Springtime in Portland is one of the most beautiful seasons we have and we all know it’s because of the rain. Sometimes it actually doesn’t rain. If you have a venue combination that is mostly inside, then you have a fine chance to visit a park or use your own garden for a small portion of your photography. The colors and the greenery are so lush and, when combined with the soft light on an overcast day, well, it’s hard to beat. This lovely shot at Peninsula Park was a stop between the church and the hotel reception on a sweet day in late May.
Since our summers are becoming so over the top hot, I’d like to see more springtime weddings on the calendar… its a sweet look.
Venice. This time in the beginning of February, 2007. (I try to word it in such a fashion that by some happy chance, I’ll get to go again someday.) Opera Boy and I were there for four fog cloaked days this trip… a much different city than in the Spring. Funny that both arrivals and departures were on sunny days.
We had come in on the midnight train from Paris… twelve hours of rocketing through a dark landscape I’d liked to have seen. The first sight of Venice is one I have not photographed yet… it is a place where all of the land vehicles stop and all of the water starts. So far, it brings me to my visual knees and I am consumed just being there. Next time I will collect myself and make a point of catching that amazing transition. Our first chore this trip was to find our hotel and a laundromat.
The fog settled in and we spent the next couple of days wandering at will.
This day brought me a blister, a few small pieces of local pottery and three glass cherries each for me and my sister. Best of all, it gave me new vistas at every turn… a veritable treasure box of images.
The Straw Bridge, the lower one with the crowd on it is pretty much what the whole city is like. Tourism is huge here and probably not a little abusive. I came away from both trips with a sense of wanting to help preserve this special place. If you go, treat her gently.
April 24th was a fine day to get married… a little cool and breezy… just the kind of Portland day you hope for in the Spring. These two are new to our city and have completely embraced it… I think they will be a good addition. In their first meeting, Betsy made it clear that she wasn’t looking for the typical details shots… no shoes or lingerie fluff for her. When I got to the hotel, she very carefully arranged her watch on the lilacs in the room… then she put it in the pocket of her marvelous dress.
Betsy and Alex made the old fashioned choice to not see each other before the ceremony… it required a little fancy dancing to keep them from running into each other at the Art Museum but we had the ever talented Molli of Bon Soiree keeping tabs on them. These two hired a veritable dream team of vendors and it made for a great run… Vibrant Table staged the room and catered a great meal. Page, also of Vibrant Table, designed the lovely floating tulips. Eric Wright, Portland’s consummate music man, had the dance floor jammed and jumping all night!
It always seems to go by so fast… even with all those watches. ;0)
… at least that’s what they tell me. Well, I have to say that this month has been completely outta control so the blog has been wishful thinking at best.
I made the mistake of cleaning my windows on one of the early sunny days… everything was fine until I stuck my head out of the skylight and got a good look at my south roof. After a minor panic attack, we started the process of getting bids to replace the roof. This one has been on since 1981 so, yes, it was time but I thought we might be able to wait until this summer. Not so much. Now we have to wait for the lovely spring weather to clear so the guy we hired can come do the work.
Of course, in anything like house repair, one project always leads to another. ;0)
Last Saturday Opera Boy smiled as he handed me an electric drill and a flat bar… I spent the next few hours prying the first part of the old front porch off of my house. Apparently, we have decided to replace it. And then comes the paint. Sigh.
Meanwhile, March 13th was the 10 year mark for my Mom’s death. I had planned to run a beautiful little photo essay about her but the further I got into the process of scanning old photos, I realized I have a lot to say. Dad’s 20 year mark comes in May so I am thinking I might wait until I can do them both some justice.
This one is from their wedding in July, 1950… Grace H. Benson married Allan B. Bosworth… he was just out of the Navy and she was still in. They look happy to me and so very young.
Last Spring I wrote a little about how fast time goes for me… nothing has changed in that but I am still surprised. November has come and is already at the exit… an audible whoosh in it’s wake. I took 4 hours this week to rake the leaves and trim the lavenders, to put up the hoses and pull in the houseplants that live outside in the nice weather. Yes, it was stolen time but not from work… I took it out of my gym time. Burned some calories and got some fresh air in the mix.
Work has been it’s own angry red planet this year… the season was short but kind of packed so all of the work has been crammed into a short space… not particularly graceful but it looks good when I get through it. ;0)
I have a few more jobs to finish in the next two weeks and then there is a stretch of about four months that will be dedicated to album design and production.
Our household expanded by one cat this year. Joey Tallboy chose our house at the beginning of August. Frankie has had a rough time trying to adjust but he gets a lot of points for trying. It occurs to me that I have not properly introduced the Tuna Kings to the blog yet. For now, a couple of faces to go with the names… Frankie is the silver boy and Joey is the guy in the tux. Both have attitude to spare.
Opera Boy has just about finished his back to school stint… now if only the job market will be kind to him… for now, we have domestic projects to keep him off of the streets.
He gets points for patience and perseverance in all things.
Still waiting for the other shoe to drop regarding the empty lot behind my house… as I understand it, someone is about to build a fat assed house on a space that has been open for my 29 years here. There are already trees missing and a taped outline that seems very large… no digging yet but I know it will come soon enough. We are going to plant more birches and try to recover some of the shade and privacy lost… if I can restore some of the bird space, I will.
I have found myself looking out my bathroom window to try to lock the green space in my mind. I hope the new house isn’t yellow or pink!
This shot was taken through the screen… my apologies for the extra texture in the sky. I expect to post occasional updates as this progresses.
Frankie brought in a most beautiful garter snake this summer… I got some up close time as I released him back into the wooded corner of the lot. I have to hope that some of that habitat will continue.
In the long run it has been a year for holding our breath, for waiting to see, for keeping the faith… I can live with that for now.
My friend Helene has been in the hospital for a week now… she is about to move to a rehab clinic so I haven’t gotten to talk to her for a couple of days. She has lived across the street from me for the last 28 years.
When I moved to this house in 1981, it was Spring…. just like now. Rhododendrons blazing and camellias almost spent from the rains… everything very green. Helene had just lost her husband to ALS. I never got to meet Bill but he was everything to her and she talked about him often. In the later years she complained about the amazing leaf fall from the maple he planted for her… it is now the most handsome tree on the street. She dutifully raked that yard for two months straight every year and sometimes threatened to have the tree taken down but she didn’t mean it. It was good exercise and she knew it.
We have been through a few things together over the years… she was the one person I worried about the most when I divorced my husband of 22 years. I knew she liked him… Glenn was a good man in a lot of ways and, in the neighborhood, he was always a willing hand. I was afraid she might think I had been the bad guy in that transition but she took my hand during my late telling and said she thought he had left me on my own too much. You know, his lack of participation the last 7 or 8 years of our marriage was exactly the reason I ended it. I guess she could see that from across the street. When he moved on, I was the one she called to help change out the light bulbs or hang a plant. We have buried a beloved dog and we have shared tomato crops for several summers.
She is 91 now and her body is wispy and frail. I think she is having trouble eating though the doctors haven’t found anything to point a finger at…. I think her brain is just messing with her. Her long term memory is fine but she is having trouble with the yesterday stuff. You need to know that this is a fiercely independent woman… her mind is completely set on living in her home until it’s done. Right now, that road is barred and I know she is chafing at the barriers in front of her. I don’t think she will get to come home. I am afraid she will spend the rest of her days in someone else’s space and I can’t help her.
Two weeks ago, I went over to her house to reseat her new tomato plant… we had to do a little soil amendment so that it would thrive. When we were done, we stood at her garden gate to chat for minute… the light was very soft in the early evening and I noticed her smile and the pink sweater against the rose bush and lilies on her south wall. I made a concerted effort to take the picture in my mind. I could have gone to get my camera but I knew she hadn’t made it to her salon that week and I also knew that the camera would change the whole thing so it will always be in my head… that last real glimpse before the fear and the confusion. I hope she goes easy.
This is a photograph of Helene taken by her friend Mary T. in the Spring of 2007….