Just three blocks from our house is Laurelhurst Park, which I have told you about many times. It is my favorite place in the whole city.
And in Laurelhurst Park is little Firwood Lake. It is at the lowest point of the park, of course. It is the natural place for a lake, but it hasn’t always been there. Back in the 1920s when the park was being developed, folks thought of filling in the bottom part of the park and installing a baseball field.
But even then, they knew about drainage and flood control, and realized a lake would be a better idea. And it has been.
Year round, we have ducks waddling and swimming and doing adorable duck things. Spring brings ducklings, who bob about on the lake like fluffy corks. And now the goslings have come out to play!
Geese are always majestic creatures, tall and arrogant looking. But give a pair of geese a few goslings, and they become positively ferocious. Walking through the park this afternoon, we came across this pair and their young ones. Several folks were already watching, keeping a good distance. The pair remained vigilant but calm.
But when a lady came by with a dog, the geese called their goslings to them and honked up a storm, hissing and telling the lady and her dog to get the heck out of the area. The lady and the dog, wisely, did.
I hope you had good food and family for your Thanksgiving. Up here in Portland, we had both.
The day started with watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. New York was having such high winds, they almost had to ground the big balloons! But the winds died down and the balloons flew. Auntie Katie and the Cousins arrived, and we had before-dinner cheese and crackers on Great Grandpa Lowell’s coffee table, using my Winnie the Pooh tray and Auntie Olga’s little snack plates. Kestrel declared them SO cute, and she was right!
There were games of Phase Ten and a home made 3- D tic tac toe game. Auntie Katie and I played ukulele and guitar and sang together, and then it was time for dinner. So much food! We ate turkey (carved beautifully by Auntie Katie) horsed around, and had some wine to toast the holiday and each other.
After dinner, Aunties Katie and Bridgett did the heavy work of breaking down the turkey for leftovers and soup, and putting all the leftover food in the fridge, while I put the Turkey skin and bones into the slow cooker with some onions and celery for stock! It will cook for hours and get delicious.
I wanted to go for a walk before it got dark, but the Cousins and Grandpa Nelson decided to stay home and play. We grown up ladies bundled up (it was 42 F!) and enjoyed Laurelhurst Park’s trees, dogs and a large contingent of ducks rustling through the fallen leaves looking for bugs.
Heading home, I showed Katie the “dinosaur infestation” at a house down on Morrison. The lady who lives there, Elaine, collects and places plastic dinosaurs in her heard and trees, and it is adorable! Auntie Katie thought so, too.
It was dark by the time we got back, and Auntie Katie got Grandpa Nelson to play some music. Then we had slices of three pies! My pumpkin, and and apple and pecan from Katie. Yummy!!
Cousin Kestrel made a miniature dinner table out of the Tic-tac-toe game, and she and I set it up for dinner with plates made of tin foil and napkins and food cut from Post-it notes. Auntie Bridgett invited two tiny stuffed crows over for dinner, and it was quite a party, right there on the floor!
We all shared some music, on videos or guitar, ukulele or singing songs that Jasper is learning at school, and eventually it was time to get kids and us to bed.
A bunch of leftovers went home to feed the family, because Auntie Katie will be busy tomorrow, having a big Black Friday sale at Books with Pictures!
It was raining this morning when we woke up! It was actually chilly! I know there will come a time when this gets old, but for now, I am enjoying the cool, the sound of rain, and the way the light reflects off the drops.
After breakfast I bundled up and went walking in the park. It felt even more like a forest than ever. With fewer people and dogs, the ducks were more active, and the soft sounds of rain and wind were everywhere. (Sigh)
Walking my regular route through the park, I noticed changes. Small dents in the path had become small ponds, and the squirrels were drinking from them. Clear paths had become upholstered with leaves and small branches which had come down in the wind.
I have recently learned a new word: susurration. It means a whispering sound, or a murmur, especially in contrast with louder noises. Laurelhurst Park, this morning, was full of susurration. The wind whispered in the tops of trees, the rain whispered on the puddles, even the bicycles whispered as they rolled past.
And of course, the surface of the pond was alive with drops and ripples. One duck was awake and drifted along with me under the protection of a tree. The reflection and soft music of the textured surface made it worth getting a bit damp.
This all made me smile and remember a poem from The Wind in the Willows, and of Laurel Bloombaum: