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!!


Grandma Judy

Granville Island

Dear Liza,

Auntie Bridgett by the water

Today was our first full day in Vancouver, and we saw just as much as we could see.

After we were all up and dressed, we walked down to the water. This part of Vancouver is several narrow peninsulas that jut out into the Pacific Ocean, so we walked TO THE OCEAN.

Our ride

We took a water taxi across the narrow inlet to Granville Island. About a hundred years ago, this was the shipyards of Vancouver, because fishing and shipping were the main industry here. Fishing is still big, but most of the shipyard buildings have been repurposed for Art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Such abundance!

The biggest building is used as the Granville Public Market. It has about fifty different businesses inside, from creperies ( where we got our breakfast) to ice creams shops, butcher shops, fruit and vegetable venders, and ceramics and other art shops. We wandered around with our eyes bugging out!

Root beer is goooood…

Outside, we wandered some more. Galleries with fine arts and others full of crafts kept our eyes busy.

The Giants

We chatted with a guide about the sand and gravel silos that have been painted by the same artists we saw in London years ago into a unique set of “Giants”. We admired woodworking, ceramics, paintings and embroidery. When our eyes were full but our tummies empty, we stopped at The Keg for lunch. Ahi tuna tacos and a Guinness for me and cider for Grandpa Nelson, along with half an hour off our feet, put us right again and we continued on.

Sisyphus in iron and stone

We found an artistic blacksmith shop, and enjoyed the work, but the smith wasn’t in. Then we saw these hands and a head out in the sun, with a coat of shallac drying on them.

What’s up?

We talked with the lady who was working on them and followed her back to the shop. Her name is Beth, and she works with wood artist Peter Kiss to make these wonderful characters.

Beth and Peter Kiss

We had walked around the whole island twice and seen so much, we were pooped. We caught another water taxi across the water and headed to our apartment for a rest. I will tell you about the evening tomorrow!


Grandma Judy