Looking Back on the Fourth

Dear Liza,

Our maple tree outdoor Bistro

Our Fourth of July was very busy! It was a warm but not deadly-hot day, so we felt up to some solid walking.

We packed a small picnic lunch and headed south to Seawellcrest Park. This is the same park where we had Cousin Jasper’s fifth grade promotion celebration, but on the Fourth, it was practically deserted. A few folks played frisbee with their dogs, but mostly it was just us and the giant maple tree we were sitting under. We enjoyed a nice lunch of cold sausages and cheese and listened to birds and happy dogs. Very nice.

We walked around the Seawellcrest community garden and enjoyed seeing how other folks arrange their spaces. Ladders are good for trellises! I am learning a lot for next year.

We continued through the neighborhood, greeting folks out walking.

Once we got to Division Street, there was Auntie Bridgett’s favorite frozen treat shop: Eb and Bean Frozen Yogurt. These friendly folks make healthy and yummy flavors such as Triple Blueberry Chèvre and Caramel Praline… what’s not to like?

We enjoyed the goodies on a bench in the shade, watching people and traffic go by. A young fella set up a lemonade stand and Grandpa Nelson was his first customer! Other folks soon followed.

Auntie Bridgett suggested, since we were on Division Street, that we walk a little way further and go visit Auntie Katie. The day was getting warmer, but we had tummies full of ice cream and we were good at staying in the shade.

We visited with Katie’s assistant, Nick, and then took her off for a walk and a snack at Palio. I know it seems like we were eating a lot. Yes. Yes, we were. Yummy! We had a wonderful visit, sharing some rose wine and berry cake.

Katie needed more of a walk, she said, so she decided to walk us up the hill and home. The heat of the day had really kicked in and it was a bit of a slog the final mile, but we made it! The three of us had covered five and a half miles, and we were pretty pleased with ourselves. And tired. We all had ice water and a rest before Katie headed off on her way.

The rest of the day was quiet, with reading and, later, watching the humans beat the aliens in Independence Day.

Belated Happy Fourth! Happy to still have a country to celebrate in.


Grandma Judy

Baseball on the Fourth

Dear Liza,

The First Pitch, Courtesy of Miss Oregon

For the Fourth of July, Grandpa Nelson, Auntie Bridgett and I went to Lents Park, in the far southeast part of the city, to watch some baseball. Portland doesn’t have any professional teams, so these were teams made up of young men from colleges from all over the west. We watched the Portland Pickles play against the Gresham Grey Wolves.The weather was very warm, with interesting grey clouds.


Lents Park has tennis and basketball courts and baseball and soccer fields. There are a few Little League baseball fields, as well as the main field, which holds 1,500 people. Before the game we got to see the new Miss Oregon throw out the first pitch, and another young lady sing a lovely version of the National Anthem. There was also a goodly amount of country music. It felt a hundred miles away from hipster downtown Portland, instead of only five.

During the game, it was fun watching all the people. The grownups were trying to stay cool and eating every piece of fried food they could lay their hands on. The kids were walking around and around the stadium, eating gallons of snow cones.

The teams played well, and it was interesting to see young men from Hermosa Beach, California (where Grandpa Nelson lived when I met him) playing against kids from Eugene, where I was going to college when your daddy was born. The starting pitcher for the Pickles is a student at Cal State Monterey Bay, right close to you!

Dillon, the dill pickle mascot of the Portland Pickles, came out and visited with the crowd. Kids gave him high fives and he stood for dozens of pictures, though it must have been over a hundred degrees in his heavy costume. If you will excuse the pun, he is a bit of a ham.

Dillon the Pickle Mascot

Since there was going to be a double header (that means two games in one day) , each one was going to be short, just seven innings instead of nine. That was okay with us, really. The Pickles were not playing well and we lost, 3-1, to the Grey Wolves. It was hot, we were tired, and ready for a lay-down before fireworks this evening.

After we got home and rested, the clouds came in heavier and it actually rained! So much for fireworks! We played Scrabble, which Bridgett won in a landslide, and watch “Yankee Doodle Dandy” with James Cagney.

Grandpa Nelson and Dillon, Chillin’

I hope you and the family had a wonderful Fourth of July!


Grandma Judy