California has been good to me. I was born here and had a great childhood here. I enjoyed many years of youth soccer here, later to become a coach for my own son.
I met my wife here in California. She was also born here and grew up in the state. Though we went to different schools, she and I had similar experiences with it. We went on to get married at a restaurant that her family had a tradition of celebrating things at. It became our place to celebrate things as well. In fact, in the coming weeks, we will be having a going away party there with a number of friends; some we have known longer than we’ve been married.
We had a child here in California. It has been a fantastic place to raise him so far. I think we’ve been able to give him a wonderful childhood so far. The schools he has attended have been something I especially appreciate. The teachers have been amazing; able to push him further than I would expect.
Each of my loving grandparents are buried here in California. None of them were born here though, each migrated here from other places. Heck, my Great Grandfather came all the way over from Sweden. Something I think about from time to time as we do a bit of reflection in preparation for our move out of the state.
We’ve made tons of friends here in California. People I fully expect to know into my later years. Many of them weren’t born here though. Come to think of it, many have moved away as well. Again, something I thought about as we worked towards our move.
It’s time to leave our home state for a new one. It’s time to seek new adventures and new experiences. Time to call a new place home.
We’re moving to Portland, Oregon.
A few years ago, we went and visited some great friends that had moved there. Friends we had made here in California, back in our high school days. We really enjoyed our time there.
Then a couple years ago, we started thinking about moving away. More and more it felt like something we needed to do. It was time to grow. We considered a few places, but somehow Portland kept coming up, at least in my mind.
This past January we traveled back to Portland to see our friends (and a few others we have made over the years). We also went with a different mindset than just simply going on vacation. We chose a week in January thinking it would be questionable weather and we would have to deal with it. Of course when we arrived the sun was shining and our friends thanked us for bringing the sun with us. Figures, right?
This time, within a few minutes of being there, I knew it was somewhere I wanted to call home. As I drove along in our rented car, I looked off in the distance to see a mountain, covered by a forest, fading away into the clouds. I commented to my wife “I could look at that every day.”
Drivers were courteous, people said thank you when you opened the door for them. It just felt right.
It’s a place I’m looking forward to calling home.