Dear Jasper and Kestrel,
The weather here in Salinas has been rainy and cool, making me miss dear Portland even more. This is nothing against my family here, my school or my colleagues. Everyone and everything is lovely. It’s just not my home anymore.
I miss, of course, Auntie Bridgett and Grandpa Nelson. They are buying our new home in our favorite neighborhood, and even looking at new furniture to go in it. They have promised not to buy anything until I get home, but still… I am here and they are there.
I miss you and your mommy. I have just started to get to know you, and now I am here, and you are there.
I miss the trees. Seeing the old trees cut down on Central Avenue in Salinas last weekend drove this home. Central Park has also lost many of its big trees, either to wind or disease. It feels naked. Laurelhurst Park in Portland, with its gigantic 100 year old maples and Douglas firs, is a peaceful forest right in the neighborhood. I miss its calm and cool spaces and the friendly folks and dogs you find there.
I miss the moss. Without the constant moisture, Salinas sidewalks, garden walls and garages are lacking the soft green and are painfully clean scrubbed. There seems to be no history, no built-up memories. Everything seems too new, even being 150 years old this year.
I miss the variety. Within blocks in Portland you can find a vegan bakery, organic ice cream, sushi, Spanish, and Hawaiian food, as well as three different art galleries, a museum, four micro-brew pubs, pinball, and small live and movie theaters. Salinas is too small, and too familiar, to be intriguing anymore.
I guess this is my melancholy love letter to Portland.