Monday, December 3, 2007

Last Class Weekend in Portland

John accompanied me to my last class weekend in Portland. It was cold, rainy, and windy. My presentation went well and I'm glad for that. It was practicing it over and over again which made the difference, I think.

I went to the Farmer's Market, the last one I'll be able to go to until they reopen again in the spring. There were not nearly as many booths as there are in mid-summer and most of the lush produce and flowers are gone. One booth was selling mushrooms, one had a display with jars of honey, and another had a selection of homemade breads. All of the vendors were bundled up against the wind and rain in heavy coats, hats, and scarves. I did find one booth selling jams and chutneys and bought a small jar of strawberry/rhubarb jam for John. As I left the market, I noticed one booth with a basket of traditional winter vegetables-- beets and turnips--but there weren't many buyers.

As I headed back towards the classroom building, I heard roaring sounds coming for a nearby street and went to see what was going on. The street had been blocked to cars and it was now filled with motorcyclists wearing Santa hats over their helmets. Many had large stuffed animals strapped to the back of their cycles as passengers, some had sidecars filled with toys, and one was pulling a little cart piled high with gifts. They roared their engines and a few did wheelies and people watched and smiled and waved at them and they waved back with huge grins. This was the annual Portland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade. What a wonderful way to begin the Christmas holidays!