Today is an anniversary. It is the anniversary of the day me and my family officially arrived in Portland. Today one year ago (2012) we signed our lease, pulled the moving truck in front of the Duplex and began unloading.
It was pouring rain (it is Portland after all). 🙂 And we were exhausted from driving 2 cars, one 26 foot moving truck, three people and nine animals 1500+ miles from Phoenix to Portland in 2 days. But the truck had to go back the next morning, which meant it had to be empty.
So we started unloading. We unloaded into the garage and then big stuff got carted to it's room. One bit of fun was the stairs. So half of the items (including desks, dressers and beds had to be hauled up the stairs. And to make it even more fun the stairs have a U-turn in them half way up. (Try getting 6′ book shelves and King sized under drawer beds around a U-turn in a stairwell 🙂 )
But it all didn't matter. Even in the rain it was beautiful. Since we moved in November Portland was right in the middle of Fall. And we are again now.
I grew up in Boise (which had Fall) but after 18 years with minimal Fall colors in Phoenix you think you remember but you really don't. The colors are amazing! Even a year later I can't get over it. Orange, Yellow, Purple, Red, Brown, and every variety and shade in between. Even the rain and fog help with the beauty.
In the spring there are flowers and bursts of color everywhere. Flowers like I have never seen. Even if they were there in Boise (which they probably were) I was was too young and unaware to notice them. But now I see them everywhere I go.
We go hiking (or sometimes more like nature walking) once a week. And there are literally forests right in the middle of the city! You park and walk about 5 minutes down the trail and you are surrounded by trees taller than the tallest buildings and you cannot hear the cars or city sounds and you feel like you are in the middle of a huge forest in the middle of no where.
The vibrant greens still take my breath away a year later. I am amazed daily by the beauty I am surrounded by.
And the people. Most everyone is friendly. We have local kids knocking on our door to fund-raise. I know it sounds silly but we didn't have that in Phoenix and we lived a block from 2 elementary schools. Here I get a couple of kids about once every couple of months.
Also in Phoenix if you left anything outside (items you wanted to get rid of) they would just magically disappear. So you better make sure you wanted to “donate” them to whoever came by and picked it up. Here…people knock on the door and ask if we are wanting something hauled away. 🙂
It can be hard to move to a new place, and when we do it we tend to pick up and move 1500 miles to a place none of us have been, where we don't know anyone. It isn't necessarily on purpose, it has just kind of worked out that way.
But each time it seems to work out. We LOVE it here. I LOVE it here. I can go for a walk and see a random Raccoon (yes…raccoon) run across the street. I can drive 15 minutes from my front door and see the second tallest water fall in the United States (and it has 7 more around it and I have hiked to all of them). I am in a city that has everything you would expect to find in a big city. But I also have forests in the middle of it. And the way everyone here behaves you would think I lived in a small town of 5000 were everyone knows everyone.
People have gardens in their front yards, they understand doggy etiquette, they smile nod and say hello when you walk by them, you can walk into the local coffee shop and run into 3 people you know at any given time of the day on any day of the week and it is breath takingly beautiful 365 days a year.
What's not to love?
I can't wait to see what Year Two brings!