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To mayo or not to mayo

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By BEN OLSON/for The Herald  —  “I don’t care what you say. I’m throwing out the mayonnaise.” If my wife were standing there holding onto the jar and looking at me, it would be a great conversation starter. I am 2000 miles away, and this was the opening line in our phone call on Tuesday. There are many aspects of this simple declaration that say so much about how well we know about each other. I acquiesced, without argument. Did she think I would insist upon keeping the mayo until I had a chance to return home and inspect or taste it? Probably. 

 I really don’t want to know about all the other hard choices that had to be made about what to keep or throw out from the fridge and freezer. If I were there, I have no doubt that there would be contention. This, I’m sure, went on in hundreds of homes in our part of Lane County earlier in the week. Err on the side of caution and you’re throwing out perfectly good brats that have thawed out. Finish up that tub of potato salad and you may be in for a serious day of stomach distress.

I’m on a vacation. I did not intentionally leave town to avoid an impending disaster, but it could appear that way. My wife is certainly capable of making the hard decisions that must be made. If anything, it may have been easier for her without me and my know-it-all attitude making the situation more stressful than it already was. 

My heart goes out to all the residents of Oakridge, Westfir, and the surrounding areas who got chased out of town with a massive fire bearing down upon them. The hassle and expense of fleeing with the clothes on your backs and not much more. Days of uncertainty of whether you’d have a home to return to. The sadness of not being able to find the cat and take it with you as you hastily left your house. The garden that you’ve been nurturing all summer, abandoned just as all the tomatoes got ripe at once. So much uncertainty, and now you’ve returned home to make a judgment call on how well the mayo fared in your absence.

Ben Olson, musician and Oakridge Resident, with his standup bass. Ben Olson photo

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