in the slow


Oh, Portland.  I love you, but you are not the Portland of our childhoods, the Portland of our 20s, or even the Portland of eight years ago, when we moved to Salem.  It's been a bit of a bittersweet realization in the last two years since we've been back that as much as we like the new and interesting things that have come to (especially our side of) town, with them has come congestion and density and expense.  My husband works on the other side of town and it has taken him as long as two hours to get home in the evening, the average being somewhere between an hour to an hour and a half.  When we go to Mt. Hood or to the Gorge to hike, we can't find parking half the time and the trails are flooded with people.  We end up going down south to our old beach because getting to/through Cannon Beach/Ecola is an endless line of traffic.  As a result, our outdoor excursions have greatly diminished since being back here.  There's no heading out the door when Papa gets home to go somewhere for a quick dip or paddle, like we did often at Silverton Reservoir, or to Minto-Brown for a quiet evening picnic.  We are really missing the advantages of being somewhere a little more rural.  The ease of it.  The slow of it. 

A couple of weekends ago we drove down to Salem and spent several hours at Minto-Brown Island Park.  We walked the path we have walked so many times before, right to our favorite fishing, nature-collecting, reading, bike-riding, picture-taking, cloud-gazing, bird-watching spot, spread out a blanket, and reveled in the quiet familiarity, in the slow, in the now.  Bliss.


Amber said...

I feel like Salem always gets such a bad rap (no culture, nothing to do, bad food, etc.), but it really is changing. And also I feel like trying to BE the change I want to see so we're getting out, riding our bikes, eating at the new places and exploring. It still bugs me when people come to visit me and expect me to take them to Portland everyday!! There are things to do here! :)

Lori said...

Amber, thank you! So nice to see this first thing this morning. I agree. I admit it was exciting to have all these restaurants and shops close by here when we came back, but honestly, we rarely visit them. It probably sounds weird, but I can't tell you how much I miss the library and the farmers' market there - even with the big ones here! I absolutely love what you said - BE the change! Btw, we're having company next week and taking them down to Salem to look around! Go Salem! 😀

Denise said...

did you recently move? I'm not sure I knew that. What you feel about Portland is the same for Seattle. Traffic is miserable, the worst. I live 7 miles from my work so not too bad for me but even going anywhere on the weekends involves traffic. And, I totally understand the hiking/parking of the reasons I don't go as much anymore! I sound like a big whiner but really, just keep thinking about how much more I just enjoy being home!

Lori said...

Hi Denise! We're from Portland but spent six years in Salem, moving back to PDX two years ago. Even where we live - which is not in one of the trendy neighborhoods - traffic can be awful. My sister lived in Seattle for a while and I remember how bad it was there...and driving up to Canada two years ago, it took us two hours to just get through the downtown Seattle area on the freeway! I love what the city has to offer, but like you, I'd rather be home or out in the woods! ♥

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