We made it home safely, although I could have done without the turbulence.
As for our pup, poor thing. She is going to be 10 in January and these kinds of injuries take their toll on this small breed dog. She is very sore, very tender, very unlike herself. Even upon hearing our voices and excitement to see her (it was just my husband and I), she didn’t come out of her bed to greet us and went straight to her crate when we got home where she barely moved all night. She’s got another 4 days of antibiotics and he one wound (between her shoulder blades) has an abscess and needs to be flush twice daily.
The thing that struck me most about Portland was how green and gorgeous it is. Somehow it is called the Rose City, but it really should be called Tree City as there are trees everywhere. So many trees lining the streets, the hills, the yards, creating a wall often times that blocks from view what’s behind them. We would drive down major thoroughfares from one town to the next and couldn’t see the shops or malls or strip malls for the trees.
We had lovely weather while there. It rained when we landed, rained overnight every night, but was mostly clear, if not sunny during the day. It made the extensive driving we did more manageable.
It is unlike LA in every possible way. That is not a judgment one way or the other, but the two cities could not be more different.
We toured every possible neighborhood in Portland that might be a fit as well as every suburb. We fell the most in love with Eastmoreland, around Reed College. But, the homes there are more expensive on smaller lots, so it’s not ideal but could work. Given my current love for mid-century modern homes, we found other neighborhoods that might suit us better both in terms of price point, schools, and type of home and those would be West Slope, Sylvan Heights, and Hillsdale. It is possible to find a 3+ bed/2+ bath, 2,500SF+ home on a regular sized lot for $500K.
Of the two realtors we met, one was clearly a better fit. She is a mom (to 20 yr old and 2 yr old daughters). She lent us a stroller so we didn’t have to pack one. She picked us up at our hotel and drove us everywhere, explaining the demographics, property values, and why people live in one area over another. The other one is almost 40, no married, no kids and she had us meet her at her office and our time together felt antiseptic. She left it to us to drive around and figure out where we thought we’d best fit vs. get to know us and offer her expertise.
My husband and I have had several conversations and will continue to do so as we process all that this trip was for us. If you’d have asked my on our first or second day (when we were virtually on our own), I would have wanted to fly home early and call it a bust. By our 3rd day, the day of our guided realtor tour, I was committed to moving. I feel excited and invigorated at the prospect that maybe a whole sale move was in our future and, gosh, wouldn’t that be a great adventure for our family. By yesterday and even now, I am not so sure.
On the one hand, knowing what is out there, having seen the possibilities, could we ever go home and settle into our lives and not move? On the other hand, is it worth the risk to uproot everything for even what appears to be an informed decision?
Do I have what is required to move away from what I have always known with the only real, albeit cultivated support system we have and start completely over? As must as the things that compelled us to look at Portland remain the same, what’s the cost of staying vs. going?
I am not afraid to move. The prospect excites me. I guess I’m just not all that confident that Portland is the place. I’m actually disappointed that it wasn’t clearer that Portland was beckoning us. I’m going to wear the memories around now that we are home and see what comes of it.