It's been one year since my family and I moved to Oregon.
It's been a year of ups and downs, and a lot has changed, including me. I moved here initially with the child and the cat, and we were joined by my husband and the dog in November. Crossing the country from New Mexico to Oregon with a young child and a grumpy cat was simultaneously fun, exciting, and terrifying. When we arrived, Portland was in the midst of a two day heat wave.
I was recently talking to someone about something I noticed. When we first moved here and I went out for a run, nobody waved or said, "Good morning," which usually happened when I was out for a run in Albuquerque. Maybe people aren't as nice here as I expected, I thought. It was disappointing. But at some point while out for runs, people started saying hello or giving me the runner's wave . In fact, recently a woman gave me a wave from across the street. So did everybody suddenly get nice? No. It was me. When we moved here, I was on edge. I was the only adult in the household, getting a child ready for a new school and looking for a job for myself. I was going through a major life change and trying to hold it all together. I usually look mad even though I'm usually perfectly content, but I must have looked downright ferocious those first few weeks. No wonder nobody wanted to make eye contact with me, much less wave. They were probably afraid I'd bite their fingers off.
Since then I've settled into my new home, my new neighborhood, my new life. I'm better prepared for the next winter I go through here, and I'll be better prepared for the next summer I go through here. I've explored parts of the Columbia River Gorge and parts of the Oregon Coast. I've seen lots of weird people, and being a weird person myself, I feel like I've found my tribe. The people at my local coffee shop know my name. When I went in this morning, an employee greeted me warmly by name and said, "I haven't seen you in a long time!" I hadn't had a chance to go in to write because the kid was always with me on my days off. This place is home.
I write fantasy, horror, and science fiction. I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2007, and I belong to an online writing community called Codex. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm addicted to coffee and chocolate.