Solbit’s High Times in Portland

Dear Nicalai,

Bridges at night, when the light is just so in a city, give me the shivers — the good kind of shivers.  I sit on Papa’s shoulders. Breathe slowly in and out, and take in the lovely view.

Evenings by a riverfront are the kind of thing I look forward to.

Evenings by a riverfront are the kind of thing I look forward to.

That’s one way that I like to spend an evening.  Do you know what I mean? How the calm settles in?  How time slows down? How peaceful you feel?

Another wonderful way to spend an evening with Nona and Papa, when we’re here in Portland, Oregon, is to sit on a hill side by Chapman Elementary School.  We wait — with a lot of other neighbors and visitors — as the sun sets.  Now you’ll think I’m making this up, but it’s true.

We all sit there staring at a chimney on that school building.  The chimney is big, so some people call it a tower. A hawk likes to join us.  It sits on a tree branch and stares at the tower too. We all watch the Vaux’s Swifts gathering in the sky, circling the tower, again and again.  Then, just before the last sunlight goes poof, a most amazing thing happens.

I hope the school doesn’t turn on its furnace when the swifts roost in the chimney.

I hope the school doesn’t turn on its furnace when the swifts roost in the chimney.

Hundreds of Vaux’s Swifts fly in a downward spiraling line into that chimney! They disappear into that tower for the night. Where do they all go? (One or two swifts may disappear another way. Don’t ask me how. I’ll just say that the hawk isn’t sitting with us for our company.)

Of course, we don’t just wait for evening time to do pleasant things.  We do daytime activities too.  When the new — and beautiful! — Tillicum Crossing Bridge opened, the city had a big “everybody come bike ride.” Uncle Josh and Aunt Tanya, Aunt Kirsten and Uncle Ian, Cousins Luke and Nick, Nona, Papa, and I went on the ride.  A nice photographer from Providence Health and Services took our family portrait, for free!  Here we all are!

I’ll always remember our family bike ride.

I’ll always remember our family bike ride.

The bike ride day included a “rodeo” course for bicycles that Luke and Nick really enjoyed, more than once.  Papa and I even did it — only once — on his old man’s recumbent bike. Bumpy ride!

Another day, we took Luke and Nick out to Our Table Cooperative, a farm where Uncle Josh was harvesting some squash that he had been testing.  We all got to help him sort the different squash, weight them, and load them on a cart.

Surprise: Did you know that Papa grew up on a farm and drove farm tractors when he was just a boy?

Surprise: Did you know that Papa grew up on a farm and drove farm tractors when he was just a boy? That’s Luke, Uncle Josh, and Nick walking Our Table Cooperative farm.

We also got to walk all around the farm too.  We saw a pond, old machinery, barns, and their beautiful new store.  Perfect weather too. Who says it always rains in Portland?

Well, now I’ve told you all about my high times in Portland. Gotta go. Let me know how you’re doing.  Bye.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

September 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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