I finally made it up the International Rose Test Garden at Washington Park. It's a beautiful spot any time of Spring and even on the first day of Summer. Today the temperature was very hot so I got there early and made a few snaps before too many people showed up. I'm thinking about Ashley a lot on this Father's Day.
It's been quite a while since I got serious about making photographs. So I finally pulled out the dSLR, charged its battery, found an SD card and set out to do just that today. There were some nice rose bushes at Stringfield, a local park that I biked past several times. I was not quite ready to go the Portland Rose Garden as I have done in the past to make photos honoring Ashley's presence in my life. Here's what I ended up with.
I was so eager to celebrate Ashley's birthday this year that I started early in August and nearly every Sunday taking her flowers after buying them from the local farmers market in downtown Milwaukie. Right across from the flower vendor was one named Packer Orchards and they sold me some delicious scones and a cookie each week. I would usually eat the cookie right away (hard to resist) and save the scones for breaktime at work for the next couple of days. I continued this practice nearly every week into September and even more so by eating other foods that Ashley liked such as Red Robin French fries, Eggo waffles, and Pop Tarts. I must have gained several extra pounds during this time! But I really enjoyed it and felt like it was a way to honor Ashley's food preferences, especially the scones which I used to make for her and she enjoyed as a treat on Fridays right after coming home from school.
This year, I wanted to make sure Ashley's monument was as clean as it could be so I spent time there on Sunday getting it polished up. I hope to continue this practice each year to keep it looking its best.
One thing that Ashley and I would enjoy doing together is to go to Barnes and Noble to shop for books. She'd usually come out of there with a wheel barrow full of books and I'd give her a bad time about it. I visited Barnes and Noble this year on Sunday and decided I'd try to get through the first book of a Game of Thrones, one of Ashley's favorite series. Since this type of fiction is not usually my thing, I'm going to try to get through the audio book first before I buy and try to read a paper copy.
On the heels of Ashley's birthday, I want to mention that September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has an informative site describing how that organization is helping cancer patients, their families and society through research and advocacy. Check it out and consider one or more ways of helping them achieve their goals.
Happy Birthday Ashley!
I had a very nice day delivering flowers to Ashley's memorial site and cleaning off her monument. Picked up this gorgeous bouquet of flowers from a vendor at the Milwaukie Farmer's Market.
While browsing the many fine vendors there, I found a baker who had a number of delicious sugar-infested goods for sale including scones which I just had to buy a couple of them. As I did I recalled numerous Friday's long ago when I was able to be home when Ashley arrived after school. I tried to have some of her favorite scones warm, right out of the oven. I remember vividly how she would butter the halved scone, patty it back together and then eat it while deeply engrossed in her latest book. Priceless memories of her!
In addition to visiting with Ashley with flowers, I had a chance to catch up with my dad this weekend and talk about preparation for our camping trip coming up to Central Oregon very soon. Looking forward to some time out of P-town.
I had so many remembrances of Ashley this weekend, from the flowers that I found at the Market to watching soccer (World Cup) and playing video games (on my PC.) In spite of the chores I felt I must do, I had opportunity to recall so many pleasant times with my daughter.
Ashley interest in books is being appreciated at the Oregon City Library! As you can see in the image below Ashley's fund at OCF has contributed money to the OC Library Foundation and therefore earned a plaque on the Young Adult Classics shelf on the second floor of the new library. Awesome!
We are saddened by the loss of Palladio this weekend. Sara has documented our experiences on her Facebook page and here. May the Gentle Giant forever live on in our memories!
Thanks for helping us raise so much hope for Leukemia patients and their families. Together we contributed more than $2,200 to LLS' for helping them provide care and services that cancer patients so desparately need. Trot on over to Facebook to learn more.
Ashley made this scarf for me. Well she started the scarf after our last Christmas together, then her passing interrupted the creation of it until Sara finished it as a Christmas gift to me in 2015. The note below was a special touch. WOW! I am so blessed!
Thanks to everyone who made Light The Night a huge success for the Good Morning Sunshine Team. With your donations we raised nearly $1000 to help discover a cure for blood cancer and help those who are suffering from it. (Link to team site.) For more information, please check out Sara's post on Facebook.