This is Tanya's second Laurelhurst home. She loved the unique houses and beautiful tree-lined streets so much she decided to stick around when she needed to make a move in 1985. Since then it's had a major remodel, and we got started by asking what changes have been made and what she likes most about her home.
- Fireplace refaced with travertine
- Deep-sixed the wall-to-wall carpet and refinished the hardwoods
- Changed the garage doors
- Installed French doors to the backyard and laid a stone patio
- Added an upstairs dormer to make space for a new master suite and bathroom
- Gutted and redesigned the kitchen
- Re-landscaped both the front and backyard (more than once) — and had the stone walls rebuilt in both front and backyard
"What I like best about my home is that the rooms are spacious and the home is cozy and comfortable at the same time. It’s not super large as homes go, but there is plenty of space for two to spread out and not feel like we’re on top of each other.
I love living in a neighborhood where I know all of my neighbors on the street. I am currently involved in an effort to preserve this neighborhood from the changes that are evident in all of Portland, especially the eastside, from demolitions and infill.
I think it’s critical to get historic designation to preserve this and other similar neighborhoods (Eastmoreland). There is a lot of talk about “affordability” through the infill process, but developers are indiscriminately tearing down beautiful old homes and erecting ugly “skinny” homes or houses that are not compatible in architecture or materials.
I started walking with the group in its infancy about 12 years ago when it was much smaller. I was invited by Dalene. It has grown and changed over the years with members inviting their friends and neighbors to join. We have about 48 walkers although some come very sporadically. Many travel a lot. Wednesday mornings are always reserved for these walks, so I just keep the morning free — no appointments.
This community of vital, interesting women from all parts of the country, different ages and careers-either past or present-has been very empowering. We are supportive of one another and have learned from each other. The wealth of knowledge that is exchanged is amazing: everything from recipes to books to movies to medical practitioners to fashion, etc. And we all like to eat!
There are some very athletic bike riders in the group (that would NOT be me) who have gone on bicycle trips together. Dalene, Carole Woodrich, Ellen Teicher and I have traveled twice together, once to Ireland and once to France. You never know how it’s going to be with more than 2 people, but we are very compatible and there’s never drama. We have a great time together.
Recently, a friend in my neighborhood started another small group for us eastsiders. We walk on Tuesday mornings and the walks are a little shorter (4-5 miles). It’s nice to have the variety.
When I retired from my job with United Airlines in 2003, I wanted to volunteer my time with something I was really passionate about. I had volunteered in the past with organizations like NARAL, but I felt that my skills weren’t being utilized very well.
A good friend was volunteering with the Oregon Humane Society doing outreach at the time (she later became the Operations Director) and she encouraged me to volunteer there. I started dog walking and never looked back. I love dogs anyway (we just lost our beloved Black Lab, Scout, in December) but my husband and I have had dogs all our lives and we currently have a 2-year old Red Lab, Roxy.
Volunteering at OHS was a natural fit. Over the years I have not only walked dogs there but also participated in Pet Pals, a program where we advocate for one particular dog; mentored new volunteers; done Nose Work; and participated in Second Chance (OHS brings dogs from different shelters where overcrowding puts dogs at risk of being euthanized.) I've deployed with the ASPCA to Joplin, MO after the tornado and recently to Ohio where we worked with investigations dogs from fighting rings. This work is very meaningful to me and extremely rewarding. I have a lot of fun matchmaking — helping friends find a perfect dog for them.
I attended the Women’s March in January. I feel very strongly about the political turn in this country and am still having a hard time coming to grips with the new reality. I felt that the show of strength and solidarity was very powerful and I am so proud to have participated that day.
My own political beliefs are much more liberal than those espoused by the current administration and I am devastated at what’s happening on all fronts. Women’s rights are being attacked all the time so we must stand together and RESIST."
D. Larson, ed.