Monday, May 5, 2014

Into Darrington, Part 3 of Our Trip to Oso

At the end of the dirt road going into Darrington (through OSO), you realize how many people live or work in the area and how they were so cut off when the landslide happened.

Of course there was another way around, however, that way added almost two hours to their commute and from what I heard, employers were NOT tolerating late employee's no matter what their excuse was.  Sadly, business and life will always go on for those that aren't affected and yet, it adds a sense albeit a small one of normalcy to ones life to work!

Traffic from Darrington waiting for the pilot car and yes, the line is THAT long!

We are once again on asphalt and driving through the country side and seeing homes, signs of spring, signs of life because on this side of the road, life is still moving forward as it should be, but there is such a contrast in life in this area.

We drive on, following our amazing leader, Joy and her co-pilot Irma and pull up to the front of a quaint A framed style church that still has a bell tower.

Pastor Sandy brings us inside her church and shows us around at te cards they have been receiving and the quilts and tells us on Sundays the unopened cards get opened and the parish people read then and put them on the the rails.  It is a great healing tool for so many that are so stoic!

This church is so beautiful inside and smells like fresh painted wood and dried wood and the smell is so nice.  Here are some of the quilts and cards near the alter!

 This has real pews, painted bright and glossy white with padding on them. Church like church should be and not chairs side by side, but in your face, excuse me so I can get by, pews! Everywhere one looks is woodwork like is not done in today's society with so many plywood and partical board things on the market, but beautiful knot exposed wood!

The back upstairs of the church!

A view of the sanctuary as you enter from the dining hall

The weary travelers (myself and Shyann had driven over three hours to meet up with Joy and Irma) and our wonderful leaders were treated to a wonderful sit down, relax, laugh and talk luncheon.

Oh yes, the coffee was hot, the company was amazing and I must simply get Pastor Sandy's chicken salad recipe she served us, along with a tossed salad that was refreshing, watermelon and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I had asked about clear cutting above Oso. I was informed there has never been clear cutting about that area because the mountain had been known by the natives in the area as 'Moving Mountain,' and indeed it had moved many times in the past, just not like the one that happened.

I listened as we heard of the many volunteers who went out there and never left until they were exhausted and then only for a short while to rest and go back, the rescue workers, the helicopter pilots and neighbors trying to save neighbors!

I listened as old friends talked and laughed about how many years they have been married, the trip to Alaska that nine very brave women will be taking this summer and I laughed listening to Pastor Sandy and Irma talk about chickens.  To which Joy lovingly calls them the 'crazy chicken ladies.'

Sadly, I forgot to count how many quilts we left with Sandy, but I know at least fifty if not more. I am hoping to contact Sandy this week to find out if she counted them.  I sure hope so.

Here is Pastor Sandy and I holding up one of the quilts that will be given to those that ask for nothing in return, those that need a hug! 
Pastor Sandy Darrington UMC and myself
 As we were leaving, Pastor Sandy told us how to get to the Darrington Family Center to drop off fleece blankets. Sadly all the doors were locked and we could not get in or contact anyone.

I brought the blankets home and will take them back up when I return. 

As we left Oso, this is a picture Shyann took of all the yellow ribbons that are tied on this bridge and you get the feeling of how close this community is and how much those that are gone will be missed by so many.

We drove into Arlington, pulled into a parking lot and Joy and Irma gave me hugs, sad good-bye to myself and Shyann and gave me directions to my next stop, Mount Vernon as they would be returning home in the opposite direction as we had to go in.

After all, we had more quilts to pick up, but that will be a story for tomorrow! 


  1. Did Pastor Sandy get a quilt? (Would she even accept one?!) I have some chicken blocks I've been trying to turn into a quilt... It always helps me if I know or can imagine who is getting the finished product.

  2. I am sure she would love a quilt with chickens on it, what a great idea Sue!


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