Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bridge to the Past

Yesterday I took I5 and crossed the river into Washington.  There has been a lot of talk about replacing this bridge.  It's too narrow to support traffic and does not allow for light rail to cross into Vancouver.  I understand that the project is necessary but I for one will miss the Interstate Bridge.


My dear friend samimi-extremie has been doing these lovely posts on longing.  She and I have been good friends for about 10 years now and I think we share that constant sense of longing.

Driving over the Interstate Bridge is an experience that, for me, brings that sense of longing to the forefront.  Portland has many bridges and they all conjure different feelings but this bridge is different.  It's special.  It's the bridge I crossed countless times to return to college after coming down to Portland to visit family.  It's the bridge I crossed to visit my college boyfriend when he spent the summer on Bainbridge Island and I in Portland.  Most importantly, it's the bridge I crossed in labor on my way to the hospital before my daughter was born.

Now when the occasion for me to visit Washington arrises the emotions associated with all of those memories come flooding back as I cross the river.  It's a feeling of deep melancholy and love.   A longing for times past, though I am quite happy with my life as it is now. I fear that when the bridge is replaced the longing will go with it.

To make things worse, for financial reasons they are talking about replacing it with a simple bridge similar to the I205 bridge crossing the Columbia only a few miles away.  There is no beauty to the new proposed bridge.  It is not the kind of place where memories are formed.

 Can you relate to the sense of longing I experience when crossing the Columbia? 

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rhododendron Garden

It's a good thing we finally had a nice day here because I was running out of things to keep both Flora and myself entertained indoors.  Today we enjoyed the sun at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Southeast.  It's a great place to go with kids.  It's relatively flat so the little ones can run and there are beautiful flowers, bridges, ponds, fountains and ducks to keep them interested and asking questions.  The best part is that it's free on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Just don't plan on having a picnic in the field.  It's covered in goose poop.  There are plenty of benches if you want to sit down and have a snack.

We went to the garden with my friend Angie and her son Nico, who is a little younger than Flora.  They are  good buddies and very cute together.

Nico was tired today and slept through the first part of our visit so Flora checked out the waterfall by herself.

Then she watched the ducks.  There were lots of ducklings today and that was exciting but you could tell that Flora wanted her friend to wakeup.

Nico did eventually wake up but he remained drowsy for a while.  Flora on the other hand, had plenty of energy.  She decided to run some laps.

Being spring, there were plenty of babies.  The goslings were fun to watch but we were careful to keep our distance for fear of making mama goose mad!

Did I mention the geese aren't the only one's having babies?  Nico is going to have a baby brother soon!

Flora was too busy having fun to hang out with me but I did snag her for one picture.

Flora and Nico have an interesting dynamic.  Nico constantly wants Flora to chase him and trow balls.  Flora on the other hand, wants to hold Nico's hand, put her arm around him and exchange small gifts.  It's really funny to watch.  I guess that's the difference between boys and girls.  Despite their differences they are crazy about one another.  Flora talks about Nico when he's not around and Nico's face lights up every time he sees her.  Here is Flora attempting to put her arm around Nico.  He is not interested.  My favorite part is right after Nico makes his escape and, Flora crosses her little arms and makes her mad face.  So funny!  The anger didn't last long, they chased each other a little right after this. 

Do you think the differences in how Flora and Nico want to play should be attributed to gender or individual personality?  

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