Twenty years, two entire decades; a long long time.
Today, I’ve been married to my best friend, my one true love, for twenty years. We met and fell in love when we were just kids. I think about that often and know, I’m one of the lucky ones. She’s been my rock more times than I can count, and honestly more times than she even knows. She’s picked me up, and held me up. She’s pushed me forward, sometimes in hindsight I realize she’s done so when I was kicking and screaming like a child. She’s a huge reason I am am the man today. She’s a huge reason I’m even alive today.
Dawn is the one who knows me better than I even know myself. She is the one who keeps our home running, and is an amazing mother to our son. And yes, he knows how lucky he is to have her as his momma. We’ve experienced every up and down one could imagine and got through it all together. I am so fortunate to be able to spend my life with such an amazing human.
Dawn, I love you more than I can even describe.
And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home……..
So I realized something recently; what I truly love about Portland is a sense of ‘not-doing’ I have come to accept. Not necessarily a non productive not-doing, but a sense of less rush, taking my time, observing the clouds. The realization that sometimes, it’s okay to do that.
California never really allowed too much of it, but that’s okay. The place just moves constantly. Although I grew up there and loved the busyness of it for most of my life, I ended up truly needing to get away from that once I entered my 40’s. And yes, I have fully accepted being an old man. Get off my lawn while you’re at it.
But here in the Pacific Northwest it’s okay to watch the trees, see them turn colors in the fall. To watch the clouds just float by while sitting on a park bench; almost in a monastic sense of just being.
It’s only been a few months since we’ve lived up here but I feel like I’m home.
But maybe not forever.
Who knows. I am beginning to wonder if one of the healthiest lessons we’ve learned when we moved away is simply that we can and everything is OK. Home is what you make of it. Family and friends are who you choose to become close with. Distance from someone never changes that.
Maybe this ‘not-doing’ is really just more time to reflect. I’ll take it.
We’ve settled into our new apartment fairly well and are really enjoying our new home. I’m constantly in awe of how gorgeous the Pacific Northwest is and at this point I’m starting to wonder if Dawn is getting tired of me exclaiming ‘wow, look at all the trees’ every time we drive anywhere.
The apartment fits us well for now and is teaching me how we really need less than we what we have. Finding places for the remaining boxes is motivating me to continue to get rid of my possessions. That said, we’re still working to put a few things away.
We recently took a few pictures to send to friend and family to show them our new home. I thought I would post a few as well to share. Please excuse the boxes…
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.