Our first day in Portland began late in the afternoon, at Union Station, walking to our new neighborhood. We had dinner at Petite Provence, then walked further still, in the other direction. And about all I could do was take pictures of flowers. And the next day... almost the same. More flowers! More blue sky and bright light, more houses that look so inviting, I start asking where would we put the goats? Is there room for a router and a mill? Our second day in Portland could have been much like the first, except this time we took a bus back downtown and visited Powell's and ate at Anna Thai Basil...yum, green bubble tea, for me. Those were nice differences... but still, with flowers.
I explored a bit while everyone else was starting showers, waking up. That's when I discovered even more cool and intriguing spots along Hawthorne, and moss, and lichen, and fungi... honestly, this town doesn't even have to try to impress me, I am so easily amused.
When we first arrived at our Portland home (Airbnb) we met Luther, and his family, and this big lug of a puppy-doggo brought me a shoe he was jealously holding, and he almost let me touch it. "When you come to the gate, Luther will bark a lot, but don't worry. He's always friendly." He hardly barked, and he was friendly, but for the rest of our stay, Luther was mostly shy, and this was that last good look I got of him... still claiming that shoe.
We didn't go directly to Powell's. With the all day metro passes, we enjoyed hopping on and off busses any place that we pleased, so Maria and I chose a few memorable stops to revisit, and we walked around some more. Then Alex got a terrible nose-bleed... there's not really really any point to this, but it was memorable. And while we waited for the 20 bus, I took this picture. Later, I considered all the ways the mural felt relatable, and it goes like this... we know a Portland firefighter named George, and he has a mustache, too, we were waiting for the bus, I quilt, and had a buff orpington named Lady Betty Orpington, we love cats and rockets (though I question the practicality of combining them.) There's not really any point to this, but it does illustrate how easily amused I am.
This view delighted me to no end. And I am going to begin wearing more flowers in my hair.
About an hour before we got to Powell's I remembered to not over-sell it. I tried to play it cool, so they could enjoy their own first impressions of the awesomeness that is Powell's. Let's not kid ourselves, I was maybe not as cool as I hoped, but in the end, none of my descriptions or gaga-faced exclamations mattered, because Powell's is cool, and big, and incredibly well stocked. I could have said everything, or nothing at all... that book store impressed all on its own. We had a great time, together, in our own favorite sections, absorbed, distracted, inspired, and awe-struck. It was totally cool.
This. Tempted. Me. So. Bad. I had to resist surrendering to my dark side, my cynical, sarcastic, and recently very disgusted with the state of the disunion side. But, cathartically, humorously... I could fill these little journals in a snap!
And here... here I am just judging a book by its cover. Like looking in a mirror. I had to take a picture. Now I've Googled Nicol J Georges, and I think I should have brought this book home.
I don't know how long we were in there, but after a time I landed here, on a long bench, and just steadied myself, breathed deeply, and wondered How big will our rental vehicle be? How much of the children's college savings can I dip into? Then reasoned, Heck, buying books is like investing in their college success.
Too much rationalizing. It was probably time for lunch.
Somewhere, in a quiet Portland neighborhood, beside the sidewalk, are some sparkly dinosaurs on a stump, and I stopped to stand the little orange one upright, then I took his picture, and sighed contentedly, because I am easily amused. Then I noticed the greeting and invitation to play. Portland is this wonderful, and inviting.
This may be one of my favorite pictures of the day. I wish I could paint it, or make a quilt inspired by it... but I'd be sad not to get the light as I see it, to miss the colors, or botch the details. There's something here that is so compelling to me, and I am not even sure what it is. I am so glad I took the picture... at the time I thought it would be too busy, and rambling, that the colors would be discordant. It makes me happy to discover a new kind of beauty, to realize that life can do this... show new beauty, more inspiration. Thank goodness for next days.