As a stream of consciousness here I am: I just entered the second half of my life and a happy one it is here in the Pacific Northwest. Portland Oregon to be exact. A wonderful, wet "small" city in a , what locals call a "very progressive" state that goes it's own way. It still has it roots in the logging world it started from. A "blue collar" land for sure.
A state both innovative and backwards. People are allowed to die with dignity at a time of their own choosing if faced with terminal illness, we vote by mail, have had deposits on most beverage containers since the 1970's, and also have a deplorable ranking in hungry people? children and adults) who are underfed and homeless. Luckily seemingly insightful leaders drew a line around most urban boundaries 35 years ago and forbid cities to sprawl and devour valuable agricultural land so property values are very durable since there is this "scarcity " of buildable property in town. Dilapidated buildings get recycled into something usable quickly. Recycled.. it is our middle name... There are no disposable areas of town that people walk away from their property. It is a vibrant alive town and though not up to European standards for bicycle use in commuting- it is the bike capital of North America when it comes to people commuting to work everyday. Even with our long rainy year. Public transportation is great with a comprehensive light rail / bus system that works.
Eaglecap Mt. / Wallowa Mountains / Eastern Oregon
So Portland is the same size, geographically, that it was in 1970 or so. It's population has of course quadrupled or more since then( an estimate) to about 1.5M. It is dense in population but you can escape and be in the mountains with a snap of your fingers. The scenic Oregon coast lies little more than a hour away, the Columbia River Gorge scenic area starts at it's Eastern door and Mt. Hood lies an hours drive east with skiing available about 340 days a year. It is an outdooor town, and artistic town and a musical town. It resembles the East coast type design in that neighborhoods are defined by a name and people patronize their neighborhood offerings.
This town is defined by three beverages: Beer, Coffee and Wine. Portland is a beer drinking and brewing capital - it boast the highest per capita micro-brewery concentration in North America. We are beer snobs and if there are not 40 + beers to choose from at the bar... we get picky! Coffee- did anyone say coffee? Coffee- I am sure we have 20 micro coffee roasters in town and an espresso stand or machine every 50 yards. It along with the taverns help us fortify ourselves against the long wet Fall, Winter an Spring seasons... then we do have that dry stretch from July through September... we still drink coffee then too! The last beverage is wine... Oregon has a newer wine heritage than California but our Pinot Noir is acclaimed and our Pinot Gris( a crisp white) is also a regional varietal that gets good reviews. Once again it is no Napa... but the wine country is 20 minutes from downtown and is a fun thing to share with friends. Did I also forget to mention that Portland sports one of the two licensed distillers of Absinthe in the US???
So now this little page about me - seems to be about Portland and Oregon... well this is where I escaped to about 12 years ago when I had the epiphany that I needed to make a quality of life move from Texas. This is where I came and it saved me through enrichment. I found a wonderful wife, Janet, and through her now bask in the glow of a fabulous daughter...Madeleine...Maddy. They along with Maggie our Old English Sheepdog round out the Mo- Clan...You will meet them all in other places here.
BTW.....Mo, just old southern slang for my last name...Moore
Ciao and thanks if you read all this ...