We’re surrounded by packed boxes and a moving crew. Everything we own has a sticker, as we spend the last few hours in our Portland apartment. The final things to be packed will be my printer, computer, and office TV. It’s stuck on the Food Channel since the Xfinity service has been transferred to our new Florida home. Tonight, we’ll stay at the Waterfront Residence Inn for my farewell run past the cherry blossoms in the morning. Tally will rejoin us for the night with take-out from DeNicola’s. After the run, we’ll begin our 10-hour drive to Ogden, Utah, the first stop on our journey back to Indiana – more than halfway to our new Florida home.
While I thought my streak of finding dimes ended yesterday, one turned up by chance in my suitcase to make it four straight dime days. I’ve yet to come across one yet today, but Portland is giving me more than just pennies as we say goodbye as residents. We’ll certainly be back to visit family, but the last few days have been nostalgic as I followed the running route that was part of my mornings for the last year-and-a-half. Along the way I counted blinking security lights on parked cars, waved at the familiar Blanchet House volunteers along the stretch of homeless camps, observed the activity along the Willamette River, shook my head at all the boarded-up businesses, and played the silly alphabet game to ease the strain of the third mile.
Tomorrow on the riverfront, I won’t have to worry about crossing streets and rail lines. Tally’s walk will be much more peaceful without the traffic noise. She’ll be wondering what’s going on? We’ll be back at the hotel where she spent her first nights in the city. Then, it was a high-rise glass apartment, followed by a house on a steep hill, and finally this unit that we’re moving out of today. We further confused her with a couple nights with my wife’s daughter, her husband, and Falco. She’ll have very little space in the car for the next four days before we arrive in Indianapolis for a short break. It will be a long haul for her, filled with concern, as we all say, “Farewell Portland.”