Snow in Portland! Part 1

Dear Liza,

In winter, Portland is mostly a wet and chilly city, not a cold and frozen city. This weekend has been different.

Our patio gnomes, snowed in…

We knew the snow was coming. The weather reports warned of heavy snow, freezing temperatures, and icy bridges. We did extra grocery shopping so we wouldn’t run out of things if we couldn’t drive or walk to the market. And when we went to bed Thursday night, it was snowing.

For me, a girl from the beach in Southern California, there is always something magical about snowfall. Unlike rain, which falls quickly and races away along the gutters, snow comes down at a leisurely pace, as if it is enjoying the scenery along the way. Then it makes little piles, settling in for a visit.

Modern art sculpture of trees in the courtyard…

Friday was a wonderful, mostly-stay-inside day. Grandpa Nelson and I got out to walk around the building just to hear the snow crunch under our boots, then got back inside before we fell in our butts. Tucked back inside, we watched as the snow came and went, with some chilly wind rattling the ice on the branches of the dogwood tree across the way. Even my bonsai forest, The Hundred Acre Wood, out on the balcony, got some snow.

Hundred Acre Wood in snowfall…

When we woke up Saturday, we saw that quite a bit of snow had decided to stay and visit. The little gate that separates our patio from the main walkway was frozen shut, the latch having been welded and glazed by freezing rain.

Frozen latch

Once I got that melted via a hot washcloth (thanks for the advice, Auntie Katie!) I realized that I had a bigger problem. The bottom six inches of the gate were buried in the snow. But my dad would not have been deterred, and I didn’t want to be, either.

I went in search of weaponry, but when we moved from our house in Salinas to our townhouse with no yard, we gave all that away. No shovel, rake, or push room, not even garden trowels. What did I have? A spatula and some cardboard.. I tried, I really did. But no go. There was no going out that way.

These footprints went nowhere!

Sigh. More tea…. more sewing. It could be so much worse.

I will tell you about our victory and adventure in the snow tomorrow!


Grandma Judy

Valentine’s Day

Dear Liza,

Flowers from Grandpa Nelson

I hope your Valentine’s Day at your new school was fun. After a busy day that included a visit from an electrician, shopping, and lots of baking, we had a nice evening out at Bread and Ink Cafe down on Hawthorne.

Our local house of deliciousness……

We bundled up, because it is still very cold here, and walked through our lovely neighborhood. I love that people leave their holiday lights up on their porches year round…they always look like there’s a party, and on these long dark evenings, that helps chase the blues away.

Auntie Bridgett being silly….

Bread and Ink served us wonderful Ciopinno, Salade Nicoise, French fries, and a wonderful local wine, with chocolate and orange cake for dessert. The restaurant was packed for the holiday, but we had good service nonetheless.

A fabulous Salade Nicoise
Handsome Grandpa Nelson…

I love that our Trouple has celebrated twelve Valentine’s Days, with many more to come. I love my people very much.

And me!

Love you, too, kiddo.

Grandma Judy