Signs of Love

Dear Liza,

With all of us staying in our houses, chatting with folks has become a much rarer thing. We can chat with neighbors for a minute or two when we sit on our balcony, but they are all in their way somewhere.

Conversations with strangers, which is one of the best things about living in a city, have almost come to a complete halt. Folks scurry by behind their masks, not wanting to give or catch the virus.

But people need to communicate. It’s part of our nature and it leaks out all over the place.

Advice from neighbors…

And, on my walks in the neighborhood, these little things make my heart smile.

……making sure we know that their Naked Ladies are for us to enjoy…
Love Wins is a big theme here, one I thoroughly endorse

We have places we go, knowing which hours are best to find them uncrowded. Zach’s Shack, the HobNob, and Rendezvous all have outdoor seating, tasty food and friendly folks.

It IS special. Life IS short.

We have recently learned that another favorite haunt, The Rocking Frog, will be closing down and moving somewhere else in a few months, when their lease is up. With so many businesses closing and other changes happening so fast, we truly need to remember to show signs of Love while we can.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Being Neighborly

Dear Liza,

Last night we had a patio party with a few of our neighbors. With each household staying in our own little yard and safely distanced from each other, we had some wine, cake, and much needed conversation.

My newly-retired feet, a few Summers ago

This was remarkable. I know it shouldn’t have been, but it was. When I was growing up, everyone on the street knew everyone else. We knew what grades their kids were in and which dogs were friendly. But since moving to Portland, we have stayed mostly to ourselves, or just sitting on our nice balcony.

The Courtyard in Fall

Our neighbors are all younger than us, folks who work demanding jobs that keep them inside their houses or away at work for long hours. The lock down has kept them from working so much, and has freed them up. So after Grandpa Nelson mentioned that one of our neighbors seemed a little cabin-feverish, I sent an email, and voila, a party ensued.

Paperwhites enjoying the view in Winter

Our courtyard is pretty any time of the year, and especially nice in spring. The wisteria at the end is starting to green up, but isn’t blooming yet, but the dogwoods and camellias are showing their colors.

We sat and talked, sharing life histories and funny stories. One neighbor who is a surgical nurse gave us the inside scoop on how things are inside the Portland hospitals. (“Amazingly, not too bad,” she said.)

After a few hours, and with one fellow needing to leave to join a “Virtual Happy Hour” with colleagues, we exchanged emails for later meet ups.

We took our folding chairs inside and thought about how ironic it was that what finally got us out to meet our neighbors was…. being told we had to stay inside.

Life is funny that way, I guess.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Neighbors!

Dear Jasper and Kestrel,

David and bounce.jpg
Uncle David

Yesterday evening Uncle David invited the across-the-street neighbors over for a barbecue and s’mores.When I got home from school, I helped thread the strips of steak, along with tomatoes and peppers, onto the skewers for shish kebabs.

table outside.jpg
Table Outside

GetAttachmentThumbnail.jpg
Dinner waiting for company

Then we moved the big table outside so we could eat out on the patio, and Uncle David pulled the bounce house out of the shed and inflated it. Liza had fun making sure it was ready!

Mark and Lindsey have a 2 year old named Daniel He brought a small dump truck and enjoyed playing with it in Liza’s sandbox. The grownups talked and the kids played so well together! Liza had fun showing Daniel her toys and was very good about sharing.

Lindsey and son.jpg
New Friends

When the fire was ready, we put the rack of shish kebabs on, and it sure got hot fast! Mark and Uncle David decided there was just too much fire, so they moved the kebabs to the oven to finish. By that time, it had gotten chilly and they moved the table back inside, as well. The wide doors make that very easy. They didn’t even take the candles or dishes off!

dinner on the fire.jpg
Doing the Dinner

Dinner was good…we are still learning how to cook over the fire, but it was tasty. Then came the best part: S’mores! I’ve decided that I prefer just plain roasted marshmallows, but watching grownups being kids again is sure fun.

When Daniel started getting tired, the evening ended peacefully. It had been successful and fun. I went to sleep with dreams of marshmallows dancing in my head.

Love,

Grandma Judy