Fog shrouds the Door of Hope church in NE Portland.
Ellie and I weren’t the only ones out and about exploring the neighborhood as the snow continued to fall. They said we had a high of 94° today but I can’t see how when we’re having all this snow. Are they living in an alternate reality? I admit that driving to work today was as easy as if the roads were as clear as a summer’s day, but I put that down to my Subaru’s excellent all-wheel drive system. The house thermometer says 82° so it must still be stuck on Kelvin degrees. Which would be around -300° Fahrenheit, and I mean it’s cold but not that cold, but you can’t expect a household thermometer to be accurately calibrated for such cold temperatures. Brrrrr!
In early December, I wanted to photograph this maple in fall color in Irving Park with the Door of Hope church as a backdrop. Even though it is just a few steps from the dog park, I had to bribe Ellie with treats to even get her this far, as she was ready to head into the neighborhood. That’s not Ellie walking across the leaves in the first picture, she was by my side, fortunately another dog filled in as my model. We’ve had many great memories in this little park, the pup and I.
When we got an unusually heavy snowfall earlier in the month, I wanted a picture of the Door of Hope church in the snow. The church sits at the edge of Irving Park and Ellie and I used to pass it as we walked around the path that circles the park, but these days after a quick visit to the dog park she wants to head out into the neighborhood instead of going further into the park.
I had thoughts of making her go up to the church as the snow continued to fall, it isn’t much farther than the dog park, but I just couldn’t do it. This theme continued as we walked, on the one hand I knew this was a historic storm and it was not something I’d have the chance to photograph again, but on the other hand this was also going to be my only chance to enjoy this much snow with the pup, and I chose the pup. I did take pictures on our walk, some of her and some of the neighborhood, but only on streets she chose to go down. An hour and a half later I dropped off an exhausted Ellie at the house and went back out alone for more pictures. The snow was still falling as I reached the Door of Hope and took this picture.
A few days later I bribed Ellie with treats to get her up to the church on our morning walk, now bathed in the morning light, every inch of snow trampled underfoot by families enjoying the unusual snow. I had thoughts about making her sit in front of the little utility building from the previous post, it’s just a little further up the path to the left of this picture, but she wanted to go and I couldn’t say no.
Cars line NE Fremont Street as the sun sets behind the Door of Hope church. This is normal for a Sunday morning but this was a lovely, if hot, Friday evening and the cars belong to moviegoers in adjacent Irving Park attending Movies in the Park, a program put on by the city of Portland at various parks around the city throughout the summer. A band entertains the crowd as they await dusk and the start of the movie. I noticed the crowd beginning to gather when I took Ellie on her normal walk earlier in the evening, so I took her on a bonus walk near sunset to get these pictures. Her reward for sitting still while I took pictures was a generous helping of treats, which delighted her to no end.
The Door of Hope is a neighborhood church at the edge of Irving Park that Ellie and I sometimes pass on our walks (we used to go by it every time but our aging pup isn’t usually up for that long of a walk these days, especially in the heat of summer). I had taken my mirrorless camera with me that morning just to grab some snapshots on our walk, but with no image stabilization and an eager dog on the end of the leash, some of the pictures came out rather blurred. I could train Ellie to sit still while I’m taking pictures, but I don’t think I’ll ever try for serious pictures while we’re on our walks as I very much enjoy being in the moment with her.
This church wasn’t being used when we moved to the neighborhood over a decade ago and was slowly decaying until another church purchased it and renovated it and brought it back to life. When I took the picture I realized the original cornerstone was in between the two welcoming doors, reading something like Deutsche Congregationale Zion Kirche, which in English is Zion German Congregational Church (there’s a great picture of the original church there, with the congregation gathered outside for the photo, with a few people looking out from the windows and unfortunately a few people who were spread too far out and got cut out at the edges of the photo).
The church was founded in 1914 by the Volga Germans and has had a long history as the congregation, and the neighborhood around it, has changed. Prior to the church being built our little section of the neighborhood was a horse race track, a fact pointed out to me by a co-worker when I mentioned that when digging in the yard I kept finding these really old square nails, which he recognized as the nails used in horseshoes.