Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Shades of November

 LG and I took a lovely saunter the other day through a fine old neighborhood close to downtown.  Some of the sidewalks are paved with gold.

The homes are wonderfully diverse, with elegant big three story houses and cozy little single story blocks of 1930s apartments all shoulder to shoulder.  The neighborhood was the first"Development" in Portland, built shortly after the completion of a major bridge, and it was laid out rather like part of Washington DC in an X with a large circular rose garden in the center of the X, and four subordinate rose gardens at the compass points.  Wide alleys go down the center of each block, so all deliveries of coal, ice, milk and so on could go on without impeding the flow of traffic on the main avenues.  Why, some of the homes were even built with - garages!  For the horseless carriages that were coming into fashion.  The surviving garages are about the size of a garden shed.  Others have been knocked down and replaced by structures you can actually fit a car into.

Like most of the homes of that era, these lovely old buildings were built with basements to house the furnace.  Due to the high water table in the area, this is often achieved by digging a four foot deep foundation, then piling the soil up in a berm about another four feet high, all around the basement walls, so there's always a flight of stairs up to the house. In the old days, Japanese maples were quite popular as front garden shrubs.  I do love standing on the sidewalk and looking up through a venerable, well-grown Japanese maple.  They're so graceful in any season, but especially elegant in their fall color.

The big leaf and broadleaf maples have their own glory, though, and they scatter it wantonly under foot.

We finished our stroll at a wonderful little coffee shop. Then, my infallible sense of direction failed me, and I almost lost the car.  We had meandered so freely that I couldn't remember precisely where it was parked.  I knew for sure which quadrant it was in.  I sort of knew which street it was on, but which block?  LG, however, brought us safely in and we cruised safely home, eyes, hearts and bellies full of goodness.

I will, however have to pull up my socks and start paying more attention to what I'm doing and where I'm parking.  One of the nightmares that shakes me wide awake is the fear of being lost.  I'm almost never lost, and I'll tell you, a cold grue swept over me when I realized I didn't know which block to turn on.  Old age is threatening, and  I may  have to start writing down where I parked the car.

You young people, appreciate your flexible and dependable memories!  Revel in what you have!  Before you know it, you may remember where you parked, but it may be where you parked last week.


  • At 11:05 AM , Blogger Acorn to Oak said...

    Sounds like a lovely, relaxing day. I understand that uncomfortable, scary feeling of not knowing where you are. I've always been quite pleased with how I could figure out where to go, how to get there, know which direction was north, etc. I've experienced quite the opposite a few times over the last year or so and it's upsetting. Just this weekend, we went camping and arrived at night. I felt sure I knew where east was and where the sun was going to rise. I was so wrong! I spent the rest of the weekend having to re-figure and remind myself of which direction was which. I was very turned around and that bugs me. Ugh!

  • At 12:50 PM , Blogger Timothy Young said...

    Roxie get a smart phone and then
    it tracks your walk so you can backtrack.

    I rarely go to a mall but a few years back I did and lost my car. I walked the parking lots for 40 min before I found my car, but the fear of having to ask security for help kept me hunting for it.

  • At 2:58 PM , Blogger Tara said...

    Don't feel bad. Ladd's Addition is enough to melt the memory of any person. We have friends who live there and if I don't use the same route to get there every time, I end up lost. As if it wasn't bad enough, they had to throw in a one-way circular street!

  • At 4:42 AM , Blogger Donna Lee said...

    I have never had much of a sense of direction. I come out of mall stores and walk back in the direction I came from. I forget where I park. It's a gift I do not have.

  • At 5:15 AM , Blogger Saren Johnson said...

    Most of our leaves are on the ground already. I missed the reds. :(

  • At 11:14 AM , Anonymous LindaG said...

    I "lost" my car once in a parking garage and became SO convinced that it had been stolen that I actually called the police. Come to find out, there were almost identical parking garages a block apart and I'd gone into the wrong one. So of course then I had to call the police BACK (arggggh!!!) -- and I have a friend who still razzes me about it. Oy.

  • At 11:23 AM , Anonymous Benita said...

    What a lovely sounding neighborhood. Your description was perfect - I could see it in my head.

    I don't necessarily lose my car, but I have been know to try to get into look-alikes on several occasions. All purple PT Cruisers look alike from behind. :)

  • At 3:26 PM , Blogger Lyssa said...

    I forget where I put my car all the time. I just tell myself I saved that space in my brain for something more important, like how many stitches per inch I get with worsted weight on #7 needles.

  • At 10:56 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    Now that I own a ubiquitous silver grey Honda CRV I often lose my car in the parking lot. Once in Malibu I tried to get in to a Lexus which was parked next to my CRV. The owner's arched brows were higher than the bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis.

    I heart walks in Portland. When I visit next time, I shall meander along those streets and search for a coffee shop.

  • At 4:56 AM , Blogger Maggie said...

    That Japanese maple photo would make a beautiful tapestry!


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