We had such pretty weather this past weekend, we decided it was time to get out the badminton set. This Zume set was Auntie Bridgett’s birthday present our first year in Portland, and it is delightful.
The case holds the net, rackets and shuttlecocks, which are also called birdies. It is light to carry and sets up easily. There were a lot of people in Laurelhurst park, but we kept walking until we found a sunny level spot that no one was using.
This was the first game of the season, after no games at all last year due to the shutdown. We were expecting a disaster! But we quickly got the hang of it and were only missing…. Well, not so many…..
To make sure everyone had fun, we would play two against one, then switch around so each person had a chance to be their own team as well as play with everyone else. It was a slap-happy game, I tell you! Lots of flailing and leaping and picking up birdies we just couldn’t get to.
When we got tired, we would sit in the shade to cool down, have some water, and catch our breath.
When we could hardly lift our rackets, we knew it was time to stop. We packed up the gear and headed home. On the way, we were happy to see that someone has planted a new baby oak tree right by the old giant that fell down this spring. It seems to be doing well and we will keep our eyes on it!
As you know, I used to be afraid of big dogs. I only had to get within a block of a strange big dog, and I got panicky. This was a leftover from many years ago when I was badly scared by a dog, and it took me a long time to get over it.
In this respect, as in many. others, Portland has been good for me. Most of the dogs here are friendly, well-behaved, and just mellow critters. One of my favorite things about Laurelhurst Park is watching the dogs play in the off-leash area. Early yesterday morning I went for a walk around Laurelhurst, trying to work out some details of the story. The weather has been dry, so the park’s sprinklers had run most of the night, trying to keep the grass green. This made some good sized puddles, which the dogs were enjoying.
One woman with twins toddlers in a stroller and I were chatting. “See that dog that keeps going all the way down into the puddle?” She smiled. “That’s mine.”
Then this evening, we decided that since it was finally cool enough that we would walk over to Sunnyside Park and play badminton. This was our second time playing this summer, and we were so much better! We had fun whacking the birdie around, flailing less and hitting it more.
Across the park were some fellows who sleep in the park most on nights when the weather is good. They and their dogs were hanging out. For a while it was fine, but then they let the dogs all the leashes and it started to get uncomfortable.
While we were sitting on the grass to rest, the dogs came over to see what we were doing. They weren’t mean, but got very close and were not following directions, from us or their owners. I got nervous around dogs for the first time since I’ve lived here.
When we had rested, we thought about playing some more, but the idea of the dogs chasing us spoiled the fun. Sadly, we packed up and headed home
I know that no place is perfect, and one short bit of discomfort won’t ruin a day, but I am sad that for just a few minutes, I had that panicky feeling about dogs again. I will go visit Laurelhurst today and chase the bad away with some good.
Yesterday was Sunday. It was also Auntie Bridgett’s birthday, and we spent the whole day doing Auntie Bridgett’s favorite things.
First, we had a small breakfast to get ready for a busy day. Then we opened presents! She got some fancy silverware from her Aunt Chris and Uncle Ken, and Grandpa Nelson and I got her a badminton set! We have such a nice big park, we should have games to play in it. More about that later.
Passing Belmont Street, we noticed that the old murals I had taken pictures of are being painted over and new murals painted in. Here are the beginnings of the new ones.
Then we walked through the neighborhood to 32nd Avenue and Hawthorne Street. Awhile back we had seen a red double-decker bus (like they use in London) being used as a coffee shop! It is called Tov Coffee (Tov means ‘good’ in Hebrew), and Bridgett wanted to see inside.
Needless to say, the inside is TINY. It is a bus, after all, and also needs room for coffee making machines and dishes and fellows behind the counter. But it was pretty…walls and ceilings painted a nice purple, finely carved wooden everythings, and photos of Egypt. We ordered our coffees and went up the narrow twisty stairs to the top of the bus. A nice roof has been made of pvc pipe and heavy plastic, which keeps out the sun on bright days and the rain on not-so-bright ones. When our coffees were delivered we enjoyed the view of the street and people-watching.
Our weather is getting cooler, feeling very much like fall. Trees are starting to change colors and leaves are crunching underfoot. We walked to a pop-up restaurant called hunnymilk. A pop-up is when a group of cooks and waiters who don’t have a restaurant borrow a restaurant and serve their own food. In this case, hunnymilk, which makes fabulous brunch, borrowed the space and kitchen of La Buca, an Italian restaurant. We had the best biscuits and butter ever, fried french toast, roast potatoes, and pork ribs with garlicky cheese grits. OH MY, was it good. We ate until we were happily stuffed.
But we still couldn’t finish it all! We will have a day or two of delicious leftovers.
After we rested and digested for a while, we took the badminton set to the park, set it up, and started playing. We were delightfully awful…years of no practice had us running and flailing like windmills. But it was fun, so we kept it up. And by the time we were too tired to move, we had gotten much better. We staggered home for more rest before our final destination of the day. I didn’t get a single picture of the game! We were having so much fun, I forgot!
We got a Lyft ride to Hale Pele (say hall-ay pay-lay) Tiki Bar! This is a tiny place with all sorts of colored lights, tikis and blowfish, skulls and tapa cloth lamps. They serve food, (but we were still stuffed from brunch), and delicious tropical drinks, some of which get set on fire. It was fun watch to lights change, and watch the bartender mix the drinks, and then drink the drinks….
When we had all we could hold, we called Lyft again and got a ride home, and wished Auntie Bridgett a final Happy Birthday!