Windows on Woodland by Pat Nelson

Reprinted from The Valley Bugler

Pat Nelson writes Windows on Woodland, a monthly column about Woodland, Washington for The Valley Bugler, a good-news newspaper published in Longview, Washington.

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree
By Pat Nelson
I spoke with a representative of Woodland’s Moose Lodge recently about its annual Christmas tree lot, which members will operate east of Dollar Tree in the Big Deals Shopping Center, 629 Goerig Street. That made me realize it’s almost time to start decorating!

Youngsters Perform Northwest Coast Dances

Youngsters Perform Northwest Coast Dances
by Pat Nelson
While other kids are riding bikes and playing games with their Xboxes, Mara Reese, 11, and her brother Isaac Reese, 9, are busy performing Northwest Coast dances at the Lelooska Cultural Center at Ariel, 14 miles east of Woodland. Both have been doing this their whole lives, starting as babes in arms. They began dancing as soon as they could walk.

September 1, 2013

Serving Bread and Butter With History by Pat Nelson

Back-to-school time reminds me of my first year of school many years ago in Sauk Center, Minnesota. There, one of my favorite kindergarten activities was making butter in the classroom. I’d helped my family make butter at home in a stoneware churn, but at school we did it differently. All of the students sat in a circle where we took turns passing a jar of cream. We shook, shook, shook that jar with all our might and then passed it along to the next student. Eventually, the cream began to thicken. When it had turned to butter, our teacher added a pinch of salt and then we spread the fresh butter on crackers and enjoyed the tasty treat.Grist Mill Building

August 1, 2013

Safe Swimming by Pat Nelson
Life Vest donations at the Woodland Fire Dept.

This time of year, I enjoy watching swimmers, boaters and stand-up paddle-boarders from my home on Woodland’s Horseshoe Lake.
I, too, love to swim in the lake. As a child, I learned to swim in lakes and streams, and later took lessons in pools. Some friends say, “I don’t like to swim where I can’t touch bottom,” but that never bothered me because I had learned to swim where the bottom was irregular and the depth varied from one spot to another. For those who learn in pools, the varying depths of a lake or stream can be frightening.
I learned to respect the water and to know that, even though swimming brings me joy, there is always potential for tragedy. My children learned to swim at a

July 1, 2013

Getting Away From It All . . . Close to Woodland by Pat Nelson
Mount Tumtum and Canyon Creek

With so much nearby beauty to explore, my husband, Bob, and I decided to save gas and take a camping trip close to home. My first stop, a couple of days in advance, was the Woodland Tourist Information Center located on the corner of Goerig Street and Lakeshore Drive, just west of I-5’s southbound on ramp. There, Virginia Wilkerson provided me with maps and brochures, as well as her personal knowledge of the area.
We left our Woodland home on a sunny Sunday and drove east on Lewis River Road, State Route 503. Two miles down the road, we made a short stop at Come to Life Espresso. As my husband drove east on Lewis River Road, my job as I sipped a steaming-hot mocha was to watch for RV parks so we could decide on one for our night’s stay. Our first stop was the Lewis River Country Store and RV Park. When our grandchildren were young, we used to rent a campsite there just so that we could swim in the pool. Now, according to the clerk, swimming passes are available at either monthlyor daily rates.
Our next stop was the Merwin Day Use Park on Lake Merwin, a 4040-acre impoundment created by the 

June 1, 2013

Planters' Days 2013 by Pat Nelson

Woodland will burst with excitement when it kicks off its 91st Planters’ Days celebration June 13. The carnival on Horseshoe Lake opens Thursday, June 13 at 3P.M., and soon after, kids with chalk in hand will decorate downtown sidewalks while they wait for the beginning of the 5P.M.children’s parade. Many years ago, I proudly marched in the parade alongside my grandchildren Max and Chelsea. Max, in a green-feathered bird suit, pulled his little sister through town in a wagon. Now, they are both teenagers, and more interested in the 10P.M. fireworks that shoot high in the sky and reflect beautifully off Horseshoe Lake.Fireworks

Most who look forward to Planters’ Day weekend each year have probably forgotten . . . or never knew . .
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