Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: Skate to Freedom

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson, copyright 2020

The expansive, affirming youth of her,

scuffed red skates binding feet just

enough to guarantee freedom,

wink of waist meeting charcoal and rivets,

hair sharply black and gleaming,

sunglasses muting/defining the world

and preserving her ultraviolet life.

The river’s current is a siren, that sun-sear a beacon.

Though air may be poison, so is barricaded by mask.

But she is absconding from this reality

and into her own–a bandit of speed,

knee pads two antidotes to grave errors,

her heart happier as an opening fist,

legs muscling toward mountains,

mind full of bluest horizon.

She is braving the day with

full throttle body and soul, unlike

the slow and wavering, not-so-young

others who wave as she faces the wind,

rushes into no time, gives a laugh, chin up.

Monday’s Meander: Blueberry Picking Day!

Mt Adams stands majestic over “Fruit Loop” farms and vineyards. (All photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson, copyright 2020.)

Saturday we eagerly left Portland metro–first time in months–to visit a favorite area, the rolling, fecund acreage in Hood River Valley. We drove an hour through the Columbia Gorge along the muscular river that gives it the name. It was a vibrant, burnished day that grew sunnier each mile as rugged landscape showed off its beauty.

Our goal: find blueberry perfection! We always enjoy the Fruit Loop, a 35 mile meander about its fertile land which supports our state’s most productive orchards. There are about 26 farms/orchards/wineries one may visit each season. We were pleased to try a new place, Kennedy Farms, in operation since 1901, and the attractive Dutch Colonial style Gorge White House. We went just in time to pick three pounds of sun ripened blueberries. We needed to test them as we worked at a leisurely pace.

Marc at work, sampling as he picks
Raspberries were not quite ready,

There were groups gathered on grass or at picnic/other tables around the orchards. The Kennedy Farm also produces wine and many were tasting several, as well as enjoying lunch for sale that was prepared there. They seemed a bit casual about virus potential, but many seemed to be with household members, and perhaps half or more wore masks–but it is hard to eat and drink with those on. Marc and I kept clear of others, enjoying more open areas.

Gorgeous dahlias and other flowers to cut–but we were focused on the berries this time!

This craggy, snowy wonder is Mt. Hood.

Having picked enough to share and freeze, we were thirsty and ready to get on the road again. We stopped, as is our habit, at Hood River, famous for wind and kite surfing due to strong Columbia Gorge winds. After admiring athletes’ river activities and soaking up peace by river’s swift current amid mountains, we completed the happy day.