View of Mt. Hood from Hawthorne Bridge

–>View of Mt. Hood from Hawthorne Bridge

The first day of 2016, there was this bit of tongue-in-cheek commentary in the Oregonian:

“That big yellow orb in the sky is not a Death Star; it’s a thing called the sun, and it’s a natural phenomenon.”

After what has been (for us) months of unending greyness and serious gloom, the sun unexpectedly lit up our Portland sky. It was still cold (28 to 38 degrees) but there were these things called “light” and “blue sky” punctuated by beautiful, snow-capped Mt. Hood, that visually warmed us. For a couple of days last week, the appearance of the sun was truly phenomenal.

WarmthBehindGlassNote to our children, son-in-law and granddaughter: Please do not laugh that I said, “It was still cold (28 to 38 degrees).” Winter had kind of disappeared (for us) as you know for about three years.

We and the Pacific Northwest have yet to get reacquainted.

PortlandiaInWinter

–>Portlandia in the sun

Note to our friends sailing in Mexico and Central America; and, to our California family (excluding those of you living in the mountains): Going outside right now requires layers and layers of clothing (see picture to right illustrating some indoor and outdoor comfort suggestions). Things like, you know—gloves and long underwear, mufflers, knitted hats—you gotta wear this stuff ’cause the wind blows that cold air and it hurts.

Our two-day Portland Walkabout begins…So, the ‘big yellow orb,’ that thing we took for granted aboard Cetacean (our sailboat currently enjoying moorage in 89+ degrees in Shelter Bay, Fort Sherman, Panama),called to us.

 

RonOnTheHawthorneWe left our apartment building to stroll (well, hustle really, to get the heartrate going and some body heat circulating) on the Waterfront Park causeway. Arriving at the Burnside Bridge, we crossed the Willamette and continued along the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade and then back across the Hawthorne Bridge.

 

MeNVera2

I took a moment for a quick chat with our former Mayor, Vera Katz.

I told Vera that I enjoyed traversing her esplanade and wished that she was still Mayor because she did such a good job so many years ago.  It was a rather one-sided conversation.

<–Catching up with Vera K.

 

The second day of sunshine.

AMomentInTheParkConSunConstructionSitePaintboxThis walkabout was on city streets.  I started with the park across the street from our apartment building and then headed into downtown. Every time I do this, I am vertically shellshocked. Portland is booming. Construction sites pop up without warning.  Even though we’ve been home much longer this year, the highrises seem to have sprung up out of nowhere. There’s this big-city frantic thing going on.

That laid-back Portland-is-weird and laid-back thing? It’s changing.

It’s Sunday, January 3. We woke up to falling snow. The park was covered with it. Portlandia needed some winter clothing. At least Portland drivers were slowing down because they knew they couldn’t drive in this stuff.

But, January 3rd was another day of respite actually, from the grim grey-ness…that will inevitably return. So, the snow really wasn’t unpleasant. It was really kind of lovely.

 

Portlandia in the snow.

Snow on 4th Avenue

Snow on 4th Avenue

Snow in the Park across the street from our apartment building.

Snow in the Park across the street from our apartment building.