As I drove onto base this morning, the greeting from the friendly guard caught my attention. The usual greeting is to pull the car up, roll the window down, hand over my CAC ID card where the guard will inspect both sides and mayyyybe say, good morning or thanks – today as I handed my card over, the guard didn’t take it from me to inspect it – he opened his arms wide, glanced at my id and said, “welcome to paradise.”
I loved this.
Not only is today a very gloomy, wet, humid day but it’s also 7:30 a.m., friday and what’s known to be the slowest work day still lies ahead. This guy made my day.
The simple phrase of welcome to paradise has other meaning for me as well because lately, I’ve been extremely homesick for Portland. There have been many times where I find myself re-convincing me that we made the right move with our decision to move to Maryland, but my goodness – we left a lot behind.
To all my friends back in Pdx, I will always love daydreaming over your constant streams of goodness from the PAC NW. Recently, two of my jet setting friends headed north to the Olympic peninsula and posted photos from the lodge and beach where Sam proposed. They had no idea that was where he had done it and likewise, they fell in love with the landscape and scenery as well. That’s the thing about the PAC NW, there are so many places that make you feel like you discovered it – or that you are capturing some of the most awe-inspiring, breathtaking sites – that no one could ever take that moment or feeling away from you – but so many others share in the exact same feeling just at a different moment in time. When I see these photos, they take me back to my moment and thus, am thankful for my time there but makes me miss it terribly. Those moments take you out of whatever reality you may be living in if only just for a moment. Those moments kept me thriving in Portland. I could walk away from a stressful work week – be on the beach staring out at Haystack rock or driftwood on Ruby Beach – and in those moments all the little issues were insignificant. The PAC NW, for the better part of 4 years, has been our paradise.
Our thing has always been weekend escapes or short day trips to wine country, to hikes, to camping, to stick our toes in the ocean to whatever. It’s been five months since we’ve done anything like that; where ordinarily, it would never go more than 3 weeks without some sort of adventure. We need an adventure. (yes, the past five months have been more than a fair share of an adventure, but we need an us adventure – if that makes sense). It’s time to make Maryland our paradise.
So this morning, my lovely and unexpected welcome into work has inspired me to finally stop moping about missing Portland and to do something proactive about it by planning several cheap, nearby, unknown day trips to discover. If anyone has any suggestions – throw them our way.
Wishing you all your little oasis of paradise today & if you’re with us on the East coast, stay dry!