It is fall, and typically this time of year, people think of things they are thankful for. I love living in Seaside and in honor of living here for nearly two years, here are a few of my favorite memories or things I am thankful for.
Where else but Seaside, would you go to work, and when the outside door is propped open for a minute, a seagull wanders inside, waddles into the women’s bathroom and hops in a toilet? This fall, after completing its morning toiletries, a seagull enjoyed an impromptu toilet bath in the library’s bathroom, then hopped out of the toilet unharmed and was herded back outside. Apparently ALL of the locals really do enjoy the Seaside Public Library!
Please keep in mind, we do not offer shower vouchers to seagulls as part of our library programming. I’m afraid if we did, the seagulls would take over story time snack times as well!
Another aspect of living here in Seaside I have enjoyed was last year, when the Seaside Library celebrated 100 years as a library. I enjoyed learning the history of our library, that at one time it was next to the public bathrooms, in the soldiers and sailors club, and how it has been in various buildings around town. Learning how much people in Seaside have appreciated and celebrated this library over the past century was truly inspiring to me, and I am looking forward to the next 50 years!
A highlight this year was that of miniature horses at the library! Watching preschoolers form a swarm 20 to 30 deep around little horses (the kids were almost at eye level with them) outside the library was truly heartwarming. Kids interacting with animals is ways enjoyable. The horses seemed almost dazed into comas by the amount of petting they were getting. My sister loves horses, too, and I can remember while growing up, each time we visited the Astoria Public Library, she would check out stacks of books on horses and memorize all the details of each horse breed. I think we have a few little boys and girls like that in our preschool age group, judging by how tightly packed the mini-horse event was.
Two winters ago, a few turtles washed ashore on our beaches here in Seaside and Gearhart. While this had a sad ending, since most of the turtles were unable to be rehabilitated, for me this was also a time of wonder at being so close to what I think of as an exotic species. I am always amazed by our close connection to ocean animals here in Seaside. I grew up in Astoria and still remember the year the California sea lions moved into the area (I was 10). Every year I live here, I hear of another amazing species that we are in close contact with from living so close by the ocean.
We seem to be more aware of the natural world around us, as well as the balance between people earning their living from the sea, playing in the sea, and all the while trying to make sure we don’t endanger turtles, sharks and other sea creatures. This reminds me of the starfish wasting disease this year, which sadly wiped out our starfish population. Fortunately, I heard had some encouraging news recently that, in Newport, thousands of baby starfish seem to be coming back.
We are closely tied to the ocean and sea life here, and I love that part of living in Seaside. It also makes you realize just how small the world actually is, when you see items on our beach that came over from Japan on the currents.
A final thing I am thankful for, is that reading is just as important as ever. Digital books, blogs, print books: We continue to have more and more options. It is also exciting to me that more than ever, you can expect to find book reviews just about anywhere. Open an online blog, you will find a book review. Go to your latest entertainment magazine, they probably have an entire section on what the hottest reads are right now.
I love how many people in Seaside recognize that during the upcoming winter days, with or without electricity, having in hand a good book from your local library is not only enjoyable, it is a necessity.
Esther Moberg is the director of the Seaside Public Library.