Monday's Meander: Elliott Bay & Pike Place Market

What strikes me today in the groupings of recent Seattle “captures” is the long walk by the bay, our destination being the popular Pike Place Market. I will let the pictures speak for me as we enter the heart of the city on a chilly evening. Marc and I walked at least dozen blocks to and from the area, into dusky night, into the streets’ liveliness. It all buoyed me as cold wet wind stung our faces. I found myself thinking once more: happy to live three decades in the Pacific Northwest–winter rain and all. (Perks: majestic beauty, green growing things all year, and a vibrant independent spirit.)

Alexander Calder’s “Eagle”, an interpretation of the above real eagle….
Plenty of young people and tourists–and beer joints!
Our pick of restaurants that night was Tankard & Tun-excellent fresh halibut and salmon. There is another restaurant below us and other shops all around the street level entry/walkway. Picture below is looking down into second restaurant area.

On the way back to the hotel (after an expensive stop at Elliott Bay Book Company) I snapped a few more. A tree waiting for the closet once more; a South American fare eatery, as I love tapas; an interesting pub with a name I love, Lost Lake– a Michigan lake of my childhood.

Another lovely day “run and done”, high time to dry out and cozy up again.

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!

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!