Time out of Joint

Dear Liza,

It is almost Autumn. School has started and leaves are beginning to change.

Fall color…

But in the bizarre world of Covid-19, it still feels like March. That’s when things closed down. That’s the last time I hugged Auntie Katie or the cousins. That’s when I sat at The Rocking Frog with Misha and chatted about regular life. As someone on TV said, during Covid, it is always sometime between breakfast and dinner, it is always NOW.


Visiting the dead people at Lone Fir Cemetery always puts things in perspective for me. These folks saw difficulties that make ours seem small. In the days before sanitation and vaccines, hundreds of babies died before their first birthday. Typhoid Fever, Spanish Flu, World Wars I and II took folks in their infancy or prime and there was nothing to be done for it.

Perspective

In comparison, being stuck at home is pretty small. Not going to camp is doable. We just need to get through this year, this election, this political and national health debacle, and come out the other side with our humanity intact.

Chestnuts are falling already….

So, remember to love each other, hug who you can. Pet dogs and smell flowers. Help those in worse situations than yours. Be your best self.

Love,

Grandma Judy


Adjusting to Change

Dear Liza,

So much is going on here in Portland! The rains have started for sure, with two and a half inches just this past weekend. As the leaves fall in Laurelhurst Park, what was the darkest part of the park is becoming the lightest, with a thin veil of yellow leaves creating a wonderful light.

The weather is getting colder, hovering about 48 degrees at night and 55 degrees during the day. All this means adjustments have to be made.

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Vacuuming the Lone Fir Cemetery

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Newly Light Forest

The city is keeping up with the leaves by using giant, ride-on lawn vacuums to clean the paths in our Laurelhurst Park, because all the leaves get slippery and really dangerous to walk on when they start to rot. This picture shows the difference between a clean path, and a not-clean path.

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Yes, there is a path there!

There is also a truck that drives through Lone Fir Cemetery and blows the leaves and chestnuts off the paths, and ride-on mowers that mow the grass and vacuum up the leaves off the graves.

At our house, we are getting ready for colder weather, too. We found some big saucers to put our potted geraniums on inside, because the freezing weather that is coming will be too cold for them to stay on the back stairs. These are Great Grandma Billie’s  geraniums, and I love them very much and want to protect them. We have also put matches, candles and flashlights on the counters, just in case we have a blackout from trees falling on power lines.

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Happy ferns

Plants and animals are adjusting, too. The old Labrador down the street is spending less time on her porch, ferns are growing out of the bark on almost every tree, and moss is blooming on stone walls,  sidewalk cracks, and tiny libraries. Mushrooms are springing up at the bases of trees.

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Mushrooms!

Oh, and remember the linden trees? They smelled so pretty and gave us shade? Well now, they are making berries for the birds. The petals, instead of falling off, have become thick and waxy, with beautiful blue berries in the center. Amazing!

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Linden Berries

All these changes are fun to watch, because I don’t know what’s coming next! But I will tell you about it, whatever it may be.

Love,

Grandma Judy