Monday, April 02, 2012

Finally Moving to Portland!

Back in 2009, when I first came up with the idea of designing and building a permaculture homestead, I knew that I wanted to be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.  It seemed to me that Washington and Oregon were the heart of the permaculture movement in the US, and I wanted to be among people with whom I could learn, grow, and form community.  As I developed my ideas and dreams, I eventually narrowed my interest to living in or around Portland.  There seemed to be an abundance of people interested in permaculture, an abundance of outdoor opportunities, and a lot of other things that interested me.  Now, after a year in Olympia, the things I thought I would like about Portland have been cemented for me in my few excursions to visit that fine city.

And now, the time has finally arrived that I will get to live there.  My girlfriend Kelsey has applied to, will probably be accepted to, and will therefore be attending nursing school at OHSU.  I'm enacting a transfer to a branch of my work in downtown Portland, where I'll be starting on Apr 24th.  We've found a wonderful apartment in the Hillsdale neighborhood that is dog friendly, has community garden space, and is a 15 minute bus-ride from school for Kelsey, and a 5.9 mile bike-ride from work for me.  The Tryon Community Farm (which I would like to try to become involved with) is only 3.5 miles away by bike, and our neighborhood is pretty cool.  There are 2 microbreweries, several grocery stores (including a food co-op), a year-round farmers market, and many other typical amenities within walking distance of our apartment... even though our apartment is in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood.  I've found some CSA's that I'm going to investigate, and a couple of folks who raise grass-fed beef to try to buy a beef half from.  All in all, it's exactly what I imagined Portland would be like when I decided I wanted to live there.

For anyone who has been reading my blog long enough to remember my GOTu Portland tag, the time has finally arrived.  Even though I got out of Tucson a little more than a year ago, I didn't quite make it to Portland.  I feel like I'm finally going home after a 14 month stint in Olympia, and I'm excited.

Olympia has been good.  I met the love of my life.  The path I thought I'd follow has changed (both in good and bad ways), and I've grown as a person.  I've met many people who I hope to keep in touch with for as long as they're interested, and I've seen and experienced some very cool places.  I'll miss the view of Mt. Rainier on a clear day.  I'll miss drinking beer on the dock at Boston Harbor Marina (where I'm currently writing this post) and gazing out at the Olympics.  I'll miss the Eastside Tavern (where I first met Kelsey) and the artesian well across the street.  I'll miss the wonderful people I work with, no matter how well we keep in touch.  Olympia is the first place I lived outside of my hometown, so it will always have a special place in my heart... but I'm excited to go somewhere where I can envision spending the rest of my life.  Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen's will feed my need to see beautiful volcanic mountains.  I'll find another Boston Harbor Marina where I can relax and enjoy some natural beauty (and brews).  And most importantly, I'll find a place where I can plant some roots, both real and metaphorical.  My Permie Homestead is closer to reality than ever, and I am so excited about that.

I look forward to sharing more as my Permie Homestead begins to transition from the conceptual phase in which all projects begin to the on-the-ground reality we all hope they reach.  I'm thankful for all of the things that have come into play to get me where I am.  And as always, to you, thanks for reading.