Our shipment is on its way to Memphis... our bags are packed... the car is loaded to the brim... goodbyes have mostly all been said. We are leaving Portland early tomorrow morning to begin our long trek across North America, and I sit here trying to absorb the reality that this is our last night in the Northwest for who knows how long.
I really have mixed feelings about leaving Oregon. On the one hand, I am excited about going back to Memphis, reconnecting with the friends we have there, getting into a place of our own, being just our family again. But on the other hand, I will really miss living here! I love the Northwest. It is such a beautiful part of the country. In fact, I can't think of any other place in the U.S. that I would rather live than here. And after having lived here for five years (four years in college and then this last year), I feel more "at home" in Oregon than anywhere else. It is where Rusty and I met, dated, got married, and started our life together, and I have always hoped that when we finally stop being global nomads, we will settle down somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
We were supposed to leave today, but we had so much still to do that we finally decided to just stay one more night, and get an early start tomorrow. So tonight, Rusty took me to Beaches, one of our favorite restaurants in the Portland/Vancouver area. We sat outside on the deck overlooking the mighty Columbia River, felt the cool breeze as evening fell, and reflected on this last year. It has definitely been a year filled with lots of struggle and sadness -- but there have been bright spots and moments of joy, too. I had the sense that we were closing out this chapter of our lives... And I look forward to turning the page tomorrow to a new chapter!
Memphis, here we come!