Four years ago today I posted the first entry on my site. It was the start of one of life’s ultimate journeys – a move across the country from one place I love to another. Here is what I wrote:
the last days of disco
the questions have obviously started. is there any one thing you want to do before you leave? do you want to reconsider? what are you going to miss? the answers are not really (i’ve tried to suck all the marrow i could), no, and so much! it’s the missing part that’s got me reeling right now.
oregon has nearly everything i love, but my east coast friends will be conspicuously absent. like dorothy said to the scarecrow – i’ll miss you most of all. add a pile of little things to that – games at fenway, lobster rolls, the islands – and you can see why i’m a little off balance.
I lived it up that last summer in Boston and really celebrated the city I was moving away from. I felt ready to leave at the time, but that summer was so amazing that it’s left a large scar of nostalgia. I honestly didn’t realize how intertwined Boston’s tentacles had become in my life and even though I miss the city I am grateful that it’s apart of me and I’m apart of it.
It honestly doesn’t feel like four years have passed. Perhaps because I visit Boston often, but also because I ultimately moved to one of my other favorite cities – Portland, Oregon (as featured consistently in the New York Times, of food cart fame, and lovingly profiled on Portlandia as the place where young people come to retire).
In fact, I’m sticking around Portland and Oregon this month (kind of unusual for me), but August is one of the best months to be in Oregon and I don’t want to miss it. Warm sunshine and no humidity during the day – perfect for sitting outside and having lunch with friends or reading a great book, followed by crisp cool nights – ideal sleeping weather that lulls you into the deepest of slumbers.
So if you can’t visit this beautiful place in person, enjoy the photos of Portland and Oregon that I’ve been posting and will continue to post until the last days of August. And happy anniversary to Taking the Long Way!
Boston is home to more landmarks and historic sites than one could possibly see in one visit or even a lifetime so I know that the home and office of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of landscape architecture, doesn’t receive the same visitation as say the site of the Boston Massacre or Paul Revere’s house or Harvard or (one of my personal favorites) Fenway Park.
If you were lucky enough to visit Olmsted’s historic home and office before last month then you no doubt saw the American elm that graced the center of the expansive lawn. I was lucky to work in an office, located on the corner of the second floor (shrouded in vines in this photo I took about five years) with a view of the elm. I watched the elm’s shadows move over the snow in winter and was grateful for its shade in the hot humid summers.
Tree specialists often visited the site to monitor the old tree and their report was always peppered with words of caution that the end was near. Somehow their words, as true as I knew them to be, fell on deaf ears. The tree had lasted this long. Surely it could keep on ticking.
Unfortunately it reached the end of its life this year and was taken down at the end of March. This time-lapse video captures that day and also in some strange way expresses the life the tree possessed. It almost comes alive, even as it’s being taken down. Its majesty is captured on fim so that even those who didn’t get a chance to see it in person will have a sense of its place in this historic landscape.
I have a small piece of the elm that was given to me when I left Boston. And I’m excited to hear that the wood was donated to the Rhode Island School of Design for their artists to create something beautiful out of a life that was long and distinguished… and prized by one of America’s most renowned designers.
I’ve had some pretty amazing Thanksgiving celebrations over the years (Portland, Dant, Roundhill, Cambridge, Oregon wine country, Seaside, Mexico) and 2010 is setting up to be another wonderful event. Ted and Tara are hosting a late afternoon dinner for family and friends at their home in Laurelhurst and the Oregon Ducks are playing tomorrow. Delicious food, exciting football, and vacation days – what’s not to love! In honor of years past here’s a look back at some wonderful holiday memories and the friends I’ve been honored to share this holiday with. Happy Thanksgiving!