Friday, May 13, 2011


The land of Port is a strange place. I simultaneously love and hate this little fact. And Truth is, all I have to do is walk a few blocks for some real entertainment in the realm of people-watching, shopping, dining, drinking, etc., etc., ad nauseum. That is nice. I like that I live far enough away from the shopping districts, and on a large enough lot that I can actually park my car in the same place every night, and can see it from my bedroom window. I like that there is enough space on this lot that several guests can do the same. I like that while this is true, the shopping districts are a modest walk from my front door. I also love the fact that we were able to find a house only six blocks from where we lived previously when we did live in this neighbourhood before.

During that time, I loved the area, but hated the place we were renting. We really only took that place because it was very cheap, and we were saving up to buy our first house. Well, that, and we were doing whatever we could to get the hell out of Beaverton. We lived there exactly one year, and that was 51 weeks too many.

Seriously though. Our first place over here was very run down, and the people who owned it were complete slum-lords. I was so happy to get out of that house, but wistful about the neighbourhood. For years after that move, I acted like a homing pigeon and still came back to this part of town any time I had any shopping or business to attend to. I knew eventually I would make it back over here.

The house that we ended up in was complete chance. It had shown up in searches that my realtor sent me for a while. I kept passing it up, because it is on a busy street. With small children, I really didn't want to do that. But the day I looked at this house, We had many showings on the schedule. All of the scheduled showings in the middle of the day fell through, so we had some time to kill. The realtor convinced me to come and have a look, by talking about the lot size. It is on a 1/4 acre, and most of that is behind the house. Very rare for this part of town. The house is also 3,434 square feet, not including an 1800 square foot basement, as well as a 1000 square foot unfinished attic space. It has dark wood detailing throughout, boxed beams, tall wainscotting with plate rail in the dining room, and... damn. I will say that as soon as I saw the dining room, I wanted the house. I told the realtor right then and there.

And of course she asked: "Well, don't you want to see the rest of it?"

"If I must..."

Because the previous owner let it go back to the bank, acquiring it was no small feat. We went into contract for the house on February 23rd, and we did not acquire it until May 13th. Our first lender even dropped out somewhat late in the process, and we had to scramble to find another. But we did, the sale went through, and here we are, working steadily on restoring the monster!

It was built in 1911, and retains much of its original charm. And the closets are HUGE! I can't figure this out, because in 1911, this wasn't at all typical. The home inspector thought the house may have been built for someone important for that reason. I am planning on visiting the office of the county recorder soon to get to the bottom of this.

Anyway, sorry to bore you with the story of how we got into the place. I will say that I really like being back in the land of the living again, after practically living in middle earth for so long. (OK, I guess you'd call it mid-county,) but unless you get your kicks from going to religious coffee shops, Asian markets, or true dive bars, it's a dead zone, for sure. Why, I had to drive for ten minutes just to get back over here!

One of the things in particular that I love about being here is seeing the many different kinds of people that it... takes to make a place truly interesting. It really does take all kinds. The sights and smells can be something to either behold or run screaming from.

Take today for instance: the girls and I were on our way home from being out and about. We drove up SE Hawthorne, as we usually do. Today was beautiful, and finally warm, and I had the windows open. As we approached SE 34th Avenue, the scent of patchouli wafted in from an obviously doused passerby. I made a comment to the girls about it, and they, too, were taken aback. It was... obnoxious, cloying, strong, and something that attempted to choke the life from me.

I had to get away, but alas, I was stuck behind a bus, and cars were passing me! What to do? What to do???

Oh... GOD! NO!!!

The answer? Apparently nothing. The scent had infiltrated my car, and stayed with us all the way home. It probably still smells like that, but I am afraid to go outside and check.

I suppose that is just part of the experience, and I have to take the good with the bad. But seriously... how much patchouli do you have to be wearing for the passengers of a car that you are WALKING PAST on the street to be infiltrated to the point of despair? Why is that necessary? Why do that to people? How can you stand it, man?! Think of the children! Think of the fucking stray cats! The dogs! Did you know dogs have a sense of smell about 1,000 stronger than that of humans? Think of what you are doing to them! It's like forcing them to look directly at the sun for an extended period of time.

Just... no! Be nice! Play nice! And with that, I bid you adieu. The weekend... it calls to me.


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