January is always a hard month here in Portland. The bright, food-and family filled holidays are past, but spring is months away, and it can feel like a very long road.
We had a thumping rain storm the other night. It actually woke me up! But come morning the rain had stopped. Since I am mostly over my cold, I got bundled up and went to the park.
I wasn’t alone! There were dozens of folks walking around….some with their big fluffy dogs, some with kids on tiny bikes or babies in strollers, some tossing handfuls of frozen peas to the ducks. Everyone was chatty and seemed to be celebrating being OUT among their fellow humans. January can feel a bit like a jail sentence to be waited out.
The fellows who seemed to be enjoying the day most were these two, working on their j’ai alai moves. The older fellow stood pretty still, flinging the ball in all directions, while the younger played the part of a Labrador retriever, dashing and catching. It seemed the perfect cure for the January blues.
I spent an hour at the park, looking for bits of color. I found a few of these signs of the coming spring, but I am not fooled. It will be a long, wet, chilly haul. We will have to make our own sunshine.
In case you missed me and my blog over the weekend, I have decided that I will only be posting on weekdays, and taking weekends off. I am feeling like I’m so busy writing about life, I’m not having time to DO life. But for now…
We are at the part of Fall where it can be warm during the day, cool in the evening, but still light enough to walk after dinner. If I am quick to get out and careful, I can take some nice photos.
In the neighborhood around Laurelhurst Park, there are signs of Fall everywhere. Leaves changing, seed pods doing amazing things, squash and pumpkins swelling and getting fat for Halloween, crows scavenging.
Sitting by Firwood Lake, the pond inside the park, I kept seeing reflections and shadows, trying to channel my inner Monet.
Dahlias, one of Auntie Bridgett’s favorite flowers, are still blooming, catching the lower light in their dense petals.
And, of course, chestnuts! The scary-muppet looking ones that you can eat, and the studded-motorcycle-jacket ones that you can’t are both falling like rocks from trees all over the neighborhood. Keep your hats on!
And, as Edith Ann used to say, that’s all I have to say about that.
Here in Portland, Summer isn’t willing to give up just yet. The roses and dahlias are blooming in what looks like a joyous shout before tucking in for the colder months. Portland is known as The Rose City (since 1888, anyway) but all flowers do well here.
We are having days that start damp and grey with wet sidewalks, burst into sunshine for lunch dates, then get cloudy again by dinner. It is dramatic and beautiful.
Our painters are almost done with the outside of the building, so today I get to put all Momma’s geraniums back on the patio. The poor plants have been holding their collective breath for two weeks, in a foyer with not enough sunlight or fresh air.
The Green Rain trees in the neighborhood are putting on their big show: seeds pods! They start as small swellings on the bud, and are now these bunches of pods that rattle like maracas when you shake them…which I do, every time I go by! Hey, it’s a toy, I’m a just big kid…what do you expect?
Today I will walk up to Yen’s and have her cut my hair. I am feeling too shaggy and need to spruce up a bit. Also, I want to show her this photo of the ginger cutting she gave us when we were last in, about 7 weeks ago. Bridgett put the cutting in water and, after a rocky start, sprouted roots like crazy! I am sure she will be happy to see her baby doing well.
Now that is is officially summer, our evening walks have moved from six o’clock to more like 7:30. It stays light until nine and it feels silly to waste all that lovely sunlight!
Yesterday evening Auntie Bridgett and I walked around the neighborhood and noticed that the flowers are really exploding. Sweet peas, roses, day lilies and hollyhocks are shooting up out of the ground like the police are after them.
Even the sunflowers are getting tall and majestic. The bees all seem to be prosperous and busy.
We met a new cat, a very friendly young lady with beautiful markings and a tag that declares her to be “The Princess.” She not just allowed, but demanded, that we pet her, squeaking in a very royal voice.
On the way home we passed The Belmont Inn, and stopped in for a few games of Monster Bash, our favorite pinball game. We played together for a few, then went head-to-head. My score of six million made me very proud until Auntie Bridgett whupped me with forty-four million!!! Holy smokes, I need more practice!
I was born in Southern California and, except for three years around when your daddy and Auntie Katie were born, lived in California my whole life. I am used to warm dry summers, slightly damp winters, and trees that mostly stay green all year.
i am also used to crocuses making some sort of sense. Yesterday as we were walking through the neighborhood, looking at houses for sale and heading for the market, I saw these:
These are crocuses sprouting up in front yards! In every other part of the world, crocuses are a spring flower, usually the first spring flower….back east, they come right up through the snow. But here it is, the first day of fall, and up they come.
Maybe they are trying to come up out of the ground so they don’t drown in the rain? Maybe they are as confused as the rest of us about the world in general? Or maybe they are just messing with me…..
Today is chilly but dry, and we are trying to decided what we want to do this weekend. With summer passed, the roses have lost most of their petals and the gardens will rest until spring. There is an Architectural History Museum down by the river that looks interesting, or maybe we will bundle up and walk around downtown. It is going to stay chilly, but no rain is predicted for a whole week!