Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How I came to Oregon, Part 2

The story continues...
They called me for an interview for the job applied for. I couldn’t believe it. I needed to go to Portland, so I tracked down a friend from school who I thought had moved north. She and her husband shlogged to the airport at 3:45 am to pick me up, and over the course of the weekend, I fell in love with the place.

Rainy, damp, old: this was a city, more than the little college town I was visiting from. Bridges, dingy old town (this was pre-Pearl), parks and things so green. I saw the Columbia River Gorge and it took my breath away. We had the best beer and rustic pesto bread at the downtown Widmer bakery and brewpub (it’s now Southpark). The music scene was beginning to buzz with the grunge scene of the early 1990s, and we saw live music, visited Saturday Market, had the best coffee at a place called Coffee People and we rode the MAX to most of the places we went. This was a really cool city.

The interview went well. While at my friends apartment, I received a call. It was a voice from a long time ago, my friend Sally. We grew up together, with shared memories from first grade through her marriage in Scotland—which was the last time we had spoken… I had called her on her wedding day at the Scottish pub where they were celebrating, her thick accent surprising me, but like old friends do, the miles between us flew away and we laughed and giggled and enjoyed the moment.

It was Sally’s voice now that I heard on the other line of that phone on my second day visiting Portland, and she said she had called my parents in Southern California just now, hoping to reconnect with me. She wasn’t in Scotland anymore.

“Where are you now?” I asked, imagining New York or California or London. “I’m in Portland, Oregon,” she answered “and I work downtown near Saturday Market. I couldn’t stop thinking about you today and needed to track you down.” Of course I had been at Saturday Market that day, oogling at all of the hand made items, especially the spoon man and all those things he could make from spoons.

I had to sit down. It was a bit much of a coincidence. It had been months, or years since we had last spoken, and to think she tracked me down while I was visiting Portland for the very first time. Of course, we met up while I was visiting (over coffee, duh!), and her love of the place was infectious. By now I saw all of the pieces falling into place and the obvious direction I was being pointed towards. I was meant to live in this place, and if I got the job, I knew I would return.

A week back in Chico, I got the call of a job offer. They even paid for my move. I was moving to the place I was meant to be, in Portland, Oregon.

9 comments:

patti_cake said...

Great Story Lelo, isn't is awesome how destiny steps in sometimes and things just fall neatly into place.

purpletwinkie said...

What a wonderful story. You are making me homesick for Portland and I don't even live there.

Rozanne said...

Wow. And I thought there were a lot of coincidences in Part I.

Can totally relate to the way you fell in love with PDX. The same thing happened to me. I love all the old buildings. It seemed like every time you turned a corner there was a building with a National Historic Register plaque on it. And you know what that means--the building can never be torn down! This was at a time when Chicago was tearing down all its beautiful old buildings and turning them into strip malls.

Recovering Straight Girl said...

That's a lovely story LeLo, and I am so glad that you are here!!!

Zoe said...

stop, you're making Portland sound like the place to be.

pack of 2 said...

You do belong in Portland...it doesn't get any clearer than that!

What an awesome story.


shelly

bemused said...

Loved this story!

I came to Oregon - the first time - on a whim. I was stuck in a dead-end job when my brother invited me to move out here with him. Sure, why the heck not. I gave notice and 2 weeks later, I was on my way to Oregon. I felt as you did, lelo - this place felt like home the moment I arrived.

The 2nd time I moved here, 6 years after I left, it was all my hubby's fault. He asked me to marry him. He's a native, living here; I lived in sunny but cool (as in, unfriendly) South Florida. I jumped at the chance to return to Oregon. Oh, yeah, hubby was my neighbor when my bro and I lived in Corvallis.

Sally K said...

Yeah, that was a weird day...as I remember correctly we caught up over beers at The Blue Moon! There I was sitting at my deak and your name came screaming into my brain! We have a connection - for sure.

And weren't your shoe laces purple checked???

I miss you Lelo! and your little dog too...

LeLo in NoPo said...

Sally K!!!!!!! It's you! You must e mail me with your e mail address....my stat counter tells me you're still in Vermont. I miss you too, and yes, I believe Wink looks like Muffin. I was thinking that the other night: we are so connected it's freaky. You better e mail me!