Portland’s White House Sunday, Aug 6 2017 

White House

White House

I celebrated two birthday parties this year. In addition to my May 12th birthday, August 5th was selected for my 70th birthday party and family reunion. My wife’s family has a tradition of family reunions, and my wife has experience in planning them. She did a marvelous job of planning a first family reunion for the Green clan. With input from Oregon family members, she settled on the White House B&B. This venue could handle individual rooms for participants, common areas, and outstanding food. Both of my brothers attended along with five of my six nephews. The only nephew not to attend had a last-minute emergency in his partner’s family that kept him from participating. Two nephews brought their three-year-old children who got along famously. We even played some chess. The B&B had an excellent wooden set and I brought two plastic sets and two clocks that allowed me to introduce bughouse to some family members. Our dinner featured a Mediterranean menu with multiple dishes. Two breakfasts were amazing. We learned that the current owner, who has operated it for some twenty years, is looking to sale the property. Parking here, like most of Portland, is a challenge and involves only using the space immediately in front of the property. When will we get together again?

Portland Japanese Garden Sunday, Aug 6 2017 

Stone Lantern

Stone Lantern

Nestled in the West Hills of Washington Park, the Portland Japanese Garden overlooks the city and provides a tranquil, urban oasis. Originally designed in 1963 and recently remodeled, it encompasses 12 acres with eight separate garden styles. The use of stone, water, and plants reflect nature in idealized form. Truly, this is a place to discard worldly thoughts and concerns and see oneself as a small but integral part of the universe. One of my nephews shared his love of this spot with us. The Tanabe Gallery displayed Woodblock Kabuti Prints from the Lavenberg Collection. These colorful examples of commercial prints used chiseled planks of cherry wood, a different one for each color. The Pavilion Gallery presented a selection of silk Kabuki costumes from Shochiku Co. Ltd. In Tokyo, hand-dyed and lavishly embroidered. Two that I particularly liked were both worn by the character Mluraya Agemaki. The only negative about our visit involved the smoke from regional fires that reduced our view of Mount Hood.

Crescendo

Crescendo

We did a circle walk around the International Rose Test Garden which is celebrating its centennial this year. My favorite roses include “Just Joey,” “Strike It Rich,” “Barbra Streisand,” and “Crescendo.” Surprisingly, there weren’t any August weddings taking place in the Shakespeare Garden where one of nephews wed in June several years ago.