Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trying to Hold on to Summer-- and cope with what lies ahead

Portland does a really nice job of making the most of summer, and bringing everyone out to do the same. There are so many free events and fun family programs planned in all of the different neighborhoods. We missed out on a lot of it during the beginning of the season-- we didn't need any help enjoying the warm weather and sunshine, I guess! But we have realized it's almost over, and in the last week we have attended: a performance by the Portland Philharmonic Orchestra at a park near us, an "open to the public" rehearsal of the the Oregon Ballet Theatre in the park blocks downtown, a Cuban band performance, and a sing-a-long screening of The Sound of Music in a couple of other parks. Thank you, Portland!

The weather is changing. Last week after a few days of rain (it was a welcome relief from some 100' weather) I went outside and it hit me that it was turning into fall. The air was different, the light was gorgeous. I usually feel euphoric when this happens in Southern California, and it was exciting last year, too. But my heart sank. It seems like we just barely got the sunshine and good outdoor weather, and I don't think I've had enough to make it through another loooong season of rain and cold and dreariness. They SAY that last year was unusually cold and rainy and the winter was much longer than usual. All I know is that it was my first year here, and it was HARD. I keep reminding myself that we have some good things going for us to make this year very different from last year.

First of all, we took the plunge this week and got a second car. We bought an old pickup truck for a surprisingly small sum of money. This will make a world of difference for us, especially since Jeff needs the car for work four days a week. Once I got out of "I think I can handle this" mode, I realized that there was no way that the one car would really work for our family anymore, and it was unnecessary torture. Especially for a toddler who literally wakes up from her sleep in the morning or after a nap wailing "GO!?"

Secondly, I have a few friends. With kids. Who also get bored. Then there's the OMSI pass, plus enough birthday money for me to sign Amelia up for a couple of community center classes. There is also the winter garden we've planted. I think we'll have a better time finding something to do!

And lastly, I got my massage license in the mail on Friday. Whew! I am looking at a couple of different spaces today and tomorrow, and feeling hopeful about having that outlet and reducing our financial stress a bit.

So, maybe it is 45 degrees right now at 6:30 in the morning. At least our furnace works this time around!


Anonymous said...

I grew up in Portland thinking the weather was the same everywhere. Rain, we always liked seeing the worms in the gutters. Haven't seen that? You will. I had so much fun with my sled, you might be there one of these days. We charged out the door in 30 degree weather, what fun we had. It is not Whittier, but you can have fun, we sure did. Poppa R

Anonymous said...

Fun to think of Daddy in Portland as a little kid and also you and yours. I'm so glad you got the second car. All the changes sound like they'll make a big difference this year. Friends! Gotta have some, and that has taken time! Having that license will be a great lift in many ways. Yeah! Thanks for sharing.

Erin said...

I can totally relate to your first winter here was really hard. As the second one rolled around, I dreaded it, but it turned out to be a lot easier; probably because I knew what lay beyond it. It sounds like all of your plans to make it better this year will really help!

Gretchen said...

I'm glad you got another car Ariana. I know how it is to be able to get out and DO something with an active toddler! Anders stands by the door and cries "BYE BYE"! until I tell him what we're going to do that day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words on the blog! You have good advice! I am so glad you have 2 cars now! And I hope this winter isn't as gloomy as the last. Praying for you, honey!