Specifically, all I wanted to know about snow in Portland, Oregon, I now know. Is it more challenging than Portland, Maine, lavishly pictured at Time Goes By? Ronni Bennett has a more photogenic cat, and also knows how to use this old tool. The shovel (we are renting a house across the street from our family) is one of the reasons we exchanged ours in Baltimore for a New York apartment--that and the slate roof, the plumbing. It was invigorating to be reminded of our not-so-distant past as homeowners--plus stairs to climb again. All of it gave my Elderexercise pedometer a bit of necessary nudging from chairbound inactivity. [That's TypePad's artful arrangement of the stairs.]
There are people laughing about this. "Why not go somewhere warmer?" I was asked. I'd explained this was a good time for my grandson's school schedule and, anyway, it was not as cold here as New York. Hattie, who now lives in Hawaii but knew freezing times in Portland from ear lier years here , had tried to tell me. I think she arched an eyebrow when we met in Portland in the Fall.
Such a lovely day, lunching outdoors at Pearl Bakery. We'd met up with Ron after a long coffee at the cafe in Powell's Books. It was a quiet weekday, the usual assorted crowd of readers, bikers, people like us. This space is a favorite of mine--unpretentious, few drink selections. It is all about reading in a quiet space. Kind of old-fashioned.
Today's crowd at the entrance to that same Powell's on Burnside resembled a mall. Parents and children (we were with Zach, our six year old grandson) broke out of 7 days of snowboundness, stuffed the aisles. Public school children here have already experienced a shortened school year. Portland, for all its charm, does not adequately fund public services--education, social services. Like New York City, it is controlled by a non-urban state legislature.
Every morning we do "school" with Zach. Along with his parents, we hope to make up for his partial education. In November school met only for two weeks. Doors were closed the entire week of Thanksgiving.