Thursday, December 01, 2011

 In my fierce attempts to retain my antarctic persona I have inadvertently become suburban. Suddenly I find myself in a sweet little townhouse in a beautiful old farm community with jaw dropping fall foliage, ancient and funky strip malls, and millions of acres of exploding Intel factories. It is how I got a job here and why this former rolling farm country is filled with giant brand new houses and spotlessly clean streets. I thought I would miss downtown Portland and I do in some regards...but I love being able to hop in my car and drive anywhere and I want to go. I find the mass transit here limited and slow, and don't use it unless I have several hours to spare. I started knitting and have fallen in love with it and am somewhat obsessed. I've finished one sweater and one set of mitts, and am working on my second sweater. I did a vegan diet for two months and lost some pudge I'd put on when I moved here...and now I lust for legumes and veggies. Ech...I thought I had something profound to say and it turns out I don't. I had Thanksgiving dinner with one of the painters I'd known from a season on the Ice. He just deployed for a short stint and his helper dropped out last minute so I e-mailed the big boss and said hey I'm a pq'd warm body ready to go down for  a short stint! I was excited for a moment, but also realizing that I was kind of digging my little life I'd created here in Oregon. Things are happening very fast...I haven't spent holidays in the states in a while so I am bracing myself for missing the exquisite holiday times at McMurdo. I was at a store selling X-mas decorations and the idea of buying any of that junk seemed totally repellent to me. As I've pared down my possessions more and more I see everything I purchase as something that I'll have to drag with me on my next move or bag for Goodwill. When I moved to Hillsboro it was the first time I'd rented a truck. Every other move was done with my car...and I have this bigger space with only a bed and a loveseat. I had originally planned on acquiring dining furniture and  stuff for the porch - but after a week of living here I decided I was not going to buy any more stuff - this house is going to be bare. I'm sure I won't start cooking here, or becoming more homey - I just turned 51 and despite how the world and culture tells me a middle aged woman is supposed to be, my desires are moving towards a future even more nomadic and unconventional. I meet people here every day who have never travelled outside this state. I used to be shocked by that sort of thing, by people who didn't crave getting as far away as possible from everything they've ever known and going towards something so different and so unknown as to be unimaginable. I am content and happy right now, having new everything around me and exploring a beautiful green landscape...but underneath I am waiting for the day I can be free again.