On June 1, 1994, I officially took possession of my Portland life. I moved home to the Northwest after 7 terrible years in Virginia, 4 much better years in Pennsylvania. I came home ostensibly to help in the care of my ailing mother, but I really came home to find myself.
I'd been sober five years by then, and I was clear I was done with college teaching. The politics, the stresses, the loneliness of a, to me, alien culture was more than I could do. I needed my culture, Portland, my family, and a really fresh start.
I had no specific dream of a new life. I didn't know how I would make a living, just knew I could make one. I had no idea that a childhood dream, that of being a writer, would manifest itself. I had no idea that a dream I had never dared dream, that of being an artist, would also manifest. I came back to Portland open to possibility and they showed up big time.
Supporting that life has been a wonderful apartment. Before I moved into the Ash St. complex, I'd never lived any place longer than six years. When I was a child, we moved often. As an adult, I did too. But then I settled down, settled in. I found the right place, I found the right life. I am so grateful.