Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunlight sneaking through the clouds

[Oatie, the incredibly spoiled, overly doted-on chihuahua, in the Gorge]

The rain had been avoiding Portland, but our fake-summer is over and the water from the sky is back upon us. I don't mind. It's near sixty most days and the rain drips from the sky without wind. Sometimes the sun even shines through, which is a surreal effect.

We spent today on all things bikes. First to a bike swap, which we'd hoped to find a used bike for Justin, but instead was mostly high-end new bikes, way beyond our feeble budget. We're looking in the $500 or less range. The situation on used bikes here is a bit high-end anymore, as there are so many cyclists. I've discovered that bike shipping is reasonable, and I'm going to send 1-2 of my bikes from Iowa to here for about $80 each. When I first came out I wasn't sure what I was doing, so I left most of my stuff in Iowa. Now there are a lot of things hiding in my mom's basement that I'd like to have.

I recently finished a book about the history of the bike lanes and how Portland came to be USA's cycling city (called Joy Ride). It stated that 28% of Portlanders bike commute at least one day a week and that 14% of traffic here was by bicycle. So apparently we're not the only ones interested in the foot-pedaled mode of transport. But there's safety in numbers, and in the years since I've been gone, there's been a noticeable increase in bike lanes, bike friendliness, and courtesy of cars towards bikes. More often than not when we are at an intersection, cars will stop or wave for us to go. I still remember being yelled and honked at in the past and nearly run down by a Trimet bus. We've experienced none of that since returning this time.

We've been having the best time being together out here- the first time in our relationship when we were together and working and having fun and having a normal life. All the time before, things were pieced together in a semi-long-distance relationship. Removing ourselves from family and living a more normal existence has been so relaxing. Sometimes you don't realise the stress that is carried by being surrounded by family (or sort of trapped on a small island). We both love music and arts and nature and people. Spending time at coffee shops, wandering around town, heading out into the trees, sharing time with Carrie & Oatie... it's all been better than I ever imagined.

When I packed up and headed 3000 miles across the country, I had no idea what was in store next. I only knew that I had to do it. I cried for the first 1500 miles, until I got to Iowa. After I got here, there were long nights of emotional conversations. It was not an easy road. But I think it was the right one.

We're doing good. We sleep like babies together. Everyday we wander around town, and spend time on the couch. There's not a day that goes by that I regret what I did, and I'm happy every day to have Justin here. I'm thankful for this time also with Carrie, the two of us getting to spend time with her. Knowing that Carrie and Justin were out at the farmer's market and trying on vintage cowboy boots while I was at work on Saturday seriously warmed my heart (even if I was a little jealous). I told Justin I was glad that he was hanging out with her, that it made me happy and thanked him. He said they have a good time together, that it was no big deal. It was fun for both of them. That made me so happy.

I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart for life right now.

“Every morning we are born again.
What we do today is what matters most.”

Enjoy your gift of now. It's all we have. - JD

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