Saturday, December 02, 2006

"It's comin' on Christmas . . .

They're cuttin' down trees, they're puttin' up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace . . ."

I've had this Joni Mitchell song running through my head for days now. It's not, probably strictly speaking, a Christmas song, but it does capture a certain melancholy that I always feel, mixed with the cheer, this time of year. So beautiful.

All week it has been raining and gray and very cold here. Today the sun came out and with it, one of Portland's great gifts—the sight of Mt. Hood, swathed in fresh snow and shining in the sun. Driving around town today I kept seeing it, between buildings, through the trees, peeking over rooftops. Oh!—there it is again!

My destination was across the river at a shop my son-in-law and I call "the junky art store". We love the place. Tons of art supplies at discount prices. It's a jumble and you can't usually find exactly what you were looking for, but you always find something. It's in a part of town (SE Powell, for those of you who know Portland) where a certain kind of entrepeneurship thrives. Lots of Mom and Pop businesses run on a shoestring. If you're looking for Macy's or the Gap or Saks, you're on the wrong side of the river.

I really love this sign. Does it mean that you get an entire pair of shoes for the price of a single shoe? Such a deal.

And this sign has amused me for years. It was a hand-painted sign for a long time, then several years ago it was replaced with this more professional sign, but retained the quirky spelling. I am sympathetic, though. The "f" changes to a "v" when it becomes plural?—Where's the logic in that?
updated note: I just looked up "scarfs" in the dictionery and find that it is an acceptable plural along with "scarves". Who knew? Guess I'm not as smart as I thought.

Before I headed home I just had to stop for one more look at the mountain. You never know when you will see it again.


  1. Anonymous6:54 PM

    Fabulous view, Terry. Thanks for sharing it.

    Love that sign too. When my kids were little they would visit their grandparents in the country. Out there they loved the sign that advertised SHOES & CHEESE. I mean, how would you even think of opening a store that sold that combo? And, I'm sorry, but I get an olfactory cue of stinky feet! Needless to say, our catch phrase to describe any weird combination of any kind is to say, "It's sorta like shoes and cheese!"

  2. Anonymous10:26 PM

    It was a great day, wasn't it. I never saw Mt. Hood, though. That was a beautiful photo. That scarf sign has always cracked me up, too.

  3. I loved sharing your trip to town, I wish that art shop was closer, sounds JUST like my kind of place, I love rooting around in those old family stores where treasures are to be found amongst the junk! Lovely view of the mountain too, brr looks cold! You have given me a great idea for my blog, we have photographed a few funny signs over the years, i must scratch them out of the chaos of my old photos and scan them....

  4. I loved this post. Actually found you on a Google search when I was looking for the composer of this hymn (Thought it was Joni, but not sure) -- and it has been running through my head all season, too. I've been hearing it a lot on my Christmas music iTunes radio stations. It also captures my sad/sweet feelings about Christmas. Thank you for this, and for the sunshine.