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The Reading Room
Positively Karen
2013 April
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Lost a friend of thirty two years to death recently.
Struggling to deal with the devastating pain of loss,
I summoned up memories. Remembrances of shared
times of sunshine, laughter, secrets over lunch,
events in the lives of our children, husbands and
so on. Then thanking God for my friend¡¯s beautiful
gift to me {her friendship} I was finally able to tuck
memories of her away in my heart of hearts to be
enjoyed again particularly in late spring when wild
flowers bloom up in Beaver Park.
Gateway is a friendly community. Residents wel-
come newcomers with a smile, handshake, and occa-
sionally a hug. Absolutely no probation period here!
That said, the following poem written by local poet
Rowena McLaughlin, regarding an event in a day of
her and her sister Aggie¡¯s lives, so aptly introduces
two new, fun, extraordinary Gateway friends:
We were windin down the chores, really makin time,
When my sister Aggie, muttered, ¡°Iodine¡±.
¡°Er, what?¡± I asked askance. My mind drew a blank.
¡°The new calf.¡± Aggie prompted, ¡°You dose, I¡±ll
In the pen we went, I grabbed a little stick.
If the cow turned mean, I¡¯d have to act real quick.
But this old cow was seasoned. Had been through
this before,
No need to worry about her, this was just another
Aggie grabbed the calf, and put it on the ground.
Next I heard a beller. I commenced to look
This old cow was blowin¡¯ snot, and pawin¡¯ up the
If I didn¡¯t do somethin¡¯ soon, someone might get
Old cow and I made several trips, around the
other two.
¡®twas hard to tell, just who was chasin¡¯ who!
I whacked the cow on the head, with the little
stick I had.
It didn¡¯t slow her down one bit, instead it made
her mad.
She plunged ahead and knocked me down, she
was snortin¡¯ and a bawlin¡¯.
Stepped right on my leg, as she sent me sprawlin¡¯.
¡°Look out,¡± I yelled as I went down, Aggie
whirled around.
I catapulted into her, and knocked her to the
There wuz legs and arms a flyin¡¯, grunts and
groans galore.
I finally wallered to my feet and looked the situa-
tion o¡¯er.
The hump I¡¯d landed on, had been the frantic calf.
Beneath it on the ground, Aggie lay collapsed.
¡°Are you hurt?¡± I asked, afraid of what the
answer¡¯d be.
¡°I don¡¯t know,¡± she groaned, ¡°Just give me time
to see.¡±
Well Aggie was bunged up a bit; I was black and
¡°The iodine is on,¡± she said, ¡°So, I guess we¡¯re
We limped off... not at all sure who¡¯d won,
What really was important, WE¡¯D GOT THAT
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes from Gateway)
The cow had stopped to
stare, at the fracas takin¡¯
She didn¡¯t know what
had happened. You could
tell it by her face.
With a mighty lunge
the calf jumped up, a
kickin¡¯and a bawlin¡¯.
Aggie never moved... Just
lay there where she had
The Whale
If you read a recent story of the San Francisco
Chronicle, you would have read about a female
humpback whale who had become entangled
in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was
weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps
that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She
also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped
around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tug-
ging in her mouth.
A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon
Islands and radioed an environmental group for
help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived
and determined that she was so bad off, the only
way to save her was to dive in and untangle her.
They worked for hours with curved knives and
eventually freed her.
When she was free, the divers say she swam in
what seemed like joyous circles. She then came
back to each and every diver, one at a time, and
nudged them, pushed them gently around as
if she was thanking them. Some said it was the
most incredibly beautiful experience of their
lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth
Winston Davis
Poet Photographer
said her eyes were following him
the whole time, and he will never
be the same.
May you always know the joy of
giving and receiving gratitude.