Sea Change

Walking with Cake: Fall flowers

(Early fall flowers.)

Every summer once the real Texas heat sets in, Ryan starts to talk about visiting a milder climate. In the past, he’s suggested Maine and Seattle, and I’ve always balked and changed the subject. But this year, he mentioned the idea of moving (moving!) to the Portland, Oregon area, and for some weird reason, I was intrigued. The timing seems right for us now: we’ve been in our current home for almost ten years; the boys are old enough to be somewhat independent, but young enough to still adapt well to change; Ryan works from home, which gives him amazing flexibility; and I’ve never really experienced an adventure quite like this.

So, we have a few basic plans in place, and if things work out, we’re seriously considering a big, cross-country move next summer, once the boys are out of school. Ryan contacted a realtor in the Portland area and is meeting with him next month on the end of a work trip to the region. We’ve been looking at houses, which is so much fun and so stressful, too. We’ll have to sell our house before we go, and that’s new territory, as well. Oh, and there’s also the fact that I’ve never actually been to Oregon, so we are planning a quick trip before the end of the year.

I’ve never lived anywhere besides south or central Texas, so this will be a huge experience for me. While I’ve moved a few times, they were short moves, with my things loaded into the back of my dad’s car or Ryan’s old truck. I’ve traveled a little, both in the United States and to Europe, but I’ve always come back to Texas. It’s my home. But I’ve experienced Texas for 37 years, so I think it’s time to try something new, if only for a little while.

Ryan grew up in a military family, so he is used to moving from place to place. While we’re not planning a move every four years, we do think it might be an amazing opportunity for our boys to see a different part of the country and to experience life in a different state. Moving to Portland has become pretty cliché in Austin, and a lot of people are migrating back and forth between the two cities right now. But it might be nice to be somewhere entirely different that is also a little bit familiar, too.

We’ve told our families and friends, and while they are sad, they’re also excited. Portland summers are mild compared to Austin, and there will soon be a direct flight between the two cities that’s about four hours long. That’s how long it takes us to drive to Galveston, if we stop for lunch on the way. Not too shabby!

I’m nervous and excited about this new adventure, and I know there will be a lot of stress and heartache along the way, too. We’re planning things carefully, mostly to help the boys acclimate to a huge life change, since they’ve lived in our current house their entire lives. This will be a big change for everyone, and I’ll try to share little updates as things progress.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear any moving tips you can offer, since it’s all new to me.

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