Flying Cat Coffee And Coronavirus

Dear Liza,

flying Cat Coffee in the sunshine

Our weather is still chilly but clear here in Portland. Coats have been put away, but a sweater and a little something around your neck is still a good idea. It is good walking weather, and yesterday Grandpa Nelson and I walked the mile south to Division Street’s Flying Cat Coffee.

This is just a block west of Salt and Straw Ice Cream and the St. Honore Boulangerie. It feels ‘old’ Portland, where they feel very ‘new’. The building is small, and the seating is a mixture of all the living rooms of my childhood… avocado green sofas and orange striped overstuffed rocking chairs.

Lonely barista

But it is pleasant. Their coffee is strong and good, and they have a nice selection of teas and some pastries.

Quirky, friendly art

But we were there the day the coronovirus became very real in Portland, so we literally had the place to ourselves. And it was probably our last sit down in a coffee shop for a while.

The mayor has declared a state of emergency (city of emergency?) and said all K-12 schools will close starting Monday. Governor Kate Brown has declared that any group bigger than 250 people is illegal. So concerts, plays, movie theaters, indoor malls, our zoo, museums, comic conventions, all the places we want to go when the spring comes, are all closed. Poop.

And even a mobile coffee bike!

Auntie Katie is working with her staff to find ways to keep Books with Pictures open while keeping everyone safe. Auntie Bridgett is doing the same at SideStreet Arts Gallery. It isn’t easy being a public place these days.

Here is where I heave a big sigh and find the silver lining. We are all well. The sunlight is pretty and the Park is not contagious. Kittens are good company. I am continuing to improve my story.

And I get to see you in less than a month!

Love,

Grandma Judy

The Sun Before the Storm

Dear Liza,

Hyacinths!

Spring is coming to Portland! The hyacinths are standing proud, cherry blossoms are drifting down like snow, and we are getting sun!

Ya gotta love birthday pets…

Last week only played at being sunny. Teasing us, being bright and sunny and luring us outside, but still really cold. But yesterday, POOF! It was sunny AND warm. It was so pretty, Grandpa Nelson and I went for a walk.

Well, technically, I was going to make dinner. But Grandpa Nelson mentioned “Salt and Straw” Ice Cream, and dinner got put back in the fridge to wait for a while.

Tiny grape hyacinths

Division Street used to feel like a long walk, but it’s only a mile south through lovely older neighborhoods of Victorians and Craftsman style homes. The oak trees are tall and fat, the steps properly mossy, the garden a bit shaggy. Politics is blooming. It was wonderful.

Bernie!

Once we got to “Salt and Straw”, there was a line inside and happy people sitting in the sun licking ice cream cones outside. It felt like summer, with people in shorts and sunglasses, chatting and taking selfies in the sun.

THE place for ice cream…

We stepped into the St. Honore Boulangerie next door to pick up a nice pain au chocolat for Auntie Bridgett, who was home with a cold, and headed back through the neighborhood.

Look at that sunshine!!

And we saw these inky clouds over the bright pink trees, and knew that our sunshine would be short lived, that this coming week was going to be wet and cold.

Time to scoot inside!

Spring is tricky that way.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Dodgin’ Raindrops

Dear Liza,IMG_1874.jpeg

Today I took a walk through the neighborhood, on my to Collage. This arts and crafts shop is about a mile away, on Division Street, but is the closest place where I can buy embroidery thread. Besides, I love seeing how the neighborhood changes every day.

Rain was predicted, but, as my Momma used to say, I’m not made of sugar.

Today I met a fellow taking a picture of this persimmon tree. The tree has no leaves at all, but is full of persimmons, just too high to reach!

Along the way I noticed the retaining walls. Most old houses in Portland have basements, so the house sits above the street. The yard is made flat by these walls, which can show a lot of characters. Some are just mossy, but others have decorations or are practically their own gardens.IMG_1859.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was also this pile of mulch, leftover from someone who bought too much. The sign says: “OMG!  Please Take Some!”

IMG_1876 2.jpeg

Collage didn’t have any of the color embroidery floss I was after, but Henry, the manager, took his time matching the color to his online order form, and it will be in next week so I can finish my project.

When I got home, this shadow of Mouse was on the wall of the landing….IMG_1807.jpeg

Another nice day in Portland.

Love,

Grandma Judy