August Rain

Dear Liza,

It was been so hot and uncomfortable lately here in Portland. We aren’t at 117 degrees anymore, but consistent 90s and no rain for 50 longs days has made everything very forlorn.

So imagine our joy when we awoke Friday morning to RAIN!!! Glorious, cool, nurturing rain. I opened the windows and sat for a long time, just smelling it. The word for that smell of rain after a dry spell is “PETRICHOR” and is one of my favorite smells.

But after a while, I wanted to get out in it. To feel the splashes on my face and hear the cars whizz by on wet streets, to hear the flowers singing with gratitude. So out I went, and I was not disappointed.

Drops sat like jewels on our hostas and dangled from the birch leaves.

They drooped off the daisy petals as though they were happily sweating dancers.

They turned spider webs in sparkling mysteries.

They made the dusty August colors brighter.

And they let us know God has not forgotten us.


Grandma Judy

Willie the Dawn Redwood

Dear Liza,

Ancient Dawn Redwood

Willie and Bridgett in July

In late June of this year, this new Dawn Redwood was planted at the eastern edge of the Dog Off Leash Area in Laurelhurst Park. We noticed it and named it Willie, after my Momma and because he has this little wiggle near the top…Willie with a Wiggle, Wiggle Willie, something like that. There are several magnificent old Dawn Redwoods already in the park, so we figured he was guaranteed success.

In September

But this has been an unusually hot and dry summer. Since early June, the city has seen about a quarter of an inch of rain, with weeks of temperatures near 100 degrees. This sort of drought is hard on all the plants, but especially those with tiny baby root systems.

During the summer we have kept tabs on Willie. He has gotten browner and more spindly and we have been worried.

But he is a deciduous tree, which means that he is supposed to lose his little needle-leaves in the Fall. Maybe the browning is natural, and not drought related.

Now that the rain seems to have started, I hope he can grow and be as tall and weirdly handsome as his older colleagues.


Grandma Judy