Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ode to Portland: houses and homes

When I was a young girl, my dad was going to graduate school here in Portland and so, we came to visit. My aunt and uncle lived here in a fantastically old house on 23rd and Hawthorne and from that first visit, the character of the houses has always stuck in my mind. There was a large front porch with a swing, a staircase that split halfway down so that you could exit two different ways, a wooden room that my aunt used as a sewing room and that faced the west and held all the evening sunlight, a closet with a window in it, and (my favourite) an attic. We watched the Fourth of July fireworks from those topmost windows, my brothers and I daring each other to go out one window and walk around the roof to another (my own heart as a mom gets chills at this even though I did it myself).

During college, I worked for the Forest Service out in Idaho and we work ten days on and have eight days off. Naturally, being in the state next to Oregon, I decided to take a road trip to Portland during one of our breaks. It was great to revisit my aunt and uncle's house as an "adult", being able to see the house again and fill in those spaces that did not make as much of an impression in my brain as a child. The smells were the same, the things I remembered were the same. And the feeling of it being a cozy, familiar space with character was also the same. 

There are some places that just feel familiar and nice, homey and nostalgic. Maybe that's part of my enjoyment of this area too; it has always felt like that to me. I can see myself in one of these houses and it being my home, not just a house. I drive around different neighbourhoods just to ogle these houses. Seriously. And now that we're leaving, I've been taking pictures too. No one has called the police on me yet - that I know of.

Just a wee bit of the side of my aunt and uncle's house.

I love rain chains!

Do you see what I mean? The gardens, the windows, the porches, the character. They just feel so beautiful and funky and... homey. So yes, I'm stocking up on pictures... maybe someday I'll have a house like this.

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