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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shipping News



And the View From My Porch

It is a typically beachy morning on the porch this morning with high gray clouds that tease us. Will they burn off or will they drip? There’s a 10% of the latter and a good chance they will sit right where they are. Some mornings, when the surf is high, I can hear it two miles away. Some mornings instead I can smell the sewage treatment plant two blocks away at the port. This morning as there is no breeze to blow it elsewhere, the pungent creation of the community creeps toward the porch.


Most mornings I listen to the ship report on KMUN. One of the joys for me for being in Southwest Washington is being near to Astoria’s Coast Community Radio, three public radio stations that are community operated and so possess quirkiness similar to Northern Exposure’s KBHR. Actually, Northern Exposure reminded me very much of this community.


Tied as this community is to the Pacific Ocean and the Great Columbia River, the concerns revolve around fishing catches and the comings and goings of the giant ships who ply their waters. The mouth of the Columbia is known as the Graveyard of the Pacific due to the number of shipwrecks that have occurred on the bar. The advent of radar and GPS has reduced the number of wrecks, but bar pilots still scoot out to ships aboard their little tugs and provide pilotage for vessels coming in and outbound.

This morning the Galaxy Ace is inbound from Vancouver, B.C. to Portland, while the Beluga Skysails, the world’s first commercial container cargo ship partially powered by a computer operated kite, is outbound from Longview. Seven more ships will pass or dock in Astoria today.



Besides the Shipping Report each morning and usual NPR programming and BBC overnight, KMUN and her sister stations provide local programming that include an eclectic mix of music, bedtime stories for children, and old time radio shows from the 1930s and ‘40s. We don’t have cable here (especially since the television we use to watch movies on turned up its toes), we have radio. There’s a radio in the living room, a radio in the kitchen and two radios in our bedroom.


It’s chilly on the porch this morning and there’s a flower bed that needs attention after I’ve gone to visit my mother. Thanks for sitting on the porch for a spell.

6 comments:

JosephMcG said...

Enjoyed the time... I enjoy spending my early morning hours with NPR KXOT, and KUOW... can't handle KPLU because the music there just takes me over and I can't focus on anything else...
Ah, wonderful music (KPLU style) that gets into my body, head, and heart...
When I need to get down though and do some deep thinking, radios go off, and then I use the radio which includes various meditative sounds... the one that holds me and relaxes me is the sound of rain drops...
Your porch sitting is so great... love joining you there in front of your wonderful home...
Hope Mom is enjoying your love

Stephanie Frieze said...

Because our house sits six blocks from the hospital I make it down there twice a day and call twice a day so I assume that my mother is feeling pampered. She got up and walked down the hall today so that's a good sign that soon she will be able to sit on the porch, too.

JosephMcG said...

loved your pictures and the historical reflection... beautiful writing,

Stephanie Frieze said...

Thank you, Joseph. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay on the porch.

Lorraine Hart said...

Hi Stephanie...I didn't get a chance to visit with you yesterday, so I'm plunking my butt down on yo' porch now...gots a cuppa?

You brought back such memories of listening to the radio as a kid...oh the stories! Then we'd go out and play with the dinosaurs!
tee-hee!

Glad to hear your mum is doing so well. xox

EmeraldPrincessOnline said...

I'm glad that I can at least vicariously visit your porch. I miss going to the ocean. It is regenerating, revitalizing at so many levels...