Oregon has been our home for 13 lucky years. We've come a long way, Oregon and me. From having to look on a map to see exactly where Portland was located before our first visit, to that familiarity and comfort of a longtime relationship, it has been hard to say goodbye. Crossing the state line into Idaho on our roadtrip to Boston, with Oregon in the rearview mirror, it was emotion filled to be sure. Of course it was!
We arrived in 1998 knowing one person. It is the only home my sweet husband has ever known in the United States. It felt like the wild west (((still does sometmes))), and people were way too friendly (((still are sometimes))). The drivers were so polite (((turns out they're lousy drivers))), the landscape was breathtaking (((still is))), and you could make a difference (((still can))). The fashion sense left much to be desired (((still does))), and dogs seemed to outnumber people (((they do now))). The wine region was amazing (((more amazing now))), and when the sun was shining, there was no more beautiful place anywhere. They wrote about the salmon as much as they did the citizens in the local paper (((never understood this))) and neighbors would be up-in-arms when an osprey nest was in danger of being relocated (((you get the picture))).
When we left this past week we had friends who became family. We had a neighborhood that became a community. We were regulars in our favorite restaurants. We had things we loved and hated about the place. It was home. It still is.
In the rearview mirror, I saw Oregon getting further and further away, and the tears fell (((and fell))). It wasn't sadness for leaving it behind (((well, maybe a little))), it was for the blessing of taking it all with me.
I will miss seeing you everyday sweet Oregon home.