Thanks to Melanie Merryman for looking after my little dog Maggie, at  home last week while I vacationed. I traveled with Elise and Logan Morrow (my daughter and fourteen year old grandson, of Prineville) to Fresno California for this year’s National Parks trip. We visited Sequoia and King’s Canyon early in the week where we posed for photos under the biggest trees I’ve ever encountered. We also spent two days in Yosemite, where a highlight was climbing to the base of El Capitan. There’s a snapshot of our three hands on the Dawn Wall that I’ll cherish as long as I live. Congratulations to Joy Neufeld, of Cloverdale, for reaching her weight loss goal with TOPS (Taking off Pounds Sensibly). Joy is the first member of our young chapter to reach KOPS (keeping off pounds sensibly) status and a great example to the rest of us. That is probably why she was recently elected Chapter Leader for a term starting next month. TOPS weighs in at 4:30 p.m. weekly on Mondays in the fireside room at Kiwanda Community Center, 34600 Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City. All are welcome and the first meeting is free.

Free events at South Tillamook County Library this week include Mr. Fantastic for children’s story time at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Bring a sewing or needlecraft project for fiber Friday at 2 p.m. on Friday. No programs are scheduled during the fair week, August 510; plan to visit Tillamook County Library at the Fair. South Tillamook County Library is located on Camp Street in Pacific City.

A free collection of household hazardous waste is planned from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. sharp on Saturday in Tillamook. Take items (and clean blocks of white Styrofoam)  to Tillamook Transfer Station, 1315 Ekloff Road. For a list of acceptable trash, go to co.tillamook.or.us/gov/solidwaste or call 503-815-3975.  I promised to be in touch with word of a memorial service for Merrianne Hoffman. Unfortunately, the event is imminent as we go to press and happening in Oakland, California. There isn’t time for us to make a trip. However, the family has suggested a memorial donation in lieu of flowers, which is a fine way to honor our friend. The suggested beneficiary is Nestucca Valley Community Alliance. We can mail a check to P.O. Box 253, Pacific City, OR 97135. Be sure to enclose a note specifying that the donation is in memory of Merrianne.

An earthquake west of Newport last month motivates me to continue steps towards disaster preparedness each week. I’m sharing my progress in this space; we can prepare together for the coming “big one.” Do you have sturdy slippers, a flashlight and an extra set of eyeglasses stored under your bed? It will be easier to navigate debris in the dark aftermath of a nighttime disaster or power outage if we do. I’ll check that I am up to speed on these tasks myself before I write again.  

Happy birthday this week to: Tacy Bennett, Lena Cabral, Reese Carver, Sara Christiansen, Emma Cross, Tawnya Dimmitt, Amy Elder, Jack Hagerty, Tammy Heitsman,  Joshua Hopkins, Spencer Hurliman,  Jodi Liddicoat, Damon McGee, Wally Nelson, Zachary Porter, Bill Rock, Hadley Schildan, Clint Sisco, Gary Smith, Emma Upright and Tom Woodard.

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