Exit Strategy

A home in the Irvington neighborhood is covered in Christmas lights and snow in Portland, Oregon

After we leave the dog park at Irving Park, I let Ellie choose which of the four exits we take to launch back into the neighborhood and the main part of our walk. This house abuts the park at the east side of the tennis courts, and although she usually prefers to walk down the eastern side of the street, lately she’s been choosing the western side where this house sits. She wasn’t with me on this walk, she didn’t want to go out last night or this morning. I wouldn’t have let her go this morning even had she wanted to, a thin layer of ice built up overnight atop the snow and the roads and sidewalks were mostly ice altogether, too treacherous for an elderly pup who isn’t that confident in her footing.

This is from the evening before, Christmas Eve, as the snow still fell and the light rapidly faded. I love how varied the sizes and shapes and colors of the houses are in this old neighborhood and took advantage of the Christmas lights to photograph some of them. There are benefits to a modern house if we have to move, and maybe we’ll end up somewhere with a more photogenic place to photograph backyard wildlife, but I love our house and I love our neighborhood. It’s going to be hard to leave.

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