End of Summer Vacation

The blur in the pic is pretty representative of how that morning went. it all happened so fast!

Wednesday last week (September 5th, that is) marked the first day of school for Willow.  She was extremely excited to be starting.   In fact, she had picked out an outfit for the first day of school more than a month ago–or rather, she swapped out ideas for an outfit several times.  It seemed like she couldn’t make up her mind.  And then, Wednesday morning she threw on some stuff that I had never even seen as potential first day candidates.  She’s too funny.

I figured after I dropped off Willow, I would go to the gym and then put in a long walking day, making sure I walked over a half marathon again.  As I left the school, I saw some of the following:

Saw this over by my daughter’s school.

I also saw a dead crow.  I didn’t photograph it, figuring you probably wouldn’t want to see.  It was rather creepy, because it looked like it didn’t have a head.  But that was because the head was twisted so far back that it was sort of under the body.  I’m guessing the bird must have flown into a vehicle as it drove by and broke it’s neck.  I’ve seen that happen to a seagull once, and it wasn’t pretty.

At the time, I thought seeing the crow was a weird omen, since crows have long been the harbinger of bad news or death in folklore.  But I put the thought out of my mind and kept walking.

Out at Montavilla Community Center, the pool sat quiet and empty.

Sign that summer is drawing to a close. it’s almost 90 degrees and the community pool sits empty.

This way to the pool!

I ducked into Fred Meyer for some more moleskin for my feet and happened to spot the following neat book.  If anybody is feeling flush and wants to get me one, I wouldn’t complain.  I’m kind of a geek, what can I say?

Love the slogan.

In the neighborhood out between SE Foster and SE Holgate, I walked and came across some industrial looking building with a long stretch of graffiti art.  I thought it quite beautiful, but unfortunately, I can never seem to decipher the writing.  Sometimes I wonder if what I think is supposed to be text is even text at all…

What does this say?

Is this just squiggles, or is there text in there? Whatever, I think it looks neat regardless.

Very cool.

Not sure if there are letters in there but it looks neat!

This wasn’t the end of the art immersion on my walk.  The next grouping was kind of creepy, though.  A bunch of masks rested along the edges of somebody’s yard.  The first mask I found was especially eerie.  Note the mouth and nostril area, in particular.

The fact that this mask was crawling with bugs added to the creep factor.

I noticed in this neighborhood there were a lot of these pesticide free signs.  I wonder how common that is in other cities?  Or is Portland particularly crunchy that way?  I think it’s kind of cool.

The dead crow wasn’t my first brush with death along my route.  I also came across a dead squirrel, all bloatey and covered with flies.  It wasn’t too far from the following house.  This house had no traditional front steps, but it did have a side door.  How many people do you know who mow their front steps?

No front steps. Unless you count the terraced grass as front steps. Very odd.

They are serious about no solicitors!

The following garage was on a house off of SE Powell Blvd.  I really liked the painting.

Painting on a garage door. Cubist art, I think.

In keeping with the death and dying theme, this poor skeletal kitty came over to me for some lovin’.  I think she was hoping I would give her some food.  She was outside with about seven other cats.  They all looked as skeletal as she did.  It ticks me off when owners don’t take care of their cats, let them run wild and allow them to produce litters.  She was the only one to allow me near her–the rest were too skittish.

This kitty made me so sad! She was all skeleton.

While I was walking by this one church, I heard somebody start playing their trumpet.  I don’t think the player was in the church, but in a house nearby.  I wasn’t sure which one.  I didn’t much care though.  I listened to the hauntingly melancholic tune, and it reminded me very much of a lonely funeral dirge.  It was a lovely way to draw my walk to a close.  The only thing that was even better was that not far away, I found a guy watering his plants.  He had one that was a beautiful dark purple, so purple it was almost black.  I asked him the name of the plant, and he said it was a black hollyhock.   He said he had cut it back many times, and it just kept growing and growing.  I told him I loved the plant for the color, and now that I knew the name of it, I liked it even better, since my name is Holly.  He plucked off  couple of seed pod thingies and gave them to me.

So the trumpet, the closure of the pool, the dead and dying critters–the death theme seemed like  it was reminding me that summer is about over.  Summer vacation is officially dead.  But it’s all part of the cycle.  Things grow, new things are born, and summer will come again.

After all this, I decided to hang out at Safeway for a bit in their deli area and do some drawing.

I drew this. Can you guess who the actress is?*

After I finished drawing this, it was pretty late, so I bussed the rest of the way home.  I ended up walking 13.21 miles Wednesday!

*If you guessed Halle Berry, I’m ecstatic.  That means I did an okay job.  🙂


11 thoughts on “End of Summer Vacation

    • Yay! That means I did an okay job with my drawing! I’m trying to create a portfolio of various portraits and pictures because I would like to start doing more drawing and hopefully do some portraits for $. I think it would be the kind of job I can take with me on the road–I can take orders via computer, draw them anywhere, and mail them to who bought them. I think I need a little more practice, though. I have a super tough time with hair and teeth. But I’m getting there, I think.

      • I forgot to ask what you meant by relationship? I have a relationship with my walking? Or my surroundings? It’s an interesting turn of phrase, and if you mean what I think you meant, you are probably right!

  1. Holly, you amaze me!! I agree with Janelle, btw.
    First: tell Willow one of your fans totally loves her first day of school outfit. She rocked that first day! How is it I’ve only been following you about a year, and I feel like I’ve seen her grow up?
    Second: YOU NEVER TOLD ME YOU WERE SUCH A GOOD ARTIST!! That’s awesome!! You are truly talented and I think you need to do more of that and post it post it post it. And sell it on Etsy.
    Three: you never cease to amaze me at all the wonderful things you find on your walks. I love the black background on your blog for your pictures, btw. Good choice.
    Four: You didn’t post the pic of the dead crow, but you were so descriptive you might as well have! Bahahahaha! That was hilarious! I bet I imagined it worse and better than the pic could have.
    I haven’t been here to comment for a while, but I’ve still been reading. 🙂
    I will email you later about blog stuff.

    • Willow is growing fast! A little less than a year I’ve been blogging and yes, she is changing so much!

      Why thank you for the complements on my drawing. Funny thing is, it’s something I haven’t done in, gosh, I dunno…maybe a few years? I went back and searched my old artwork, and the vast majority of it is dated from the 90’s. I’m not sure why I just dropped off with the art, but I’ve kind of missed it, and I thought it would be nice to get back into it again.

      Sell it on etsy? Hm. That’s a thought. I thought I might take some of the photos of my favorite bloggers, do portraits of them and send them to them. You’re on that list, btw… I thought if they posted about it, it might help with publicity and getting the word out that I’m a decent artist (I don’t put on airs–I know there are LOTS of people three thousand times more talented than me with more skills in their little pinky than in my whole being, but I do okay, lol).

      Thanks for the loads of complements on the photos and site changes, too. 🙂 It’s good to see they are being well-received. I was worried about the black background making reading too difficult.

      Look forward to your email!

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