My mom's house, when there was snow.

No, not the Genesis album widely regarded as the beginning of their transition from progressive rock icons to pop-drecksters (though in the interest of full disclosure I did see them on that tour and thought they were fabulous).

Today the kids and I visited my mom. She lives in a cabin-like house, surrounded by forest on three sides and the Nehalem River on the other, just outside of Vernonia, Oregon. Vernonia is best known as a former logging community in the Coast Range which has had 2 “500 year” floods within 11 years, in 1996 and 2007. Both times the waters reached my mom’s deck, but did not enter or damage the house.

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Hi Everyone,

I’m sorry I don’t have time or energy right now for a more fitting and complete message, but I wanted to update at least some of you who have been so kind and caring. Our family has felt your love so very, very strongly, from as close as our neighborhood to as far away as Scotland and France (keep warm!) I want to be sure you know how much we appreciate it and how much it means to us.

Julie passed away a little after 4 pm this afternoon. Her last breaths were as peaceful and serene as she has been since her first night a Hopewell House. I was right there and the kids were just outside and were able to see and understand what was happening. As awful as this whole situation in fact is, I cannot imagine how the past 5+ days could have been more beautiful and filled with love–better than I ever could have imagined it could be.

Please, please accept my apology for not calling each of you and telling you personally. I will be talking to each of you over the coming days and weeks, and please know that your love and support have come through the internets loud and clear.