Pat and I had a great hike today at Smith Rock State Park. It was cold and icy in town, so we decided to travel a few miles north to hike where the elevation is lower. At Smith Rock, we enjoyed a lovely cold day with lots of sunshine. The hike up Misery Ridge was challenging Ė but it is always a challenge for me. I have hiked many other trails with a higher elevation gain, but for some reason this trek seems grueling each time. Misery Ridge has beautiful scenery, but quite an uphill slog. I donít think I have ever hiked up the ridge without needing to stop and catch my breath. The steep hike down was also challenging, there was a little snow on the trail where the shadow was the deepest. The scenery is spectacular, carved canyons and sheer rock formations. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera, but here are a couple of photos that Pat took.
The picture in the background is Monkey Face. It is a highly technical climb, I have seen tiny figures of rock climbers dangling from the monkey's mouth.
Mom continues to improve. She still sleeps A LOT, but she is off morphine, and they took her off oxygen. She has some appetite back. She is perkier and livelier when she is awake. On the down side Ė she wants her checkbook back. She stopped balancing her account several months ago and her finances are a mess; she is too blind to actually see any of the checks (she canít see where to sign her name). For now, my sister Pam (I am grateful Pam was added to the account) truthfully told mom she is still trying to figure out the balance, and that she needs the checkbook for filing Momís taxes.
Our local paper (The Bulletin) printed a very interesting analysis about the increasing number of court ordered foreclosures and evictions in our county (Iím pasting a link to the article below). Previously, Oregon allowed non-judicial foreclosures, and that was the most common method of foreclosure. Our state legislature initiated a requirement for mediation for all non-judicial foreclosures; and immediately, rather than actual talk to the people they are evicting, the banks switched to judicial foreclosures. The banks would rather litigate, foreclose and force eviction, then sell to new buyers (usually at a huge loss) -- instead of talking to the current homeowners. Oregonís legislature budgeted for over 1,000 mediations per month; instead there have been 400 mediations total attempted over SIX months, less than 40 actual mediations, and only 4 actual agreements. VERY sad state of affairs.
I feel very lucky that I bought my house before values sky-rocketed, and that I still have a job with a salary and benefits. The financial ruin that from this economy could so easily affect any one of us. I know far too many people who have lost their homes or their job (or both).