Thursday, March 31, 2016


10:00 am Pacific Time. Portland OR_3.31.2016
Warm, sunny and brilliantly hopeful!
Sunny sky from my Portland studio skylight

Dearest Readers,

Portland and Vermont share a weather-intensive focus that envelopes the soul, and affects the conversations of friends. My mental outlook the past two years in these beautiful places reflects the abundance of precipitation and the preciousness of sunshine. I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) that I keep in check with daily “medicinal” walks in natural light, whatever the cloud cover might be. Last year it was the continual snowfalls that dominated my temperament, and which I counted in 63 facepost postings. This year it’s the blanket of rain, a near-daily phenomenon of the coastal Northwest in late fall, winter and spring. 
Neighbor on NE Mallory with a palm tree growing
The climate is warmer than I expected with a variety of woodsy and even tropical vegetation, species native to the region...
Sequoia-ish conifer along my dog walk route

Little umbrella shaped tree just before blooming 

Giant begonia perhaps, or species of hydrangea???

and lots of rain-loving moss and mushrooms. 
Neighbor's mossy, fern-sprouting rock wall

Mushroom sundaes by a mossy fence

Carpet of moss along my street 
I love the imperviousness of Portlanders to the rain. Life goes on with the proper gear, as it does in the Vermont snow.

Rarely do I see a traditional lawn with hedges around the foundation, or a totally white house. 
Fall plantings along NE Mallory St.
Neighbor Margot's house last October with a selection of shrubs and trees
Spring front yard plantings on NE Mallory St.

Portlanders in my area prefer colorful house paint in bright or muted tones with contrasting trim on homes with a variety of dormers, overhangs, and gables. There’s a creative spirit in my urban landscape.

 The sun has emerged from weeks of intermittent rain. This remarkable occurrence was the topic of conversation at my senior fitness class, with lots of jokey comments about the persistence of Portland precip, and high hopes for the beautiful summers.

My friends in the neighborhood fitness class-Senior Balance and Strength-left to right
Cindy, Deborah, Linda and Gloria

A week ago I snapped a nearly full moon on a clear night. My soul leapt!  
Night moon through my studio skylight

From the perspective of a new-bee, there is joy in the garden arrangements, humor in the house paint, friendliness in sunshine, which beats back the potential depression of this long period of somber weather. 
The plants seem to love it and blossom through the filtered light. 
Our new pear sapling in bloom last week despite the gray days

My new granddaughter Iva Mae Hazel and I take our frequent jaunts in a rain-outfitted stroller. She’s dry and content, and so am I. New life, nourished by water and now some sun quickens my soul.

On a walk with Iva Mae Hazel under the stroller's rain cover

Ready for a sunny spring walk with "Miss Hazel" in her open stroller

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