Bittersweet Beauty at Lone Fir

Dear Liza,

Where do you find fresh, blooming flowers in the middle of winter? Turns out, it’s the cemetery. Lone Fir, to be exact. I hadn’t visited the Dead People for a while, so yesterday I bundled up and headed over.

The skies were grey, drippy and cold, and I was enjoying the sound of mud squishing under my boots when I saw the bright color in the distance. It was a new grave, belonging to Sergey Arutygnov, covered in flowers and ribbons. I can’t read Russian, but I recognize it. Go with God, Sergey.

Further along there was another flower-covered Russian grave. There is quite a large Russian population in Portland, but I only ever notice it here at Lone Fir. From what your mommy Olga tells me, our dark, damp weather must feel like a summer holiday compared to Russian winters.

This Russian woman’s family has planted a rose bush on her grave and tended it since she passed away in 2008. What a sweet way to make sure you visit your Babushka every spring.

There was more sad beauty as I walked around. One of the magnificent chestnut trees has been taken down, which steals some of the deep shade and history of the place. But its cross section seems to be a view into some sort of cosmic vortex. This tree has seen a lot in its hundred plus years, I imagine.

I realized that the rain had started up again an it was time to head home, full of gratitude and perspective to make some Albondigas soup for dinner.

Love, Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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