Monday's Meander/Dreaming of Snow

I haven’t been meandering afar since I had the Auto Accident on Thanksgiving Day. Caps are used here due to the effects seeming highlighted as if it was the event of the year. Which it was not–my daughter’s twins’ arrival with immediate and subsequent amazing baby-ness won that prize. I just didn’t know it’d take so long to get everything tied up around this car loss. Egads.

For every day errands I’ve been using my husband’s newer, sportier Mazda (my old Hyundai was, alas, quite pedestrian in comparison yet loved) while he was on a trip, thankfully. But no interesting jaunts have occurred–too busy talking to insurance adjusters often every day, and recovering from neck and shoulder pain…yes, I am addressing my irritation and seeking more gratitude. Because I can walk, I can talk; no one else was really hurt!

BUT I find good moments and today I’ve dug into photo archives and looked about. This is what I found from about the same date but in 2016: snow! More blanketed the area as weeks passed that winter, a real windfall of a snow year.

We’ve had far less precipitation than normal for early winter Portland metro area- finally it has begun to rain more. But since we now live at 800 feet versus about sea level, I expect the snow to arrive. The roads are hilly, sinuous and wooded out here so I’m not sure if I’ll welcome it as much as I think. Especially after the Auto Accident. Have to put on my suit of bravery when behind the wheel of my new car when I get it–and take it slow and easy. As an old Michigander, I know NOT to brake hard or fast in snowy and icy conditions. Still, please drive safely during the upcoming holidays, wherever you are.

These few random shots from the old neighborhood cheer me, and nudge me more toward Christmassy things. I am about ready to get on with the joyful parts, and I am keeping track of blessings, praying for stamina and guidance, giving lots of hugs–and getting quite a lovely bunch, too.

Friday's Passing Fancy/Poem: Catch, Love, Release

The wise way is to catch the beauty

and then release, give no thought more

than comes in holding a moment

and then, filled up, even happy,

relinquish it to curl and twist of wind,

to three sister fates that weave this life,

and watch it sail into blue sheer day.

But the desire is to hoard this leaf of

vermilion golden carmine,

this late fall jewel caught in chilled fingers.

I want I want the heart and hand say

but my spirit advises

admire, lightly love, let go.

A compromise, then: tuck

in a nook for safekeeping,

for another seeker who may

embrace wonder and move on

toward winter’s advent and its gifts

(Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson 2019)

Monday’s Meander: Down Old River Road

We often enjoy a saunter –or power walk, depending on weather or inclination–that takes us down our area’s Old River Road. This time we also ventured a different direction and discovered a few new sights. One was the cottage above, seen again below. Another was this fancy pink bench right up to road’s edge–no bus stop or pathways. Just a bright bench in case you need a pause. It made me wonder who actually had sat at a woodland byway that does get residential traffic.

A couple of footbridges are crossed along the way. one with an impressive fringe of ferns. I tossed some leaves that twirled down to their destinations. It is that sort of walk…

But the real surprise was this totem pole…

and this delightful home, circa 1918.

I am enjoying every moment of dry weather we still have left in the Pacific Northwest, as temperatures drop, the winds pick up and cold morning fog sets in. Soon the rains will hit and linger for a few months. It is what it is–every season has its beauty. But, my, how I will miss the bright skies and long, hilly walks around and about our small city. Enjoy your week wherever you are. Yet I also keep in mind any Californians who are suffering significant losses again from the raging fires. May rain visit soon, fires be contained and come to a halt!

Monday’s Meander: Willamette Heritage Center and Samhain

This is the second year we have attended the annual Celtic Festival for Samhain (which occurs 10/31-11/1) at the Willamette Heritage Center, held in Salem, OR. What an interesting, enjoyable afternoon we had once again. We also like to wander about the five acre grounds. It is a National Parks- designated American treasure.

Per Wikipedia: “Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the ‘darker half’ of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.”

It’s a pagan celebration and though I am not pagan, I’m greatly Irish (my mother’s maiden name was Kelly) and also of a more inclusive spiritual attitude, perhaps reflective of that heritage. I am at home with Irish music and dance and the storytelling culture (to which my mother belonged, always entertaining or instructing with her expressive tales)…and I am still longing to visit Ireland and other Celtic nations. We did participate in one ceili dance–I so enjoy that and managed one rigorous dance before requiring a bit of a rest due to my ole ticker. All acoustic musicians were top notch, as before, and the bagpipe player was excellent, as well.

One can always sing along even when ignorant of the tune and lyrics. And though I learned a little “fiddling” (as opposed to my usual classical string musicianship) in my thirties, I would more like to play the Celtic harp and bohdran. Let that be prominent on my bucket list–and then get to it.

This year I offer mostly photos of the graceful grounds. (Last year I wrote of a more inclusive experience: https://talesforlife.blog/2018/10/31/wednesdays-words-nonfiction-samhain-a-celtic-festival-and-local-heritage/. ) There are fourteen historic structures to take at study and include the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill (1889, a water powered mill), a Methodist Parsonage (1841) and Pleasant Grove Church (1858), as well as two other houses from the 1840s–there are 14 buildings on the site. I love the lean lines and pure colors of white and red, the indicators of past industriousness and hints of lives once lived. Some places, one can sense and feel the essence of the past, the people who thrived and struggled.

T

Friday’s Passing Fancy/Photos: Crowns of Glory

During various walks, I have been astonished at the colors of those beauties, deciduous trees. Oregon has had exceptional displays to behold and absorb, eye and soul. Here are 6 of my favorite shots, taken on recent brilliant crisp days. The first was just amazing to see in person.