Sarah Buys a House is a chronicle of Sarah DeGiorgis' journey along the road to home ownership and renovation in West Philadelphia.
I took a quick trip this past week to Portland, Oregon. I'd never been to the Pacific Northwest and have only been to the West Coast once before and let me tell you: It was amazing. I'm sure it was also the fact that it was an actual vacation, something I haven't taken in, oh, three years, that made it so great. But I'm also sure that Portland itself is just the type of place that is basically perfect for me.
The houses! I love Victorians but I also love bungalows, and all the streets (tree-lined, of course) are one cute bungalow after another. The front porches! Almost everyone has a garden growing the most beautiful vegetables. AND if you don't have a garden or don't want to worry about composting yourself, the city will pick up things to be composted with the garbage and recycling. HEAVEN!
About a few days into the trip I started thinking about how I could...extend it. Maybe we could just miss our plane home? I could call up everyone back here, give my regrets to my employer and just never come back. My boyfriend talked some sense into me: There are precious few jobs in Portland, and many of those are in the service industry. I'm no stranger to those jobs but I was kind of hoping that my days of waiting tables were behind me. But more importantly: I own a house. Had I bought the house too soon? I love Philly and it certainly feels like home, but now here I was in Portland and that felt like home too. And what if I go somewhere else in six months and that feels like home, too?
We did almost miss our flight but in the end we came back to Philadelphia. And you know what? It feels good. We got honked at driving back from the airport for no reason—I missed you too, Philly—and I remembered how strangely liberating it is to flip some asshole taxi driver off. We got home and walked up on the front porch and sat down and I was reminded of what a great front porch I have. I own! Going to sleep that first night back, I lay looking up at my (high) ceiling and thought how lucky I was to own this house with such beautiful high ceilings and old details and unknown history. Portland, I love you and you can be sure I'll be back, but it turns out that Philly really is home.