the office

The most frequent question I got before I left Boston was… What are you going to miss?

The most frequent question I get now that I’m in Portland is… How’s the new job?

I facilitated my first public meeting last night and am spearheading a proposal for a new project at an historic hazelnut farm in Eugene – so that’s been amazing. I love the office and the work we’re doing and being downtown and being back in Portland… there’s such an energy in the office and in this city. But I’d forgotten what it feels like to be the new kid. Sometimes I feel like everything is coming together, but often I feel like a fish out of water. Everything is familiar, but not entirely clear. I just have to learn to be patient, let the whole experience unfold, and savor every moment. Pretty soon I’ll be so immersed in the work that I’ll have forgotten what this exciting new moment feels like.

go ducks!

So I’m running around the Fairmount loop this morning when I decide to mix it up and take a different route by cutting up a side path to continue my run along Council Crest Drive. Council Crest is so much less crowded and I love running through the neighborhood I hung out in as a kid.

I was wearing my Oregon Ducks hat to celebrate our come-from-behind win over Stanford last night, when about halfway around Council Crest a guy pulls up and parks in front of his friends house, gets out of his car and says, “go ducks!” I stopped briefly to talk about our awesome victory (you know me – I can’t pass up an opportunity to talk about sports). One thing quickly led to another and he asked me if I wanted tickets to the next home game against Cal. The University of California at Berkeley is (momentarily) ranked higher than us and so it should be an incredible game. One of the teams will come out of next Saturday’s matchup with their perfect record intact, and the other team won’t. So of course I said yes! My jaw is hitting the sidewalk about now when he hands me his card telling me he’ll be out of town all week, but to call his office and make arrangements to pick up the tickets on Friday.

Though his name sounded familiar when he introduced himself I didn’t realize until I got home that Jordan Schnitzer, one of Oregon’s biggest philanthropists and art collectors, had just offered me tickets to a U of O football game.

It’s good to be back in Oregon!! Go Ducks!


Good friends allow us to see the best qualities of ourselves reflected in their eyes, and its friendship more than anything else that pushes me to be a better person day in and day out. I’ve been fortunate over these past few weeks, as I hopped from one adventure to another between cities and a new life in Portland, to feel what friendship really is. The culmination took place in Aspen, hovering around 10,000 feet. Though there was precious little oxygen there was plenty of love and friendship, not only between myself and my close friends, but between the 200+ people who attended the wedding of my friends Lynn and Lance.

we were welcomed to aspen by lynn and lance’s family and friends at a cocktail party at the sky hotel… despite the sting of the red sox loss we had a wonderful night.

the day of the wedding my friend sayre drove up from denver and took kaitlyn, andrew and i on a hike to maroon bells.

prior to our hike we checked out the hoffman’s observatory and ate breakfast at the main street cafe. while we were eating our blueberry pancakes and huevos rancheros we spied a black bear sleeping in a nearby colorado blue spruce.

by 5 o’clock we were hanging above aspen in a gondola on our way to the wedding on top of aspen mountain. words can’t describe how amazing this wedding was, but i’ve never seen so many smiles on so many people’s faces. after a starlit ride down in the gondola we danced the night away at the caribou club.

our final day in aspen got a bit rained out (no hikes, bikes or tennis games), but we entertained ourselves with football, baseball and shopping… so really how bad could it be! and you should see my new cowboy boots!

friday night baseball [aspen style]

dressed in cocktail dresses and suits (since we were going straight from the game to a pre-wedding cocktail party) the usual friday night baseball crew (andrew, kaitlyn and i) plus one (robyn) headed to cooper street pub in aspen to watch the red sox take on the yankees at fenway park. the red sox started out strong but their pitching staff imploded late in the game and the yankees came from behind to win the first of the three game series. apparently tito couldn’t hear kaitlyn yelling from colorado to pull the pitcher until it was too late!!

it’s moments like this

my visits to portland during the last ten years have included a string of scheduled and sometimes rushed moments with friends in an effort to pack a lifetime into a weekend or two. but today i got to spend an hour with my godson just because i was here and available for just such moments. henrik and i took a heavenly hot late summer day and played in the fountain at jameson park. while there we ran into dana, one of my close friends from college, and her son milo. portland is just one big neighborhood and i’m thrilled to be back in the ‘hood.

the sounds of home

The first morning after I landed in Portland I found myself unable to sleep past 5:30 being that I was still on east coast time. So I put on my running shoes and drove up to the Fairmount loop. The sun was still underneath the horizon and trying to inch higher and higher with each passing moment. Time stands still on that hill just like it always did.

When I lived here ten years ago I used to jog that same loop in the early morning hours. And in many trips back Lee and I would walk around Fairmount and talk about as much as we could fit into 3 1/2 miles. So on this first morning back it seemed like a perfect way to say hello to Portland. Each curve of the road was different, some were newly sunlit and others were holding on to the damp doug fir forest smell… but my favorites were the ones that reverberated with the sounds of creeks flowing down the steep hillsides. In between I listened to music about home and thought about all the paths I’ve taken that lead me here….

Who Says You Can’t Go Home
I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face, there isn’t one of these lines that I would erase. I left a million miles of memories on that road, and every step I take I know that I’m not alone. You take the home from the girl, but not the girl from her home. These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known, who says you can’t go home. There’s only one place that call me one of their own. Just a hometown girl, born a rolling-stone, who says you can’t go home. Who says you can’t go back, been all around the world and that’s a matter of fact. There’s only one place left I want to go, who says you can’t go home.

Another summer day has come and gone away in Paris and Rome, but I wanna go home. Let me go home. Another aeroplane, another sunny place. I’m lucky I know, but I wanna go home. I’ve got to go home.

I’m going home, back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me. I’m not running from. No, I think you got me all wrong. I don’t regret this life I chose for me. But these places and these faces are getting old so I’m going home.

Traveling at night, the headlights were bright, and we’d been up many an hour. And all through my brain came the refrain of home and its warming fire. Home sings me of sweet things. My life there has its own wings. Fly over the mountain though I’m standing still.

Celebrate Me Home
Please, celebrate me home. Play me one more song, that I’ll always remember. Whenever I find myself too all alone, I can make believe I’ve never gone. I never know where I belong. Sing me home.