay for health care. Another interesting fact is that Norway has the highest population of electric car use in the world. Tesla is the most common car on the road, followed by Nissan’s Leaf. And Norway has banned plastic straws. It’s another world over there.

Hope y’all had a great time at the Tillamook County Fair this year: “Country Nights & Carnival Lights.” Rides, games, music, souvenir booths, informational/educational booths, exhibits, food, Pig ’n Ford races, the demolition derby—our fair had it all! Congrats to those in Cape Meares who entered plants, jams, photos and other items; surely you are home admiring your ribbons now.

There’s a fairly new sign on the dike road, on the left before you reach the second gate. It is entitled “Bayocean During the Boom Days” and gives a lot of history of the Bayocean development. A second side is entitled “Residential Days” and features childhood memories of some Bayocean/Cape Meares residents.  A third side, “The Demise of Bayocean,” gives a timeline of the events leading to the total destruction of the city and pictures a few buildings that were moved off the spit just in time. The signs are the work of some Tillamook High School students. It’s worth a walk out the dike road just to read those fascinating stories.

Brown pelicans are back in significant numbers; Merrie Ziady recently shot video of a flock landing in the surf. Such fun to watch! Birders can also see blue herons, osprey, red-winged blackbirds, bald eagles, cormorants, seagulls, sandpipers, curlews, murres, white egrets, white-crowned sparrows, band tailed pigeons, Eurasian-collared doves, crows, ravens, Stellar jays, ducks and a host of other birds in our area.

The Cape Meares Poetry Book Club will be meeting in the community center on Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. Anyone who enjoys poetry—or would like to learn how to enjoy poetry—is welcome.

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