Friday, November 04, 2011

Thankful for Oregon


Portland Cityscape, Skyline, Dusk
Ya got time for a story? Well, here's a long one. :-)

When Jeff was interviewing for jobs after BYU, our choices were in Silicon Valley, CA, Austin, TX, Ft. Collins, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and Portland, OR. We were pretty sure we didn't want to live in Silicon Valley, so that one was crossed off pretty quickly. SLC sounded great to be near his family, but he worried about there being a small market for hardware engineers. (There is a huge market if you are a software engineer, but not quite the same thing!) We had lived in Austin, TX the summer of 1999 and Ft. Collins, CO in the summer of 2000, so we would have been happy with either of those, so that is where we were leaning. When Jeff went to OR for his first interview, he called me after(we didn't have cell phones yet!) and told me about the most beautiful bridge he had been across. He fell in love with Portland, and said, "Kelly, you have got to come here!" So, he had an interview with another company in Portland and asked if I could come with him for the trip. They agreed and I fell in love also! I went out with a realtor (yes, I went out with a realtor in each city- I was ready to buy a house after moving 7 times in the first 2 1/2 years of marriage!) and as we drove around, we came down this street and I knew if we moved there, it was the neighborhood I would live in.
It was a tougher decision for Jeff to make than he thought it would be. We finally narrowed it down to Austin or Portland. We made a list on paper with all the pros and cons and Austin seemed to win out. We even knew the house we would live in on Lake Travis. The cost of living was much lower in Texas than in Portland, and we really wanted to be able to buy a boat quickly. We went to bed and both were excited about the decision. We had lived in Austin and loved it and had friends there. It seemed like the right fit. Well, neither of us slept well that night. We woke up the next morning and realized we had made the wrong decision. We decided to move to Portland. It was scary. We did not have any friends or family living there, although Jeff had a cousin who would be going to law school there for another year or two, about 40 minutes south. We rented an apartment really close to Jeff's work, but I immediately went out to that neighborhood I had found 2 months earlier. I called the missionaries (since I didn't know anyone!) and asked them if they could give me the number of a family in the area who would tell me about the builders and schools, etc. Well, they told me about a street that had 15 LDS families living on it. The woman we called said they still had 2 houses for sale on their street and took us through them an hour later! Within a few days we had an offer on the house and we moved in 6 weeks later. It was perfect. We had a built-in family and we loved that house! We ended up living there almost 10 years.

The reason I am reminiscing is we had dinner with our good friends tonight and they were our very first friends in Oregon. So, we have been friends now for almost 11 years. We were set up on a "couples" date with them and one other Newlywed couple. None of us had kids yet and we hit it off really well. She ended up being in the hospital with me when I had Dallin and we have remained very close through the years. They even moved to CA for 3 years and we visited them there. (See Sarah, I promise we will keep in touch!! ) I love Oregon, and I love that I have a history with people. I think of all that has happened since we have been here- infertility, the passing of my father, job changes, life changes, 3 children, ADD diagnosis, disappointments, heartaches, accomplishments, my running group, playdates, beach trips, park days, good talks with friends, boating, and it all comes down to living in Portland and our little town. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people who live here and who have touched my life over the years. I will never forget the way I felt as I drove down the tree-lined street with the beautiful changing colors. I knew this was where I was supposed to be.

Anyone still here?! :-)


8 comments:

the emily said...

What a cool story! We had a similar experience a few years ago when my husband was offered a job in Santa Fe, NM. While we were praying together about it he stopped talking and was just quiet for like 30 seconds...ended the prayer and looked at me. I asked what was going on and he said "I literally couldn't remember what I was going to ask or say." Clearest stupor of thought I have ever seen. Obviously we didn't move to Santa Fe. :)

Kelly(M&M) said...

I was glad to know that I could recognize a "no" as well as a yes! It helped my testimony in receiving answers, that's for sure! I am sure you feel the same way! :-)

Kristyn said...

I love portland too! I don't live there, but love that you do so I can visit. :)

Kelly(M&M) said...

Kristyn-you need to visit! I miss you! Come do the Hippie Chick again. It is still open because they moved it to a new spot. Diane talked about all of you guys coming next summer and renting a beach house. We would love that!!

Beck said...

LOVED reading this story Kelly! That photo of the street you chose is just beautiful. My husband and I talk often about eventually leaving CA and moving out of state. Oregon is always at the top of our list of possibilities! Just beautiful! Hope things are well. I am enjoying your frequent blogging this month. Wish I had the discipline that you do with blogging!

Kelly(M&M) said...

Thanks for commenting, Beck! I always love your posts too. If you look at my post history, November is my only consistent month. It is my tradition! So stay tuned! If you ever want to come check out Portland, we would love to have you stay with us! We can take you wakeboarding on the river. Most amazing water!

K kid said...

I didn't end up moving to the same neighborhood that you did, but I remember driving around in our rental car while Dave interviewed to check out the neighborhoods and towns. I drove down the exact same street and I was in love-- I knew this was the town we were going to move to.

Kelly(M&M) said...

It is a beautiful street, especially this time of year! When I actually moved here, I was sad to see the barren trees. I joke that I dont know if I would have moved here! I also cried when I realized how cold the coast is!! But, we love it here!!