Shades of November
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.
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.