Hello Friends and Family,

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Oregon or Bust, Part 1

Near the end of July, we went on a trip to Portland, Oregon to visit my longtime friends, Steve and Karen Packer. Steve and I worked together at Control Data in Minnesota in the late 1960s and early 1970s — both of us right out of college. Professionally, we went in slightly different directions — Steve eventually working for Intel in Oregon. He is now retired and living on what one might call an urban farm just outside Portland. Here we see the driveway approaching their home.

Their home is beautifully designed by (if I recall correctly) a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright. FLW's design philosophy espouses qualities in harmony with the environment — with integration of design, plan, form and materials. For instance, you can see that philosophy expressed in the main entrance, a beautiful wood door with vertical accents, framed by the lush vegetation that varies in size, texture and color.

On the east side of the house is the master bedroom with large windows to welcome the rising sun and with spectacular views of Mount Hood some 80 miles away, weather permitting.

Facing north is the living room area with panoramic views that will knock your socks off.

I love the kinetic sculpture in the back yard which rotates in the slightest breeze. Nice touch.

I was lucky to capture a photo of several birds dining on seeds at the feeder in the back. Lots of wildlife here.

For those frequent cool evenings, there is a fire pit with plenty of seating for folks to enjoy fine company, accompanied by tasty snacks and favorite beverages.

Beyond the fire pit, sits one example of the wonderful landscaping — an impressive hydrangea bush. Some of the clusters of blossoms had begun to pale but others were still quite strikingly colorful.

If you are not familiar with hydrangeas, there is one very interesting fact related to the color of the showy blossoms. For bushes planted in acidic soil, the blossoms tend to be blue. If planted in alkaline soil, they end to be pink. Mother Nature is amazing.

As I walked along the path in back, I spotted what looked like strawberry plants with flowers.

When I found some strawberries, I guessed these to be wild strawberries which are edible. I sampled a couple and they brought back memories of walking in the woods with my mom many, many years ago — finding and eating wild strawberries along the way.

After looking down for a while, I finally looked up and caught the view to the north (just like looking out the living room windows). All I can say is SPECTACULAR!!!

Incidentally, Steve and Karen have enough property that part of it has been used for growing Christmas trees. Unfortunately, the market and other circumstances have curtailed that activity temporarily. Hopefully, that can resume sometime in the near future — it really adds to the ambiance of their homestead.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com