Dear First House…

We sold our little bungalow in Portland and moved to a little town in Washington, right along the Columbia river.

I am both excited about this new adventure, and absolutely heartbroken to be leaving Portland. I have lived here for ten years, and it was the first place that I have come to truly feel is “home.”

We have lived in many different places in this city: dorms, tiny one-bedroom apartments, a townhouse, a house on the east side, and a couple of other houses in North Portland. But this house is the first one we owned and I really felt like I put roots down here. It was the first place where I could paint everything whatever color I wanted, and every purchase seemed like a long-term investment.

And so, an ode of farewell to our first house.

Dear Little First House,

So many memories here. First steps, first DIY projects, first books read.

Your living room is legitimately one of my favorite places on earth. Somehow always cozy, relaxing and inviting. The host of game nights and book clubs and coffee dates. You’ve provided beds for many guests, held countless movie and pizza nights and been the site of staying up way past bedtime far too often. Even as I write this, you are empty, except for me, and yet I can hear the echoes of all the good things that have happened here. Laughter, games, so much music. There’s no where else I’d rather be discussing life and what it means with the people I love.

Your dining room looks so pretty, with the table all set for Sunday brunch. High tea is just as fun here as anywhere. I hope the smell of blueberry scones lingers for a long time. It was here that I looked up and realized that our cherished antique table was surrounded by four happy, giggly children. I looked at Steve and we knew – our dream of a table surrounded by laughing children had come true. Also, you had the best lighting for my cakes and dessert creations, and for that, I thank you.

You didn’t have much storage, and I’m okay with that. You helped me realize it was okay to let go of things to make more room for people. You also had a double oven, and that made up for basically every other flaw.

You started out an old house and let us infuse you with new life and personality. And I think we did a pretty good job. I will always remember this place to fondly, as if you were always bright and sunshiny. And you had so much great lighting. On and this was the best place to wait out a winter storm. I loved the sound of the rain pounding on the rooftop and the wind howling outside, while I was tucked inside a warm blanket.

You were the perfect canvas for gallery walls of children’s art and vintage travel posters. You looked beautiful all dolled up for Christmas, with the snowflake wall and the mantle of glittery trees and nativities.

This was the place our children were happy. Where they were happy to be themselves. Where we played so many records, and even danced so hard to Adele that now she is all kinds of scratched up. Here we have crowned queens of Arendelle and made baby cribs into ships on the high sea. Here we have heard so many ukulele concerts and performed so many musicals.

We have eaten too many Heavenly Donuts and Little Big Burger and not enough Louis’ Pizza or Tienda Santa Cruz.

Leaving the house and seeing the view from the Bluff everyday – it never got old. I loved it especially in the spring, when the sky was still grey, but everything was alight with pink cherry blossoms and overflowing greenery. And you were just so close to Sauvie Island and the magic of summer days spent picking berries and picnicking in peach groves.

And let’s not forget the hydrangeas in summer. I wasn’t very good at keeping them alive in the heat, but they sure were beautiful.

I’m so glad I was here for this winter, when we were buried in snow. You sure looked darling in Christmas lights and snowflakes. And that beautiful mint door of yours really popped in all that white.

Goodbye little house. May you be as good to your new family as you were to us. <3

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