Hold on I’m coming was what the storm of December 2007 was saying and people were listening. All the weather services and media predicted a big one triggering memories of the famous Columbus Day storm of 1962 and the winds and flooding of 1995/6. So as the timeline approached the word “hunker down” became appropriate.

We first got word of the impending storm from Amanda the barista at the “Village Bean”. She had been informed by Katie the local baker who makes breads and pastries for the markets and coffee shops. That got me looking and the Oregonian had a great several day outlook complete with images of the swirling air masses rapidly approaching one another and then us. By then the radio and television stations were on it so as the day approached we were up to speed. Fortunately my supplies were in order, food and water on hand so I settled into the task of writing my column and a couple of articles for the paper.

I got to watch a great Civil War football game between the Ducks and Beavers and listened to the winds picking up and the rain falling harder. But it was cozy, we had a fire going and my girlfriend, a food writer, was researching a holiday drink called “Glug”. A centuries old tasty combination of wine, cloves, oranges, and lemons heated over a flame. The result is supposed to be an anomic warming winter drink.
We’ve lived here a long time and have weathered a lot of storms and with the exception of not having a portable power generator I figured we were ready for this one.

By Saturday night it was blowing pretty hard. We live in a small village that juts out towards the ocean so wind is not uncommon, but this was kicking up pretty well. Morning revealed no damage here so it was off to market to pick up some last minute necessities. It was there the first damage from the winds was visible. The siding on a new roof being put on the market was dangling in the wind and stuff was blowing down. Two employees were scurrying about keeping cars and people out of harms way.

I snapped a couple of pictures for the paper and scrammed back home to get ready. I had one article on deadline and the editor had asked me to send storm photos so I fired off what I had went outside to check the weather action and wham, the power went out! Thirty two hours later like magic the lights came back on without a flicker but the thirty two hours of no power had been an adventure. At first it’s easy to assume the power will be back on shortly but as darkness approached and the battery powered radio was informing us, the power wasn’t coming on soon. It did look very romantic with all the candles we lit and the oil lamps provided light but it was totally dark outside and the storm was digging in. So after assessing the situation we decided we had no choice but to break out the sterno and heat up the Glug.

It was a success, a wonderful warming concoction but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it more next time when I’m not so worried about the roof blowing off or a tree crashing into the house. Thankfully we survived with minor damage to two trees in the yard and I’m poking fun at the whole scenario but in all seriousness, I really feel for the folks to the north of us who took a big hit. We that escaped that should all hope and pray for their recovery.

To reach Rick Schultze email yarick@pioneer.net

Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!