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Everything looks fresh and fabulous–like miracles before our very eyes.

This beauty came with the house. ID, anyone?
This beauty came with the house. ID, anyone?

A walk around the neighborhood brings no end of spring thrills. There’s a Sambucus a few doors down from Red Buds, likewise brilliantly pruned. I didn’t get a good photo, but when the light cooperates, I’ll give it another shot.

Sambucus nigra -- maybe 'Black Beauty' aka Elderberry
Sambucus nigra — maybe
‘Black Beauty’ aka Elderberry

A most excellent street for getting it right.

Red Bud working its magic
Red Bud working its magic


Red bud and shadow
Red bud casting its lovely shadow

The pruning of these trees was inspired. I loitered until the homeowner finally came out and talked with me. He was working on a metal sculpture in his garage. I learned that he is also a carpenter and a general contractor. He said he’s been pruning the Redbuds over the past couple years. Amazing how fantastic it looks when done properly, and employ a bit of patience.

Redbuds with good pruning
Redbuds with terrific pruning


And this truck, which I love. It reminds me of a former neighbor, a retired cardiologist. Dr. T drove a truck that looked a lot like this–until it was creamed one night in a hit and run accident. And then a few nights later, someone stole it. Seriously. Now he drives a 200 year-old Studebaker.

Dr. T repaired our vintage Long Chime doorbell–after it had been out of commission for some 20 odd years. I told him I was so glad he’d found a transferable skill.

Groovy Truck in the neighborhood
Groovy Truck in the neighborhood


Wasn’t sure of ID on this plant at Kennedy School, but Oregon Plant Bloggers Danger Garden and MulchMaid were on the case. Thanks girls.

Ceanothus 'Dark Star' aka Wild Lilac
Ceanothus ‘Dark Star’ aka Wild Lilac


Another plant inherited with our Flamingo Park house, Lorapetalum chinense ‘Sizzling Pink.’ Not only not dead, it’s blooming. Third time’s the charm–even though I didn’t plant it myself.

Lorapetalum chinense 'Sizzling Pink'
Lorapetalum chinense ‘Sizzling Pink’


And here I digress. March was always a busy birthday month. My mom Josephine, 3/8/22 – 2/7/10. My birthday was this month, and I got to hold my daughter’s current OHS foster puppy.

Me and Little Guy on my Birthday
Me and Little Guy on my Birthday


And my big brother Edward, 3/21/49. His birthday always heralded Spring. Edward lost a valiant battle with Multiple Sclerosis 3/9/2000, just shy of his 51st birthday. It’d be impossible not to think of him now. Such a good brother, dad, husband, son, uncle…

Uncle Eddie with my sister’s kids.

When we were teenagers, Edward was forever reaching around and tapping me on the opposite shoulder–so I’d always look the wrong way to see no one there. The lengths we went to to amuse ourselves before internet. We had a parakeet once, one my dad coaxed from our walnut tree. I’m not making this up. We had a cage, but left the door open so the bird could fly around loose. Because otherwise, how would it be a zoo.  Edward hated the bird–in that he was afraid of it. Every time he walked into the house, he yelled, “where’s that G.D. Bird,” and the bird made a beeline for him. G.D. Bird reveled in landing on the collar of Edward’s shirt and pecking at his neck.

With dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, salamanders and turtles, etc., not to mention six kids under our one roof, there was no shortage of opportunity for ridiculous entertainment. We had a Minah bird at one point, too, lord knows where that came from, and every time the phone rang, the bird yelled, “Philip.” My parents were saints.

So there you have it, spring with a family story aside. I just can’t help myself.