Looking Back, Just a Bit More…

Dear Liza,

Portland does SPRING very well!

This past year saw some big adventures, too.

Three generations! Me, Auntie Katie and Cousin Kestrel

In March, for my birthday, you and your family came up to help me keep a long-overdue promise to MY parents, to put their ashes into the ocean. We all drove over the mountains to Seaside, made a sand castle, and placed them in it. High tide would take them where they wanted to be.

David and Katie built their grandparent’s castle

A perfect Florentine

I started baking with more skill, with new equipment and confidence.

The summer came, and fall…

Leaves in Laurelhurst Park

In September we took the train to Vancouver, BC, and Seattle, Washington, and enjoyed what those cities had to offer.

Vancouver, BC, by day

Seattle by night

Auntie Bridgett kept painting, working hard as a member of SideStreet Arts.

Auntie Bridgett and one of my favorite paintings, A Paris

This year also saw the young people growing into wonderful ‘older’ people. Cousins Kyle and Jasper got to know each other and became buddies, bonding over Dungeons and Dragons and video games.

Cousins Kyle and Jasper, being guys together

As for me, I am still working on my story. It has grown from being a story about a CITY to being a story about a girl living IN a city.

My had drawn map of Portland, 1903

I never knew writing a book was so complicated, but I am learning, and I think that as long as I take time and don’t give up, it has promise.

My (at least) twelfth outline, getting more complicated and person- centered

Last year, I kept my promise to my parents. Maybe this year, I can keep my promise to me.

Happy New Year!!

Love,

Grandma Judy

To the Ship! To the Ship!

Dear Liza,

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The wreck of the Peter Iredale

Yesterday, Auntie Katie invited me on an adventure with her and Cousins Jasper and Kestrel. Under grey July skies, we drove on the Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River into Washington! This is my first time crossing this river since living in Portland. We drove north for a while, and then we crossed the same river AGAIN, because we turned west as it turned north. Believe it or not, this took us back into Oregon.

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The sky through the wreck

We stopped at The Berry Patch Restaurant, a nice friendly diner, and had hamburgers, tuna melts, and fish and chips, then drove to Fort Stevens, which was a U.S. Army Fort from the Civil War to World War II. We never made it to the fort.

We got sidetracked. By a shipwreck.

The Peter Iredale was a four masted steel barque sailing ship that came aground on the beach in 1906. It was never salvaged, and has sat right on the beach since then, slowly falling apart.

It is now a beautiful wreck, with barnacles and layers of thick steel revealing wonderful colors. From inside, you can frame to world through its openings. The kid in me wanted to climb it, but adult me realized that was a monumentally bad idea. So I just stared.

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Beautiful decay

Seagulls nibbled on huge, very dead, Dungeness crabs. Jasper and I came up with a story that there had been a giant seagull party, and the shells were the “take out” containers left lying around.

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Kestrel through the wreck

 

 

Since we were on the beach there was sand castle building, of course. We all got sandy and wet. It was marvelous.                                                 There were also thousands of tiny gelatinous sea creatures that had washed up onto the shore. About an inch long and as big around as a knitting needle, these hollow remains were squishy underfoot and did not interest the seagulls.

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Of CourseAbout an inch and a half long and as thin as a knitting needle, these hollow remains felt squishy underfoot. The seagulls were totally not interested in eating them.

There were more adventures during the day, and I will tell you about them tomorrow.

Love,

Grandma Judy