Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pining for Portlandia

Missy and me.  Yes, she is Tall.
My baby sister - OK, she's 31 - just called me to say she and her family are being transferred to Alameda this June.  Alameda!  Right across from San Francisco!  Right off the East Bay!  Within shouting distance of Napa, and Carmel, and Monterey, and Sausalito...all those spectacular Northern California spots - how wonderful is that?

And then my other baby sister - OK, she's 35 (sorry, rarr) - has an interview at the University of Washington, our alma mater, in a few weeks.  Which means...she may be moving back to the Motherland too!

So my whole family might be on the West Coast again?  And MOI?  I will still Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Ahhhhhhhhh.

I am going to try my damnedest not to throw a pity party, but I'll admit I felt like the wind was knocked out of me when I heard about my sister's move.  And I know I have no reason to complain, what with our nice house, good schools, no traffic life here.  This town is an easy place in which to raise a buttload of kids, which is no small thing.  But yet:  I have been simply haunted lately by the decision we made to move here almost six years ago.  At the time, I was pregnant with my third child; it was in the middle of tax season (never, never make a life-altering decision if you are a CPA in the middle of freaking tax season, you all), and PVT's law partner had just flaked on him.  The options for PVT in Portland simply seemed limited at the time.  And so he got this job here.

And I was thrilled:  justifiably thrilled because I would likely get to stay home with my three baby boys.  And I was thrilled - less justifiably - that we would be able to afford a big, lovely, new house!  I love my house - I still do.  But a house in a place that still doesn't really feel like home is, in the end, just a house.

I think I underestimated my adaptability.  I underestimated how much I would miss the all the lush green topography.  How I miss hills and mountains!  And all the water.  All the green, blue water.  In Seattle or Portland, you can drive an hour and be sitting on an ocean beach.  Drive an hour the other way and you're  up in the snowy Cascades.  Drive an hour from here and you're in...Oklahoma City.  No offense, Oklahoma City. 

I grew up playing in the damp, mossy woods around my house, playing crazy made-up games with my sisters.  My dad would take us to one of the jillion parks around our house, parks that were filled with meandering trails, huge trees, berry bushes.  It slays me that my children are not growing up outdoors like that, getting dirty, stepping on slugs, with a constant pelt of drizzle on their ruddy cheeks.  How I wanted them to have that kind of childhood.  Why wasn't I thinking about those kind of things when we moved?

Alright, alright.  You know I miss Nordstrom too.  Even having the option of just going - not buying, PVT, just going! - and fingering the lovely duds and licking the shoes was a big mood lifter.  What can I say?  I"m as shallow as they come.

Did I make a huge mistake?  Should we have waited it out longer in Portland?  When you're in your early 30s, nothing feels like it's going to be permanent - yet.  But now we are up against 40.  Is this it?  Will we be here forever?

I can't think in those terms, though - forever.  No one can; forever is too unforeseeable, too big.  I have to trust that if we are supposed to move back, the The Big Man Upstairs will see to it that PVT finds some magical COO-esque job in Portland, or Seattle. 

And meanwhile we're hardly suffering.  I must content myself with this still-wonderful life, my silly online shopping, our summer trips back home, and watching this absolutely perfect little tribute to our old hometown.
Doesn't it make you want to move there, too?  If only for the entertainment value?


kforbes said...

But we love having you here!

cjh said...

Oh how we think alike! Wish I could just settle and be content with the fact we are here for the long haul but NO so many other places have so much more to offer for quality of life. I must say the people and friends here are the positive point. Hmmm...