Monday, February 21, 2011

Off the grid

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.

But still.

Spring has arrived in Portland.

Or so this little upstart tells me.

But, now would you please excuse me? I feel the need to put a bird on something.


  1. I live in Portland and we must swap visiting vows ... I always tell myself that I'm going to find a favorite nursery and actually commit to some sort of landscaping in my yard. (Last year, that turned into me collecting beach rocks and filling one of the beds with them.)

    I've heard from several people that Al's is THE BEST (and I've seen enough birds on things to laugh a lifetime). I'm seriously seriously going to try and get there soon!

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years

  2. Excuse the typo! I meant to say I've seen enough birds on things to last a lifetime. It's not even funny.

  3. what a burst of colour! they're so bright, even to my summer eyes. i love that fuschia pink purple plant at the bottom.

    as for the bird i have to be a portlander to understand it or am i just suffering from sleep deprivation and a serious lack of humour?

    have a safe and fun trip home :)