Fifth Grade Promotion and a Walk to Fleet Week

Dear Liza,

Last week was the last day of school for everyone. For Cousin Kestrel, it was her last day AT her school. She got promoted from the fifth grade at Abernethy Elementary and will be going to Middle School next year!

The small, friendly ceremony was held on the playground, with just Kes’s classmates and teacher, because each class had its own time. It was delightfully low key and personal.


I was happy to be able to be there and celebrate another milestone in the family.

It was fun, too, to see Kestrel’s best friend Lennon. I have only met her in groups of kids at birthday parties, so it was great to see her unique spirit and understand why she and Kes are so close.

After the ceremony, the girls went back to class and I bought Katie breakfast at the Honeycuspe waffle truck in the food pod in her parking lot. I love how the space is becoming a cheerful outdoor dining spot! The murals, tables, awnings, and repaired paving (which Katie installed herself!) makes it easy to sit and enjoy.

I headed home, full of waffles and happiness, and took pictures of magnificent peonies along the way.

That afternoon, still full from brunch and rested up, I joined Grandpa Nelson on his walk to the river to see part of Fleet Week, where Portland plays host to sailors from the American and Canadian navies.

As the Canadian ships HMCS Edmonton and the HMCS Brandon came up the Willamette River from the Columbia River, the Fremont Bridge, the Broadway Bridge, the Steel Bridge and Burnside Bridge were all raised to allow the ships to pass underneath. We got to the Burnside Bridge as it was raised and clanging, making sure everyone for a mile in all directions knew what was going on.

The fireboat was off to the side, spouting water in celebration. I’m sure the sailors enjoyed the spectacle. I know the people on the riverbank did!

When the bridge came down, we realized that we had walked five miles and were ready for a snack and a sit-down. We found the Forte Cafe at SW Sixth and Washington. It was modern and delightful, with Italian sodas and cookies and unusual art. This wall of fish just tickled me!

There was a framed Robin Williams quote that spoke to me, as well. “You’re only given a little spark of madness.” He said. “You mustn’t lose it.”

That says it all.

Love,

Grandma Judy

…And Back Again

Dear Liza,

Once I got to the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, I had intended to head right back home, but my Dad’s voice whispered “Go home a different way, so you see something different.”

Art made with cables and sky

So I continued across the bridge to the Westside. The pedestrian walkway has recently been finished and makes for a very pleasant, if warm, walk between the bridges. There were more adventurers out and about.

Kayakers out and about

I found Poet’s Beach, a side path lined with stones that are carved with poetry written by students, years ago.

Thanks, Phoebe!

It is loud, because it is right under the double decker Marquam Bridge, but worth a read and a visit.

The extremely loud Marquam Bridge

By this time, my feet and my phone batteries were telling me it was time to head home. I decided to cross back over the Hawthorne Bridge. I love the views of bridges from other bridges!

The Marquam, Tilikum, and Ross Island Bridges… from the Hawthorne.

Of course, political statements are everywhere. I liked this re-purposed public service message.

You can see a lot of Portland from bridges, too. Joggers, cyclists, the Burnside Bridge and the Convention Center are all in these shots.

Once I was back on the Eastside, I realized I was hungry, and came upon Asylum, a food Court on the site of Dr. Hawthorne’s Oregon State Hospital for the Insane. This much-respected institution stood from 1862 to 1883. It closed when the good Doctor died and burned to the ground a few years later.

The space has a steampunk cartoony vibe, with trash containers that made me laugh, and really tasty food.

I had pot stickers from the Thai place and enjoyed some people and art watching.

The Asylum gates ….

Once I was fed, I still had a mile walk, all uphill, to get home. I paced myself, admiring gardens, appreciating shade, and visiting with nice folks. I had done what I had intended to do, walked a total of 6.2 miles, and it felt good.

By the way, as you can tell, Portland is not “in flames”. We are fine. The protests are being exploited by the President and his allies who want to use Portland as an excuse to use strong arm tactics against his political enemies. He is lying.

Took the words out of my mouth!

Stay alert, stay well, and remember I love you.

Grandma Judy