Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Goodbye Portland, it's been...

Upon finding out I was leaving the next day, my friend's roommate asked me if I got everything I wanted to out of my time in Portland.

It was an interesting question... I arrived in Portland six weeks ago with a suitcase filled with all the wrong clothing for rain, a carry-on stuffed with lots of books to read, and very few expectations.

I arrived to my new 'home' with two roommates (Mary and Tim), a puppy (Charlie), a kitten (Sneaks), and a cat (Roxy) welcoming me in.

I would say my time in Portland got better with every new day. I started out spending my early days google-mapping my way to the grocery store by bus (which took 55 min vs 5 minutes by car), trying to connect with people (thankfully Mary's got great friends who made that easy), and figuring out what the heck to do with the other 21 hours of my days.

Some days I baked, other days I followed Mary to school like a puppy who didn't know boundaries, and most of the time I searched for things I could do in Portland on Craigslist. Eventually that first week I made my way to the mall. I realize that I don't work well with big chunks of alone time when I don't have a plan... or a car, I suppose.

The one thing I knew I wanted to do was see a counselor.

She would be my only consistent thing in my schedule for my time in Portland. Also, I was slowly adjusting to living with pets again since moving out of my parent's home.

I have an interesting history with cats and dogs after growing up with 5 dogs throughout my life. None of them bigger than a loaf of bread (4 Yorkies: Candy, Twiggy, Fabio, and Princess "Jazz" Jasmine... and a Toy Poodle: Biscuit) and none of them were ever really potty trained. I came away with a theory that unless it's capable of pooping in a toilet, it shouldn't be living in your home.

Charlie, who for the most part could hold it in until we went for his walk, has helped redeem that a little for me, but I still have pet poop issues.

My cat issue came from the time I was about 12 years old, carrying my dog to to my aunt's house and her cat got that crazy look where all the hairs on her back stand up and she attacked us. I have 2 scars on my left hand as a reminder of that night.

After about two weeks in Portland, I realized I needed a couple things for my new situation... a car (thank you enterprise for an amazing deal) and a lint brush (thank you whoever invented those things)! The ensuing four weeks flew by.

I loved being in the Pacific Northwest! I loved sharing life with Mary as The Daily Show and Colbert Report entertained us. I loved taking Charlie for walks (when he wasn't pooping and it wasn't raining). I loved being able to visit Kristen in Corvallis, Oregon and staying up until 2am talking and praying and laughing with/at each other. I loved OPB (Portland's version of NPR) in the mornings and latte art at Crema Cafe. I loved my GPS (for the most part). I loved being able to explore a new town with it's new cafes, martini bars, bookstores, woodsy trails and daily adventures ahead of me.

I loved not having to produce anything in or around me in those six weeks and look back to see how God is transforming things in me.

So, I reflect as I return back to Las Vegas after a 6 month hiatus and work on making my condo my home once again, I suppose the answer to my friend's roommate's question is YES and so much more.


Mary said...

We loved having you too...and summer is gorgeous here-we could ride bikes and I'll be on the other side of the river...

Teri said...

It's nice to read about your time there - and all you got out of it.
Hope your post-sabbatical time is rich, too.

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