‘Salem’ Category


When Babies Are Born

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – When babies are born in Oregon, the doctor slaps them on the bottom and says “No self-serve and no sales tax.” I was given this (sort of) tongue-in-cheek answer to my question this week, “Why can’t I pump my own gas here?” I know that when babies are born in Alabama they are dedicated right then and there as either “Alabama” or “Auburn” loyalists, whether or not they ever attend either university; a logical thing, you see; it keeps the sale of season tickets reasonably predictable (cue, chuckle). But I’m puzzled about the prohibition against being able to manage my own gasoline needs in Oregon. I’ve asked a few residents how they feel about it and the answers all come out the same: they like it like that. “I don’t like getting gas on my hands,” is one answer; “I don’t like getting out in the rain,” is another I’ve heard. Since Oregonians are always “out in the rain” on their bikes, or hiking their lovely mountain trails, or just going to the grocery store, that one didn’t resonate; and since I’ve pumped my own gas for more than twenty years and never gotten any on my hands, I decided to track down the legislative power behind the babies bottom. » read more


Once Upon A Time

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – “Once upon a time,” writes Virginia Green, “before shopping malls and giant parking lots….” Remember that? I remember walking to the A & P, Mother sending me off in a rush to pick up something she needed to finish cooking lunch. I remember hanging out at the corner drug store on summer afternoons, cooling off with a cherry coke while I planned my future over Wonder Woman comic books. That’s when I was 10, and rode my bike most everywhere. The good news is – bikes are in vogue again, and if you’re in Salem, Oregon, you can still walk, and shop, downtown. The Salem Downtown Historic District is a vibrant neighborhood today, with many buildings thoughtfully preserved to offer up a taste of the past. It’s tucked between the Riverfront Park and the State Capitol and you can combine shopping with reading – cast-bronze historic markers along the way tell you the building’s original name and when it was constructed and you’ll catch yourself nodding your head over the interesting story that is included too. Add shade trees, benches, and colorful architecture; you’re not just anywhere, you are someplace. » read more


Sunday Church

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – It’s just an old cinder cone, sprouting some juniper, and sage. But when you’re on the top of it, you get a 360-degree view of the world. The city of Bend lies below; look down at little house-boxes tucked between the trees; look across the high desert to the Cascades; snow-covered, glacier-frosted volcanic peaks that take your breath away. You simply have to stare. Pilot Butte was my first priority of Sunday morning business, but I wasn’t the first to arrive. Dick and Dee were already there. Karen too. So were moms and dads and kids and dogs and turtles. Well, one turtle, anyway. Water bottles, hiking boots, people dressed for Sunday morning joy, what better place to be? I looked around and deemed it “Sunday Church.” People had a happy look, pleased with themselves, pleased with the day. The “something” here is more than just a panoramic view. » read more