Life’s been a whirlwind. The biggest news is that we found a house way sooner than we had expected to – in Washington, actually, which is just on the other side of the Columbia River from where we are now. We hadn’t planned on even looking in Washington (although a lot of people do live in Washington and work and/or shop in Oregon, as there is no state income tax in WA and no sales tax in OR), and we hadn’t planned on even seriously looking at all until after the first of the year. We did, however, start checking out open houses just as a means of exploring different areas and getting an idea of what kind of housing and property is out there. Well, one thing led to another, and we began to realize that real estate is even more affordable in WA than Oregon (or at least Portland and surrounding areas), so we looked at a few houses across the river just for kicks, and BAM! There it was, the house I fell immediately in love with. We saw a few more properties up there and here in Oregon, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that house. So we went to look at it again, and after talking it over and weighing all the pros and cons, conferring with the kids (they love it!) and praying on it (ha! just joshin’), we made an offer on it, and within two days we had a deal. So we are now officially in the process of buying a beautiful house on a gorgeous acre of land (the sellers are throwing in their ride-on mower!) with blueberry bushes and apple trees in a lovely neighborhood, all for less than we sold our little three-bedroom tract house for twelve years ago. If all goes smoothly, we should be moving sometime in February.
We definitely made the right move. We love it up here in the Pacific Northwest. My homesickness was pretty short-lived, although I do of course still miss my friends and feel pangs of nostalgia when I think about our life before our big move. I am feeling more at home here, and am excited about moving into a permanent home, and looking forward to establishing ourselves in a new neighborhood.
We’ve had quite a bit of snow up here – apparently more than usual. The kids love it and have spent many hours sledding down the street we live on, which is on a fairly steep hill. The only thing that’s not fun is driving on icy roads – Oregon does not prepare for snow like places do where it snows more regularly, so when it snows here, traffic and driving become a nightmare. We got stuck in gridlocked traffic in downtown Portland during a snowstorm last week for NINE hours, only to have the brakes on Michael’s car fail after we finally made our way out of the worst of the traffic. We had to abandon his car in a parking lot and take Uber home, and we were not able to get his car towed until four days later because every tow company in the area was unavailable because hundreds of people had had to leave their cards stranded around the city. It was awful, but honestly, I’m just grateful that we made it home safely.
Kevin came up for Thanksgiving, which was wonderful. He’s flying up this Friday to spend Christmas with us, too. He calls me almost every day, and he talks to his brothers and sisters almost every day, too. When I come across text messages between him and them on the iPad and see Kevin ending his conversations with them with, “Love you!” my heart swells. I’m thankful for the close relationships we have.
Life is good.