Monday, June 15, 2015

Hidden in the city


All the apartment complexes have opened their pools. Students roam in flip flops and short shorts. Everyone walks on the shady side of the street. Even 90F weather and ice cream trucks have already made an appearance.

Except for English lessons on Skype, I'm on summer vacation : ) Grateful grown-up summer vacation, though, as in still-trying-to-be-productive. This summer I'd like to start jogging (any advice for beginners?) and conquer a Russian textbook. What are your summer goals?

Yesterday we returned to the Min Zidell Healing Garden. In comparison with the subdued color scheme of fall, the garden now looks like someone colored it with a box of crayons.

Our friend Marie wandered through the sunny garden and surrounding neighborhoods with us. We pretended to be professional flower photographers and took turns at guessing the names of the plants. Even D named a few, although he knows most of them in Russian. Oh that! Yeah, that's the... uh... you know. It's the лапух. They say it's good for your hair. I had no idea what the plant was even in English! (Burdock) But I knew the plant below- the мак:

When I first started learning Russian, the tiny 1970s booklet used a bunch of short words to demonstrate the sounds of the alphabet. Thus мак and ком (lump) and соловей (nightingale) and other weird things still float around in my brain.

We examined every plant in the garden and every message at the gate, staying long enough for D to wake up with a sunburn this morning.

This plant felt like a fleece blanket.

The college has put so much effort into this little oasis! It's true that Portland is a very green city, but it's still special to find a place like this hidden among the highways and highrises.


  1. Wow, those are really beautiful flowers. I learn russian online with skype at and my teacher told me it's really beautiful in Ukraine. I'm excited to visit there next year :)

    1. Privet Jessica! Thanks for your comment. What part of Ukraine are you planning to visit?