Hi there. We’ve had a lovely Easter weekend, did you? First there was a trip out to Oxbow Park on the Sandy River, a place I haven’t visited since I was a wee one. Unlike Portland, where all the flowering trees are in full bloom and the daffodils are starting to give way to the tulips, out in the Columbia Gorge it is still pretty chilly and most of the trees have just barely started to put out their red buds, never mind their tiny new green leaves.
Down on the river we met only a few lone flyfishers as we walked along the few trails and up and down the sandy and stony beaches. I picked up a driftwood stick to help pick through the rocks. Kirk collected a few interesting striated rocks among the river-smooth rocks. I made a little cairn:
We took a backpack full of sandwiches and apples down the beach and ate sitting on a huge fallen tree. We watched a group of kayakers put in across the river, going fast downstream with the current.
All through the woods around the river you see evidence of the torrential floods that come along in June, when the snowmelt on Mount Hood starts to melt in tremendous quantities. That’s the time of year when you want to go down to the river on the first hot hot day and stick your toes in, but it’s precisely when the water is bone-chillingly cold and tinged a strange white-green color from the minerals coming down off the mountain and the foothills. That’s also when the current is strong enough to drown swimmers, knock down massive trees, and wrap debris and branches and grasses around tree trunks. It looks like there are nests everywhere, but they’re just flood-borne flotsam stranded where the water left it.
But mostly this time of the year is pretty peaceful. Just enough wind that I wanted my bandana to cover my ears, but warm enough that once you stand still, out of the wind, you want to unzip your jacket.
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At my family’s Easter dinner, I cleverly forgot my camera in the car, so I can’t show you how nice the table looked with its ceramic bunnies and spring-green plates and dishes of new potatoes and asparagus and ham. But I can show you the vintage family baby clothes my mom found for me in a forgotten box in the shed, even though the pictures are dark. They are just too adorable!
Some of these are tiny sweaters knit by great-aunts and great-grandmothers who have long passed; some of them were knit or bought and cherished for my mom and her brothers in the 1950s before they were passed down to me and my siblings in the early 1980s. The top left photo shows two of my cherished Polly Flinders dresses, that are smocked and ruffled and so cute. I have another one somewhere that is pink. I loved wearing these when I was little, though my mother was more of the mind that kids should mainly stay in tshirts and blue jeans, anything that wears well and washes easy!
Here are two sweaters:
The blue one was definitely worn by all three of us kids, and seems to have picked up some rust-like stains in storage. Or maybe it’s just dirt? I think it just needs a good general washing. But the white sweater my mom doesn’t recall dressing us in — it is so tiny it probably will only fit the baby for a short time anyway. But it is made of an incredibly fine guage knit, and at the hem there are tiny pale pink flowers and pale blue edging embroidered with yarn. It needs some repairs at the neck, where there is supposed to be a narrow ribbon tie, and it needs its tiny buttons resewn and possibly a new button found. Truly a precious item.
In any case, these pictures were taken in the dark and they are barely visible, but I promise once they have been washed and aired out I will take better pictures. There are lots more I didn’t even get photos of, too. And hopefully I will end up with some pictures of them on the baby, eventually! As a friend recommended, sometimes when you have precious vintage baby clothes they’re really only good to slip on, take a picture, then slip them off quick, before they get mired in stains and drool and other bits of living. But there’s something so wonderful about using these clothes that have been loved and lovingly saved for so long, passed through so many hands to us.