Rose Coleman was born in 1959 in Burns, the last child of four born to Lillian and Albert Lewis. She was a twin — her older (by minutes) twin sister is Ruth Overholser of Grants Pass, Ore.
The family moved to Wallowa County when Rose and Ruth were six. Rose’s father, Albert, worked for Hammack’s Garage in Enterprise and later Courtney Motors. Mom, Lillian, worked at Wallowa Memorial Hospital and taught violin.
Rose graduated from Enterprise High in 1977 and went to Brigham Young University for a couple of terms before returning to Eastern Oregon for courses in cosmetology in La Grande. Her work history was varied and adventuresome.
She drove a long-haul flatbed truck for Prime Inc., of Springfield, Miss., was a bookkeeper, a barkeep, worked in retail sales — “a smattering of things,” Rose said.
She married and divorced along the way and has a grown son and a grandchild.
She keeps busy now by doing “a lot of handwork,” she said. She is adept at all the domestic arts including quilt making, knitting, crocheting, doll making and jewelry making.
She sells home-made items every year at the VFW Christmas Bazaar and enjoys donating items to various charities or needy individuals she hears about.
“If I have it, I’m going to share it,” she said.
Q. Why did you choose to come back to Wallowa County after college and make it your home?
A. I love it here. I love the land and the mountains. I like the fact that it is a smaller community. I like the fact that it is slow-paced. There are so many good people here, too. There are so many kind-hearted, good-meaning and welcoming people here. When you are with them, they have such a calming feeling. You can “drop in” to visit people, and they make time for you willingly.
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. It’s okay to take time to just enjoy nature. Just take a moment. You don’t have to be rushing all the time. Living here teaches you that living a slower pace allows you to enjoy literally stopping to smell the flowers — and people will allow you that.
Q. Can you recall a book that was a big influence on you as a child and can you recommend a book you’ve read recently?
A. A book I loved as a child — actually part of a series of books called the Wonder Story-Book series — was a conglomeration of stories called “After the Sun Sets” (by Miriam Blanton Huber, Frank Seely Salisbury and Mabel O’Donnell).
My favorite story in the whole book was “Aichen Drum the Brownie.” He was a Brownie (a traditional household spirit from Scots lore) who would show up in villages that needed help and do whatever needed done. You were supposed to leave him a bowl of milk or porridge. He didn’t want to be paid. If you tried to pay him he disappeared.
A book I can recommend is any book by Pema Chodron (an American Tibetan Buddhist teacher and writer of “Start Where You Are,” “When Things Fall Apart,” “Practicing Peace in Times of War” and other books, some available at the Book Loft in Enterprise). She has so much — so many wonderful things to say; such food for thought. I definitely could eat that up.