Another December in Portland

a black cat on a lap

Deja Vu!

Yes, our next stay was a return visit to a home in Portland – almost a year to the day from last year. We both love this house as it feels like home immediately, I don’t even know why.

Our charge and companion here – the feline you see. This guy is a no drama – sweet and gentle fellow who mostly stays indoors and loves affection. As we shared in our first post, his meow was at the base level. Not that he used it often, but it was always surprising to hear.

a black cat resting on a bed

I think he remembered us and seemed very comfortable right away. He spent a lot of time on the bed with us during the day and at night, what a treat! 

Sometimes I worked on the bed, laptop and mouse, phone and a few notes. Still, most of the bed was free of items. You got it – this fellow chose to sleep right on my papers. We’ve seen the same thing with dozens of cats. What is it about paper and cats?

Seriously, it’s happened many times to us. There’s plenty of room, more than plenty of room for the feline and they choose to sit or lie directly in the one spot where even just a single piece of paper sits. I’ve even seen a cat start chewing on the paper. It is always a hoot to watch.

a black cat resting on a bed

Since we’d already stayed with him once, we knew he loved going outside quite a few times a day. Almost all of those ventures were short lived as he remained close to the house. He always went out in the side yard, did whatever he wanted to do and then patiently waited for us to open the sliding glass door and let him back in.

In better weather (okay, Portland in December – better weather means not pouring rain) he would wander around to the front door, again, patiently waiting for us to let him in. He was one mellow cat, and we thoroughly enjoyed his company!

a black cat resting on a lap

Makes Your Head Spin

At this juncture, least our life seem too casual and simple (hanging out in a great home with one cat) I think it fitting to share that in the last 90 days, we’d moved 28 times! Yes, I counted! About six of those moves were because we had decided to do some camping. Then three more days of camping got added when two house sits were cut short.

We also had what was supposed to be a month-long house sit end abruptly after a few days. We tacked on a few extra ‘moves’ dealing with that for sure.

All in all, that’s moving almost every three days, and it felt like it! Honestly, we couldn’t remember where we were sometimes, and other times it didn’t seem to matter.

a light fresh snow on some leaves

Yes, That’s Snow!

A few days into our stay, it started lightly snowing, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I got my phone and ran outside and took lots of photos. It was such fun to watch it flowing to the ground and resting gently on the plants and trees. 

a light fresh snow on some leaves

The next day, more snow and more photos! It was truly enjoyable as I never got to see snow living in Southern California.

a light fresh snow on some leaves

Little did we know, that little dusting was only the beginning. It kept coming down day after day and soon enough it covered the ground and streets. 

a light fresh snow on trees and plants

The most notable thing about the snow was how it changed all the sounds. The rain, of course, made pounding sounds on the roof and everything else. The snow muffled all sounds until cars came by. Then the air filled with sounds of ice crunching under car tires. All day and night.

a light fresh snow on a street

One morning all the snow-covered branches had turned to ice-covered branches. The weight of all that ice forced the trees to lean heavily. 

snow turned to ice on a plant

I was afraid they would break, so I grabbed a broomstick and started whacking some of them. Yeah, you guessed it: the ice came off, the branches flew up, and I got it right in the face. I decided to use a slightly different strategy!

small icicles on a ledge

As we mentioned, our feline friend usually went outside several times a day. However, he didn’t want to while it was snowing. It was fun to watch him look at the snow and then decide – I don’t know what in the world is covering the ground – I think I’ll stay inside!

snow turned to ice on a plant

Another House in the Snow?

While at this house, we arranged a house sit in Sisters, which is a small town up in the Cascade Mountains near Bend. That meant we’d be back in Oregon – in the middle of winter – this time in the mountains! That was going to be my big test: waking up in a real winter wonderland and finding out if I could cope with the cold. Burr. Hopefully, there will be some sun since it’s on the eastern side of the mountains.

large bridge over the Columbia River

A Field Trip

Near the end of our stay, the sun came out of hiding. Yes, in Portland (really, no rain). We jumped in the car and went just over the bridge to Washington. I was hoping to get a few good photos of that classic steel bridge and the Columbia River. During our stay last year it had rained every day, and I never got a good picture of it. 

entering Washington sign

We parked the car and started walking toward the bridge on a lovely path along the river. As we got closer to the bridge, we realized you could walk on it! I had never noticed the sidewalk hanging off the edge of the road. 

a walkway on a large bridge

Up we went right next to the roar of the traffic. If we wanted to speak to each other, we had to yell at the top of our lungs or try a little sign language which we don’t know. I got a couple of photos and returned quickly; it was rock concert loud and a little scary up there!

a moss-covered tree trunk

Before We Knew It –

The calendar said it was time to pack up and head out, again! We wished we didn’t need to bring all our camping gear along, but we still had ten open days between house sits in the Palm Springs area. We guessed we’d need to camp at least a few nights.

That meant all the camping gear had to come with us. Our car was full since we needed all that and stuff for the winter in Oregon, as well as summer stuff for Los Angeles. We had a climate change to deal with for a month – winter, summer, winter.

bridge over the Columbia River

For the time being at least, we were saying goodbye to winter. We looked forward to thawing our toes in the California weather. Maybe even pick up a tan in Ojai and Palm Springs! Hot chocolate anyone?

snow in a hanging pot

What’s Next – Back to Shangri-La 

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