Thursday, December 31, 2009

First winter snow day at the river, land bridge and Fort Vancouver areas

When it began snowing in early afternoon yesterday, I first went down to the Columbia River to see if it was getting any snow there because it is the lowest level.  If we had snow sticking there, we would get more of it in other parts of the city too!  This shows the beginning of the snow storm at the river.  I am sure it got more snow as we got 3 inches before it stopped.

Then I walked a little higher on the land bridge that goes over the freeway from water to land at the Fort and they had snow there too!  I met only one other person on the land bridge.

This is a settlers home replica at the fort.  The snowstorm was in full force by then and visibility was quite low.

You could hardly see the Fort as I walked by.  Usually, one can see Mt. Hood in Oregon behind the Fort but not this snowy day!

Almost the end of the trail  near the Fort.

Now I am in the Fort Vancouver National Park and the sign is pointing to where I just came from.  It is the northern entrance to the land bridge.

This photo and the one below are of the trees near the O.O. Howard House on Officers Row.

It is still snowing as I approach Officers Row.

On my way home -- the bus transit station is just two blocks away after I cross this bridge over the freeway. The snow has hit full force. Time to go home and change into dry clothes , shovel the sidewalks around our apartment building so the folks that live here can walk their dogs and then I will go out again!!!!!!!!

This post will post on New Year's Eve so I want to wish all my blogger friends a wonderful 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The MISSING end of my poem. . .

Last night, I was tossing away some papers I had in my bag when I ran across the paper I had originally written this poem on. . .  I surprised myself by seeing that there was more to my original poem written on the back of the paper.  So, here I offer the poem in its entirety that I wrote after taking the picture below.

Snow Majesty
Above the rooftops . . .
Higher than street lights and telephone wires . . .
Towering above treetops
She stands there
In her new white gown
As if a prom dress for all to admire
And not just another snowfall.
Hiding the power that smolders inside her
Ready to burst and cover the northwest again.
Most call her Mt. St Helens . . .
To me, she's a giant snowball
Ready to be tossed
But patiently waiting
Her turn once again.

PS We got our first snowfall Tuesday so I was out playing in it and taking photos for about 7 hours this afternoon and tonight. Photos coming later this week IF they came out.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My snowman friend lives at someone elses house now. . .

Isn't this a cute ornament?  I got it when we had our church ladies Christmas ornament exchange at  our party for Christmas.  It came with a "ball"ornament with a snowman scene on it.  Now, there are three of us who collect snowmen and I was very lucky to have the last number to get to choose and I "stole" it from someone else who had "stolen" it from another lady.  An ornament can only be "stolen" three times so I was guaranteed to keep it because I was the last player and the third "thief." (Goodness sakes what church ladies will do!) 

Well, one of the ladies that collects snowmen didn't get a snowman at all even tho there were several to be had.  She was feeling down about it so I decided to share!  I gave this little cutie to her!  I told a friend that I had to take a photo of it first tho. . . so I can still have the memory!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mt. St. Helens Winter 2009

Snow Majesty

Above the rooftops . . .
Higher than street lights and telephone wires . . .
Towering above treetops
She stands there
In her new white gown
As if a  prom dress for all to admire
And not just another snowfall.

Hiding the power that smolders inside her!

Snow lover sign . . . I want one!

I was going to a friend's apartment today to talk to her when I spotted this sign on someone elses door.  I LOVED IT!  Only snow lovers would. . .

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Christmas Lesson

Retired and a lady of little monies, I was still able to catch the Christmas spirit.  No, I am not referring to the beautifully decorated tree in my apartment with hundreds of ornaments collected or homemade during the past 41 years. Nor was it the handmade wreath on my door or the myriads of snowmen decorating my apartment.  I am not even referring to the wooden figures that make  up my manger scene, placed on the floor in front of my beautifully lit tree  to celebrate Jesus' birth. 

I had made most of my Christmas cards, shopped for a special Christmas menu, and decorated the apartment. I still felt something missing from "Christmas" this year.  That is what spurred my decision to do something for someone else who I recently found out had his wallet stolen when he was riding the bus.  I made one more trip to the store and bought a nice steak, special potatoes and veggies and ice cream for dessert, along with some Croissant rolls.  and Pepsi; I was thinking of how to present it to the recipient and I decided to buy a store cloth bag and just say "Merry Christmas!' That's what I did after I paid for my purchases and left the store to catch the bus to my apartment building.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. . .this story is not about me or gifts I might be giving. It is about one I saw given to a perfect stranger today . . .

Riding the bus, one meets all sorts of people from all walks of life. The bus driver pulled up to a bus shelter, a regular stop near one of our hospitals. A lady was sitting there waiting and it looked like she might have been eating somethng from a container. The bus pulled up and she got quite flustered, trying to put everything into her bag on wheels and a cloth shopping bag. She had one more tiny bag that could have held her personal things -- like a purse. I guess I noticed these things because she took a long time boarding the bus and the driver finally said she had to leave and asked if she planned to get on board. . .

She finally got her things to the bottom step of the bus and we waited while I suppose she was looking for her bus pass. The driver told her to go ahead and sit down and she could show it later so the bus could get moving on its route and not be too late. Then, a young man somewhere in the 30-40 year range offered to help her get the things up the stairs and placed them next to me, near the front door of the bus. The lady entered the bus with a river of tears and uncontrollably sobbing came from deep in her throat as she sat in the first seat near the door, near me. I didn't know what to do . . . or if there was anything I could do to help.

The same young man, sitting aross from us, started talking to her so she could calm down. He told her that he would pray for her. I think everyone on the bus could hear her as if she was speaking through a microphone. He asked her -- her name -- but she was too busy wailing about how she should never have left England because homeless were treated better there so there were actually no homeless people there. I did not know if that was the truth but it wasn't relevant to us right now so I put the thought out of my mind temporarily.

Then she started talking about the Beatles and how sad it was some had died. Another young man that boarded the bus after her gave her something in her hand and as she looked at it, I could also see that it was a tiny wooden cross. She put that in her smallest bag which was serving as a purse and found her bus pass and directed it to the driver's attention, all the while her loud, wailing voice droned on and on.

As she continued the soleful litany of her hard luck and how she didn't know where she was even going to stay the night, the young man across from us listened attentively as if she mattered that day in his life. She continued this for another 15 minutes of travel time and the young man was so kind with his words, showing every passenger in the bus his Christmas gift of compassionate listening and sympathy. Her only "family" was the baby girl she had given up for adoption many years ago.

More sympathetic listening continued from this young man on the bus; the woman's voice seemed to be calmer and more in control as she continued her sad saga. Finally she reached her transfer point and the young man helped her down the bus stairs with her belongings. He told her again that he would pray for her. . .

The bus driver was patient with her when she instantly ran back on the bus and said "Wait!" she had "left something on the bus" which she hadn't but I think she just didn't want to leave the listening kindness of this young man. We all wished her a peaceful Christmas and I watched her stand on the sidewalk looking after the bus until we got out of sight. As the bus turned the corner, I wondered where the grace of God might take her that night . . . if she would find other people showing kindness, even if it was only because it was "Tis the season?"

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I told the young man that HE and his loving actions might have been MY best Christmas present this year -- the way he demonstrated God's love to a perfect stranger as he opened his gift of kindness to this lonely and distraught woman in front of all of us riding the city bus early on Christmas Eve.

It was a small sacrifice I was making to buy an aquaintance in my building a Chritmas supper. How much greater the gift of this young "angel" to this distraught lady and each of us that witnessed his kindness. I don't know where this lady is tonight, Christmas night, but I know where his heart is -- he gave it away for Chritmas to a complete stranger.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And just how cold was it in December -- 2 weeks ago?

Today is Christmas Eve and the temperature is the same number as the date. It is cold BUT it was colder about two weeks ago. . .it was just 13 and 12 degrees for two consecutive days.

Anthem Park is next door to where I live and IT found out just how cold it really was . . . FREEZING!

Even the water froze in the little river and waterfall area of Anthem Park near the street.

Not even one tiny sign of snow tho. . . sigh Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my new blog and I welcome all who drop by. Please leave a comment. I don't know if I will post daily yet or not. I hope to do more writing using prose and poetry to go with my photos. Please drop by again!