Yes, I've been off the grid for a few days. I sit here in the Alaska/Horizon terminal at the Portland Airport, heading back to Bermtopia after a weekend in the Rose City. I was visiting The Mom Unit.
We are packed in Terminal A like refugees waiting for the last boat out of Shanghai. And somewhere, amongst this teeming traveling collection of humanity, I can hear a cat protesting LOUDLY at his/her current situation. It is truly amazing.
But that's not the point of this post.
I love Portland. Aside from being the city of my childhood, it is Cool and Hip. Each time I visit, I vow I will take the light rail into town and explore art galleries, re-energize at moody little coffee shops, discover amazing food trucks (yes, I am still leading the charge on food trucks), sample the trendy bars and bistros I read about in my foodie mags like "Food and Wine" and just generally bask in the general awesomeness that is Portlandia.
But inevitably, The Mom Unit and I start talking books, food, gardening and family and I DON'T take the light rail into Portland -- instead, settling into the wonderfully comforting routine of hanging out with my mom, making runs to Trader Joe's, visiting with her friends and neighbors, and maybe taking in a movie or two.
I'll get around to that light rail trip one of these days.
A visit with The Mom Unit is not COMPLETE without a pilgrimage to Al's Garden Center. It is fait accompli no matter the time of year. In the fall, we've GOT to check out Al's holiday decorating ideas -- and in the spring, there's the small matter of scoping out new plants and yard art for the MU's little patio garden, which we re-landscaped a couple Mother's Days ago.
I love visiting Portland this time of year. Portland in February is yet another affirmation that spring is just around the corner for this Bermtopian. Bright green lawns; bulging rhododendron buds; multi-hued heavenly bamboo; and bright red-berried pachysandra more than hint that a change of seasons is at hand.
That's not to say there aren't still plenty of reminders that remnants of winter still litter the streets and lawns of Portland-- a light dusting of frost coated roofs and vegetation the last two mornings.
And a this poor little cherubim won't be flying off anytime soon, frozen up to his chubby knee caps in the bird bath he adorns.
Spring has arrived in Portland.