The things I love about coming home to Portland…

“Instant” summer. No suffering through Portland’s (usual) long chilly days of May and June, waiting for the sun. When we arrive on July 4, after 26 hours of travel, the warm weather is here! We have lunch with friends in their garden and, for the first time in about six months, I realize I’m sitting deliciously in the open air without a sweater, long pants, socks and boots.Francie's party

Garden surprises. Finding that the passiflora vine I hadn’t remembered planting has taken over the back fence and looks beautiful.passiflora vine 2

Easy start to the day. Curtains wafting in the early morning breeze as I sit in bed with coffee, New York Times and an unbelievably fast internet connection. curtains blowing gently

Long evenings of summer! Going to a movie at our neighborhood theater and coming out to find it’s not even dark. (The Laurelhurst, opened in 1923, was one of the first art deco theaters of the period. The original single screen could seat 650 people; now it is divided into four small theaters and is locally owned, offering pizza, beer and wine.)Laurelhurst

Getting reacquainted with the neighborhood. Strolling home past our local junk-treasure store, called SMUT…smug

And admiring the new mural at Holman’s Bar, a neighborhood institution. (Yelp: “This may be the perfect bar, for what it is.” Barfly: “Holman’s House Of Heartburn serves up tradition deep-fried and just a little over-priced.”)mural 3

Transition Time 1: Michael declares he is retiring, and retrieves his 1977 Ford work van for the very last time from our friends’ farm in Canby. He removes the tree that has grown up through the vents during the winter, washes off the windshield, fills it with gas, and drives the thing home. He will soon sell it, he says. (Bought in 1991 for $1100; let’s see what he gets for it 22 years later…)michael washing vantree in dash

Transition Time 2:  Michael declares he will give up his man cave/ toolroom/workshop/ storage dump, and kitsch museum in the basement and build a new guest room.mancave 2

kitsch(items from Mike’s kitsch museum: battery-operated hula doll; dress made for him by his grandmother when he had a fit that his sister had one and he didn’t; contractor’s license; ceramic skull with knife through frontal lobe; children’s wooden blocks; birthday cards from various years; piece of unidentified glass.)

As for me, I am looking forward to lying in this hammock, the fountain burbling nearby, with a book and some iced tea on a hot day sometime in the near future. Summer in Portland is a wonderful thing.hammock



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16 thoughts on “The things I love about coming home to Portland…

  1. I love your Portland Blog. I hope you keep it up. You have such a creative eye to make the ordinary magical. See you soon.

  2. The things we take for granted living here! It looks like you have managed to have two amazing places to live. A testament to you and Michael for sure!

  3. welcome home! We’ve been loving the weather too, river time! Tomorrow is a 25 mile bike ride in Mt Angel for ALS, should be fun. Sunday is wine tasting in sports cars w/ 20 friends. Should also be fun.

  4. welcome home
    we’ve been cooking while you were gone
    looking forward to Bill McKibben’s visit next week
    typo in last try

  5. Genial Judy, estoy muy de acuerdo con Irene Longaker, hacés mágico hasta lo más ordinario. Y me encanta la “Transition Time 1”! jaja. Portland realmente es una hermosa ciudad. Gracias por permitirnos viajar a tu hogar contigo una vez mas.

  6. Hi Judy,

    So glad you are continuing posts. I often save your latest post for a “treat” to spur me on to finish a project. Difficult to save, so certainly spurs me on.

    Welcome to Oregon for this part of your year!


  7. Qué gusto leer y ver sus comentarios desde Portland y qué sorprendente que en ese país tan, se supone frío, tengan un verano maravilloso y gocen del jardín. En Ecuador Sierra, imposible! Les mandamos un gran abrazo y tan pronto podamos enviaremos noticias. Eduardo
    Dear, dear, incredible to see how and where you live, I had no idea and could not even imagine your life in Portland, I can only feature you both in Cañar, having dinner, always a bit cold, listening to lovely music, being far from our home and enjoying your Cañari findings.
    We are going to Houston on Friday, send me via email Cheryl Hartup´s address so I can write to her.
    Any nice friend we could meet in Houston while we come and go from MDAnderson hospital? I remember your sister lived in Texas?

  8. So glad to see you ensconced home in Portland – such a different world! Love that town. And congratulations to Mike! Now he will have even more time in the kitchen. I imagine he will start preserving. At least make some passionfruit curd from the fruits of your vine. I will think of you in your hammock when I am in mine. xo

  9. Judy, Bill McKibben is a prolific writer and lecturer on topics related to climate change. He also started the national organization whose mission is to see the adoption and implementation of energy, environmental and climate policy so that we crank the level of C02 back down to 350 ppm–it just passed 400 ppm, regrettably.

    One of his most compelling books is The End of Nature.

  10. Welcome, welcome, welcome………home to one of the most perfect summers I can remember. I hope to cross paths while you are in the city.

    Warm regards to you both, Vida Lee

  11. Bienvenido mis amigos! I’m about to head to NYC and DC where I’ll swelter and drip and dream of perfect portland temps. I know how quickly six months can speed by, so we’ll have to actually set a date – me, you, nancy…??!! 🙂

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