Except of course, we did, two years ago, and while we're very happy to return to my birthplace, family and friends, we will miss the Northwest terribly. So many good memories in two years. Ahh, memories. I had to weigh the pros and cons. Not that we have much of a choice, due to the recession and our dismal job prospects here (which amounted to zero), but still, there's nothing more clarifying than boiling everything down to its essence and placing it in a spreadsheet.
Northwest / NorCal - Pro & Con
Northwest: Incredible greenery and stupendous waterfalls / near-constant precipitation as the cause of incredible greenery and stupendous waterfalls.
NorCal: Incredible scenic vistas and beaches. / Once you get through traffic.
Northwest: Clean air. / Eco-snobbery.
NorCal: Foul air. / All encompassing snobbery.
Northwest: Oregon - highest unemployment rate in the nation (behind Michigan). / A culture of politeness, nonetheless.
NorCal: More industry and commerce despite the recession. / When do I get MINE?
Northwest: We're leaving behind a neighborhood and school full of great kids. /We made almost no personal connections whatsoever with adults.
NorCal: Practically everyone we know and love lives there. / We're sure to get on each other's nerves in no time!
Northwest: Art, music, and writing ALL the time. / Galleries closing down ALL the time.
NorCal: Most all of my music and artist friends are still there. / Struggling to afford everything.
Northwest: Gay marriage - Washington quietly and stealthily working on getting it legalized. / Oregon: was for gay marraige; now against gay marriage.
NorCal: Don't get me started. / You disappoint me, California. You really do.
Northwest: It's inexpensive. / There are no jobs to be had.
NorCal: It's a miracle Keith got a good job in this economy. All my freelance work is based there as well. / Everything costs a shitload.
Northwest: The Cascades. / They blow once in a while.
NorCal: The Sierras / All those plate tectonics shifting around.
Northwest: Niceness. / Blandness.
NorCal: Snarkiness. / Excellent Mexican food.
And there you have it: Mexican food will ALWAYS win out with me in the end. I guess that's my way of saying: I miss you, excellent Mexican food. If you know what I mean. We're coming back here to visit a lot, though. We've got wonderful family in Seattle, for one thing, and more wonderful family in Vancouver B.C. And now we know Portland and its environs as well. And let me say this: Portland and its environs are incredibly special and wonderful and now fill a huge part of my heart. I will always love this place and I will always miss this place and I will be back...