Madeleine DeAndreis-Ayres

Jefferson Monthly Contributor

 Madeleine DeAndreis-Ayres was born in Eureka, California into a large family that ate a lot of Rice Krispies and listened to George Carlin and Tom Leher albums while getting dressed for school. She attended Eureka High where, as the editor of the Redwood Bark she started writing for an audience, a passion that has continued throughout her life. She comes from a long line of teachers and chose that profession after attending College of the Siskiyous, Dominican College and Chapman College, earning a teaching credential in English and Music. She started playing flute in 4th grade and continues playing in bands and with her husband Jim, an excellent guitarist who is also father to their three children Henry, Sally and Mae, fine upstanding citizens in their own communities. She recently retired from teaching in Scott Valley and is confident she will find things to do.

Jefferson Almanac
3:24 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

My Christmas Statement

Why don’t dentists, optometrists, insurance agencies, doctors and lawyers give out gift certificates?

Oh look, only twelve minutes left of the Christmas shopping season. If you are like me, still staring at your hands when you should be out buying a gift for someone on your list (my list is called a “hit list” —that gives you an idea of how I view the whole gift giving process), you tell yourself you have plenty of time to find other things to do instead of shop. Our kids are older, so the pressure to have a million presents under the tree, each holding the possibility of a pony, is somewhat lessened. Oh they still want presents but what those might be, I don’t really want to know.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
3:19 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Weed Recovers

The Boles fire that swept through the Siskiyou County town of Weed on September 15 left a swath of devastation through this community of 3,000 that sits in the shadow of Mount Shasta.
Eric Teel/JPR

On Monday morning, September 15, 2014, Siskiyou County was buffeted by battering winds. In Fort Jones, west of Yreka, I felt like Dorothy in Kansas as I tried to scatter feed to the chickens. I thought wind like this will start something, and hoped we would get to the end of the day with no new fires. Fire season was still raging with many county fires still going, even after the previous week’s much needed rain. Later I got a call from a friend who had heard that Weed was on fire.

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Jefferson Almanac
10:15 am
Tue July 1, 2014

“Women of a Certain Age” Are Still 4th Graders At Heart

A difficult thing about becoming a woman “of a certain age” is that, while your driver’s license attests to the fact you are said woman “of a certain age” often your sense of self is still in 4th grade.

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Jefferson Almanac
5:00 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Commitment

It’s the month where we commemorate love and romance with its very own day, February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Love and romance are all well and good, but boxes of chocolates, sexy lingerie, a fishing license— in other words presents—to your beloved only go so far in sealing the deal. For love to last, there is one more thing you absolutely need. It’s not as sexy or titillating as a Victoria Secret bustier or an Orvis reel but, at least from my humble perspective, it means much more. You want to go the distance? You need commitment.

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Jefferson Almanac
11:01 am
Sun September 1, 2013

The Whistling Girl

The history we learn from text books is made up of stories selected by academics to explain and give shape to a civilization’s collective past. But history is much more than that. Beyond the textbook stories of political battles and sweeping social movements are the stories of ordinary people who make history in their own right by everyday acts of bravery and by standing up to injustice in the very communities in which they lived.

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Jefferson Almanac
3:09 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

The Empty Nest

House wrens finally took up residence in one of our bird houses last summer. For those of you not familiar with house wrens, they are a small bird, smaller than a sparrow, with cute little tails that stick straight up. Their bird call, however, is not small. Their call is loud, long and starts at dawn and continues without a break until well after sun-up.

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Jefferson Almanac
10:59 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Pete Carroll - In The Line Of Duty

Eueka police officer Pete Carroll.

On October 31st 1947, two police cars collided at the intersection of 7th and H streets in Eureka, California. Both cars had their sirens going and were responding to a call. They didn’t hear each other and in a terrible second, several policemen were severely injured and one, an 18-year veteran of the Eureka Police Force, was killed.  It was Halloween and my mother, Mary Lee Carroll, was at a dance at Humboldt State College when, sometime during the evening, her life was shattered when she received the news that her dad, Officer Pete Carroll was dead.

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Jefferson Almanac
8:35 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Beginner's Class

Years ago on our son’s twelfth birthday, he wanted to invite some friends to the Skateboard Park in Ashland. He had never been there before, and technically, he didn’t know how to “board” yet. His father, recalling his own experience of being an over-enthusiastic boy, suggested that maybe the whole family should check it out first to see if it was something he really wanted to do. ..in front of strangers. As often happens with exuberant youth, Henry seemed relieved to have his dream party reined in a bit. We drove to Ashland and found the park.

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Jefferson Almanac
10:57 am
Thu September 1, 2011

The Razor's Edge

Sandy was in her mid-eighties when she died last May. She was a soft radiance of light in the time I knew her. She was elegance, even in infirmity; not a trait many can pull off authentically. She favored bright colors over the fashion-safe palette of mauves and dusty rose pinks. And she was unfailingly kind and patient, even with those she disagreed with. She could—as so many say and so many cannot do—”disagree without being disagreeable.”  She was a world traveler who made a pleasant, cozy home in Etna, and filled it with art, music, books and many friends.

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Jefferson Almanac
8:38 am
Tue February 1, 2011

You Reap What You Sow

Last January, between storms, I sat in my soggy yard dividing iris rhizomes. Yeah I know I should’ve done this last fall, but the kind of gardener I am precludes adherence to any strict dogma, dictum or rules. My motto: “get it planted and it will bloom...eventually.”

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Jefferson Almanac
10:55 am
Wed September 1, 2010

Thanksgiving

Our son’s truck was stolen last fall.  He and his sister live together in Eureka and attend College of the Redwoods. They both have jobs and juggle classes, work and social lives. Losing the truck put a crimp in their style, a hitch in their giddy-up not to mention it was a real buzz kill.

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Jefferson Almanac
8:39 am
Mon February 1, 2010

No Child’s Imagination Left Behind

Memories of school days stay with us our whole lives.  What do you remember about your years in school?  Do you remember the spelling tests, the multiplication worksheets, the maps of the thirteen original colonies?  Do you fondly recall the weeks of filling in answer bubbles for state examinations or slogging through phoneme awareness flash cards?

Probably not.

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