Monday’s Meander: Looking Back at a Snowy City Christmas

Yes, native Portlanders do consider this a major “snow event”! And most who live in the Willamette Valley (and not from northern states) are quite skittish about going out into it. I love our rare snowy times, no matter how light the snowfall is. It might be lovely to have a brilliant white Christmas again. I grew up in snow each winter and have been thinking of the way it changes things, makes the landscape more mysterious and perks up senses and mind. And toughens you up with it’s frequent subzero temperatures, tiny “darts” of pelting snow and howling winds–and treacherous icy roads and sidewalks. There are times I am nostalgiac for the beauties that it can offer. But not too often.

We do get a few days of “dustings” or even more interesting winter snows in Portland metro area–a bit more so where we live, 700 ft. above sea level. (These shots are from our former neighborhood, close-in city center, taken a few years ago.)

I came across these while brwosing my photos and wanted to share them today. It has been raining a great deal–the more usual case–and suddenly snow looks wonderful. But only now and then. I lived with knee-and-thigh-deep snows in my childhood, youth and young adulthood. I more enjoy our temperate weather of the Pacific Northwest. I can just drive to mountains to enjoy fresh snow. I think we have the best variety in Oregon–the ocean, mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, and the high desert.

The most beautiful snowy sight, perhaps, is Mt. Hood’s shining peak–seen from a city viewpoint!

Monday’s Meander: On My Way to Farmer’s Market with Happy Arrival

Sometimes on the way to somewhere else, you find views that entertain, inspire or bemuse. That’s easy when walking any city. Portland is a curious mix of old and new. I take my time getting to the a fantastic Farmer’s Market each Saturday on the pretty grounds of Portland State University. For quite awhile now I have sure missed going there, though apparently it’s managed to remain open. But Marc and I haven’t been keen on inserting ourselves into crowded masses–thousands traditionally visit weekly. (We do occasionally enjoy the small local famers market in Lake Oswego) For now, I visit via the multitude of photo files covering many years. Maybe in later fall I will venture there once more.

I offer shots of buildings and scenes as I walk many streets on the way to market. Like any city, Portland is full of historic and contemporary architecture to ogle. And there has been a great deal of change and tremendous development–some of it unique, beautiful–since I arrived in 1992. Many churches, for example, have been repurposed, and keep their place proudly alongside soaring business or housing complexes. Three are seen in part here. I always pause and consider their history, wondering why many are for lease…how it came to be over the decades. But there is always something of more current design or another sort of visual interest along the way!

But there is much more than old churches. The market offers color and fun. (Though there are so many that perhaps it’s be good to shoot only those structures for their own post!)

When I finally get to the Farmer’s Market, I’m stuffed with random images and inspiration– here you go!

There is a touch of nostalgia here: the ease with which people not so long ago moved and breathed and mingled is delightful to note, a reminder that life has been very good over the years in many ways, with decent options and simple pleasures. I can only hope it will get better again, and remind myself of this though the daily news brings gloom. Being an engaged part of our complicated world provides such gifts, rich moments to share. I will keep discovering, appreciating, and posting them here.

Wednesday’s Words: A Pause for Change

A pause for President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris.

May they be a stronger, nobler bridge leading from the past, through this present to our future USA.

I am fortified by beacons and voices of hope, by justice and compassion.

Vacation views of San Diego in 2018 for my 68th birthday. May we do our best to stay well so as to work better, play and share joy and roam as we choose– one day, not so far off.

Monday’s Meanders: Portland’s Loved City Center…

First the pandemic hit Portland as it has everywhere (though less heavily-so far-than many big cities). Over the past few days nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd of Minneapolis have occurred in many major cities and in Portland. Curfews are again in place. It is a time of even increased sadness, anger and anxieties. This blog is not about current events or politics but I have intense feelings accompanying my thoughts about the current state of it all. However, I do write about and post photos of the metropolitan area. Today I need to offer photos that reflect more peaceful, happy spring and summer days. It is an energetic, creative, open-armed city that I have known and loved most of my adult life….I hope it stays this way, but can at some point heal and become even better.

Monday’s Meander: A Pittock Mansion Christmas and Moving Onward

Still haven’t meandered much since my car accident, but that will change once more, in time. I’ve opted to share old (2012) photos of Portland’s gracious Pittock Mansion dressed up for the holidays. Apologies if they seem too familiar. One does what one finds expedient some days….

Good news: I have another set of wheels at last minute after a trying month, and am grateful I could do that. Better news: my neck pain should improve with more help. Best news: my state of mind is set more on half full rather than half-empty after much prayer seeking insight and fortitude, stern self-talk, rest, greater acceptance of self and others, kindly support and many good walks.

But I haven’t forgotten about the heart of the Season, nor to keep an eye out for goodness and beauty. I’ve felt blessed with life-giving moments: a dear and very ill friend hospitalized for pneumonia is safely recovering; my son made not one, but two lovely meals for us in the past two weeks (plus we had a great time hanging out); a daughter from SC has stayed in touch daily and sent us a bushel of gifts; our twin grand-babies have delighted at every turn, as ever. Other adult kids always offer an encouraging word with check-in and hugs. And Marc has been a great partner dealing with me as not my best self.

Speaking of which: may we keep praying and working for peace in our neighborhood, our own abodes, our countries, in a beleaguered world we call our greater human home and worry about because we love it and need it to keep on turning… We can be activists in diverse ways but I hope we will act out of compassion, not react from fear or anger; may we honor one another as fellow travelers along each smooth or rocky path traversed.

I will be back in a week, right after our little getaway in Seattle–hopefully to share fresh words and pictures!