"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Sunday, August 17, 2014

written in chalk on a wall in Pearl District of Portland

Chinese Gardens in Portland
Portland Oregon, Day four

Bright and early the next morning, Dotti and I headed to the Chinese Gardens in the  Pearl District of Portland. Unique place.  A tour started right after we arrived so we joined it.  The guide was very well traveled and interesting.  She pointed out and told us about every plant and structure in the Chinese Garden.  The paths were made of smooth river rocks turned on their edges.  She encouraged us to take off our shoes and feel the massaging effects of the stones.  I didn't try it because I had on lace ups and I didn't want to struggle with getting them on and off. 

She pointed to the roof which looked scalloped to me.  She said the pattern represented bat wings and that bats are a symbol of good luck.  The way the rood is designed, when it rains heavily, the run-off creates a curtain of water.  They call it the "curtain of tears"

We saw lots of unique plants and learned about their place in Chinese culture. Afterward, we went to the Chinese Tea Room on the grounds, had a light lunch, and mango nectar. It was very pleasant.

Then we went looking around.  We found a park where a huge flowing waterfall created a 12 in deep pond.  Children were playing in the water.  I took a video to show Seth.  It looked like a wonderful place to play.  While we were in the park, I visited something I have never seen before.  I should have taken a picture of it but I didn't even think about it.  Right out on a street corner was an open air restroom.  It was at least ten feet tall, open at the top and the bottom. Inside it was clean and well tended. So much better than a portajohn. It even flushed. I saw one fly inside -- and he'd probably strayed from the portajohns right next to it.

At the park, we met Derick, a professional dog walker.  He let us visit with his charges.  He had been part of corporate America most of his life, but had decided to destress his life, quit his job and started walking dogs. He said he has about 30 regular customer, plus he and his wife "dog sit" when people go out of town. He charges $15 per dog for a 30 minute walk.  He said he likes to walk two at a time but that doesn't always happen. He asked about our trip and made suggestions about what we needed to see. Most of it was on our list. We enjoyed visiting with him

Japanese Gardens Washington Park in Portland

We found Washington Park and saw the rose garden and the Japanese garden.  As far as beauty is concerned, I enjoyed the Japanese Garden the most.

everything in the Japanese garden was
 manicured and looked lush and healthy

We returned to the Pearl District.  Dotti struck up a conversation with a young man who was trying to fix the lock on his storm door.  It turns out his parents used to live in Wichita Falls, but moved to Fletcher Oklahoma shortly after he left home. He had lived in Dallas for a few years. It is a small world.

Portland Pigs
We walked the streets  until we found  the Santa Fe Taquera where we had some really tasty tacos and nachos.

Not far from where we ate, these guys were on the sidewalk. They are about thigh high sculptures.  They felt solid and heavy but apparently not as heavy as they look because they are chained together and to a post.  You can't see them in this picture but there are piglets under the one on the right. Another interesting aspect was that there was a "donation" container there. For what?

We sat for quite a while watching the wonderfully diverse and interesting assortment of people passing us, then we headed back to the car.

The Pearl district is crawling with people walking, folks on bicycles, Segways, skate boards, and scooters.  If I thought winding mountain roads were treacherous, it doesn't compare to driving in Portland.  I'm surprised I got out without running over a pedestrian. The signals and stop signs were hard to see. Plus there was so much signage, so may arrows point this way and not that way, I was in constant turmoil.  I'm real surprised only one person actually honked at me.

Tomorrow, we plan to go up Mt. Hood

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