Fall in the Neighborhood


Dear Liza,

Maybe it’s because our summer has been so hot and dry, but Fall is falling hard here in Portland. Leaves are falling in piles earlier than usual. The change from heatwave to rainfall seems more abrupt.

In our lovely, funky Sunnyside neighborhood, the lush flowers of summer are dying back, waiting to be trimmed into their winter rest.

Plum, apple, and fig trees are all over the neighborhood, planted decades ago by resourceful homeowners. Some folks gather them up and share them, which is really nice. One house on Taylor Street even provides little boxes to take them home!

Other folks seem overwhelmed by the abundance and the fruit just falls and rots, smelling like a brewery. Not terrible, but a terrible waste.

Piles of leaves are everywhere. They make for a seasonal carpet and art materials, as well as pulling nutrients back in the soil. But I know once it rains, we will have ‘leaf slime’ in every gutter.

So it is when summer ends. There is a melancholy, especially when it feels like Covid has cheated us of another summer’s concerts, plays, and festivals. But I am ready for Fall. The inside time and contemplation, and the creativity that come with it, are okay by me.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Summer in the Sunnyside

Dear Liza,

I have been taking care of Auntie Katie’s cats this week while she is on vacation. This means I have been getting to walk in different parts of the neighborhood.

There are cool old houses and huge trees in our Sunnyside, Richmond and Ladd’s Addition neighborhoods. I love the bright colors!


There are dozens of pieces of art put in place just to amuse people.


The weird Morrison Mini Art Gallery….

And there are generous folks who share their ripe fruit right off the trees with anyone who wants it.


I sure like our neighborhood!

Love,

Grandma Judy