Posts Tagged ‘Salem’


Greener Is The Grass

09 boston skyline 4Linda Burton posting from Boston, Massachusetts The other side of the fence. During my days in New Hampshire almost everyone asked “Where are you headed next?” And when I answered “Boston” I noticed eyes light up; suggestions poured forth as to what I should see, how I would love it, how they love it. Ending with “I wish I lived in Boston now.” “It still takes my breath away,” said someone I met in the New Hampshire State House, “when I round that curve and see the Boston skyline ahead of me.” Many claimed Boston as their birthplace; regaling me with tales of Fenway Park and 09 fenway signmemories of baseball games; Ted Williams, Roger Clemens, Carl Yastrzemski. The Sox Nation extends far north into New Hampshire; that’s for sure. With the Red Sox in the playoffs, the New Hampshire passion pulsated loud and clear. The Tampa Bay Rays came to Boston to play; as I rounded a curve on the New Hampshire freeway last Friday a flashing highway sign caught my attention. “Go” was the first line of warning; I expected to see notice of a detour, or road work. But the second line was “Red Sox,” followed by another “Go.” It made me smile. Today 09 trees hillswas my day to “Go” as I moved south from Concord, New Hampshire to Boston, capital city #44 on the Journey. It was less than 70 miles of smooth sailing on a freeway bordered by that famous New England foliage; traffic was moderate. Until I hit the Massachusetts line. And what did I see? Droves of cars headed north, straight into New Hampshire! Here in Boston tonight, the weather report focused on where to go in New Hampshire this weekend, to revel in fabulous autumn scenery. Sounds like a “grass is greener” kind of thing. » read more


Behind Me Now

01 me and all at Scotts

My Northwest Family in Washington.
Back – Andrew, Matthew, Rick, Jake, Alec, Scott. Front – Kayla, Linda, Tami, Sam.

Linda Burton posting from Edmonds, Washington traveling from Juneau, Alaska to Helena, Montana Twenty percent. That much of the Journey Across America is complete. Twenty percent! That amounts to ten capital cities, ten places on this earth that I have come to know. The hardest part of the trip is behind me now. I have done the flying part, visiting those states that refer to the contiguous 48 as the “mainland”, or the “lower 48.” I have boarded the cats for two-week sessions twice. (Awful for me; awful for them.) I had the joyful company of my two youngest grandkids in two cities, and the added advantage of two points of view. Kayla wrote some excellent posts from Honolulu, took and edited hundreds of photos, and verified anomalies (more people in Waikiki wear black than floral prints!). Sam interviewed everyone he met in Juneau, made friends with the homefolk, and described the far-off sights to me while peering through binoculars. I also had a two-day visit in Olympia from son Rick, grandson Andrew, and Kayla once again; we explored the capitol, the coffee-roasting place, the 17 Brett and carriver and the falls; they loved it all. And there was home and family – the gatherings at son Scott and Tami’s house, the food, the sit around and talk, a Kramer-dog to pet (and throw the ball a hundred times). There was friendly business too; the visits with three members of the Board – Jim and James and Bob, all sharing their ideas and showing their support. I’m ever grateful for it all. (I’m including Brett’s photo, right, from my Arizona stop in March, can’t leave a family member out!) Now, want to see the stats? » read more



Linda Burton posting from Edmonds, Washington Fifty State Capitols has an IPPY now! I’m talking about the book, Fifty State Capitols, The Architecture of Representative Government, authored by Jim Stembridge and published by Coho Publishing. Jim stopped by yesterday on his way back to Salem from New York, where he accepted the award, and I got to meet his wife Joan, and the big black dog that helped him research the capitols, Ruth. I was glad to be able to congratulate Jim in person on such an accomplishment, and pleased that he brought me a copy of the newly bronze-stickered book. An IPPY! Jim’s book received the 2012 Bronze Medal in the Architecture category by the Independent Publishers Book Awards. It was an event that involved the best of independent published works internationally; just look at the photo of Jim accepting the award; blue ribbons around his neck and a big smile on his face. Something to be proud of! » read more


Elephant DNA

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – Arturo was chopping on the block in his red official carver’s apron. “Don’t you need goggles?” I asked. “Not with chunks this big,” Arturo laughed. “But yes, if I’m using the bandsaw.” I’m standing in the Carving Room at the Salem Riverfront Carousel, a room that is crowded at the moment with volunteers, carving tools, chunks of wood, and detailed drawings of elephants and frogs. I’d found the place by accident; Olessya had brought her siblings to ride the carousel; when I asked for directions to the place she told me there was carving going on today. “Go to the second door,” she said. Irene opened the door and let me in. “The carousel animals are hand-carved,” she explained, “all by volunteers. Right now we’re carving new animals, so we can change them out each month. We’ll have special ones throughout the seasons, too. That way there will always be something new.” A would-be elephant took up the center of the room, that’s what Arturo was working on today. “So this will be an elephant?” I rubbed my hand against the wood. “It doesn’t smell like an elephant, or look like much of one either, right now. It doesn’t even have a trunk.” » read more


Go Tell Aunt Rhodie

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – The Pacific Northwest is the rhododendron place. Everybody knows that. It’s the weather, the soil, the everything. Rhodies flourish in every color, size and shape; and though they bloom throughout the year, May is the crowning month. I arranged my schedule for arrival in the Pacific Northwest at Rhodie Time, and rolled into Salem eager to see the gorgeous flowering shrubs; I was not disappointed. The capitol grounds were lush with purple rhododendron and that stunning rosy pink, standing out like post-it notes against a backdrop thick with evergreens; tall firs and spruce; a Sherwood forest in the heart of town. At my hotel the purple must be ten feet tall at least; the pink is past its prime, time to deadhead soon. I pull dead blooms when I go by; can’t help myself, a habit from the past. On the counter at the restaurant, I spot some rosy pink; a rhodie catalogue, I thought. But no, it said Adelman Peony Gardens, 2012. Peonies? I took a copy to my seat and turned the page. » read more


Tell Me About It

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – I ask everybody where they like to eat; it’s how you find the good places in a town that’s new to you. And knowing where people eat is one measure of a town, it gives a sense of what the people there enjoy. I stopped at an excellent trusted chain my first night in Salem, and when the manager stopped by my table to thank me for coming in, I asked him what “other” restaurants he would recommend. “I’m not looking for the most elegant,” I clarified, “I’m just interested in where people really enjoy going.” He sat down at my table, seriously thinking about his answer. “I eat out a lot,” he told me, as he jotted down some notes, “and to me the entire package is important.” We discussed what we appreciated in a restaurant – good food, of course; good service, parking, and location; but most of all, the right atmosphere. It’s that indefinable thing that’s hard to rate called, simply, love. “You can tell when an owner, or a chef, loves the business they’re in,” he said. And you can tell when people love to go there, too. It’s called “word of mouth,” meaning they tell other people about it. Rob handed me his notes, nicely categorized into the three basic meals of the day, three restaurants listed for each meal. “That should keep you busy while you’re here,” he smiled. » read more


Once Upon A Time

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – “Once upon a time,” writes Virginia Green, “before shopping malls and giant parking lots….” Remember that? I remember walking to the A & P, Mother sending me off in a rush to pick up something she needed to finish cooking lunch. I remember hanging out at the corner drug store on summer afternoons, cooling off with a cherry coke while I planned my future over Wonder Woman comic books. That’s when I was 10, and rode my bike most everywhere. The good news is – bikes are in vogue again, and if you’re in Salem, Oregon, you can still walk, and shop, downtown. The Salem Downtown Historic District is a vibrant neighborhood today, with many buildings thoughtfully preserved to offer up a taste of the past. It’s tucked between the Riverfront Park and the State Capitol and you can combine shopping with reading – cast-bronze historic markers along the way tell you the building’s original name and when it was constructed and you’ll catch yourself nodding your head over the interesting story that is included too. Add shade trees, benches, and colorful architecture; you’re not just anywhere, you are someplace. » read more


Sunday Church

Linda Burton posting from Salem, Oregon – It’s just an old cinder cone, sprouting some juniper, and sage. But when you’re on the top of it, you get a 360-degree view of the world. The city of Bend lies below; look down at little house-boxes tucked between the trees; look across the high desert to the Cascades; snow-covered, glacier-frosted volcanic peaks that take your breath away. You simply have to stare. Pilot Butte was my first priority of Sunday morning business, but I wasn’t the first to arrive. Dick and Dee were already there. Karen too. So were moms and dads and kids and dogs and turtles. Well, one turtle, anyway. Water bottles, hiking boots, people dressed for Sunday morning joy, what better place to be? I looked around and deemed it “Sunday Church.” People had a happy look, pleased with themselves, pleased with the day. The “something” here is more than just a panoramic view. » read more