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Moving to Portland: Part One

Now it is time to tell everyone the story of moving to Portland. In September I decided I could not take my situation any longer and needed to leave. A crazy work situation, having to move back in with my parents, being alone and being poor all factored into my decision. By October 8, I was on the road to my new home in Oregon.

Not everything about work was terrible. I enjoyed my coworkers and the kids at the Boys & Girls Club. However, the organization created a horrible amount of stress and general worrying by me. On my last day my coworkers threw a party for me. We had burritos to eat from my favorite place in El Paso, Bonnie's Cafe, and Pepsi to drink. Yay!

We played Beatles Rock Band (which I bought a while back and donated to the Club) and the kids worked on a claymation project.

I bade farewell to work and rode off into the sunset.
Okay, not exactly. That is a real sunset at work though. My work day actually ended with the sun still up. I drove to Eye Mart Express to pick up my new glasses. I was pretty excited because I had never had glasses like these before. Those thick, cool people glasses. I am so cool now...

When I got home my family had a little party for me. I did not expect gifts, but I received quite a few. On top of the first camera I had ever owned, I also was lucky to get season one of Mad Men and a few going-away/good-luck cards and a bunch cash. Plus, ice cream cake!
Cake pictured here, eaten
I left the next day. Packing proved to be quite the experience. I ended up spending most of my time arguing with my mom. She also spent most of her not arguing time packing my car in an actual "good" way, instead of my "terrible, unorganized" way. (My characterizations of our work) I only took what I could fit in my car. That resulted in my having to make tough decisions about what to take and what to leave. Sorry televisions... Finally it was time to go. Catface Meowmers went reluctantly in the car and we were off. I had packed a few snacks. While I shopped earlier in the week, I found these:

I did not buy them because I do not see the correlation between Princess Leia and pizza. That makes no sense to me. Who invented these?

Anyway, as I got on the road, Catface immediately hid under my seat. He would remain there for nearly the entire first leg of our journey. In Socorro, New Mexico, I stopped to gas up and eat. This is a tradition of sorts for my family. It is a decent stopping point in that it is well lit, easy to find food and fuel and a perfect distance between El Paso and Farmington, New Mexico. I managed to coax Catface from his hiding place and he looked terrified. Poor guy.

As night approached I was able to talk to my best friend who, at the time, was living in Portland. It is always great to hear her voice. The stars were out but I could not see the moon. She went to get a sandwich from Subway before she was to babysit and I took the opportunity to pull over and try to convince Catface to come out of hiding. At that part of the highway, it is dark. Nature provides your only source of light, save for the intermittent car also on the road. After a few minutes, Catface came out and sat in the passenger seat. He would not hide the rest of the trip.

It was late by the time I arrived in Farmington. The plan was for me to stay at my grandma's house, but she was in the den watching tv and did not hear me knocking. I did not want to wake my grandpa (who I knew would be asleep). So I ended up spending about ten minutes outside in the cold until she let me in.

Finally inside, I ended up spending almost an hour standing in the kitchen talking to my grandma about everything. She is an interesting lady. If there is one regret I have in my life, it is not spending more time having long conversations with all of my grandparents.

I was given a nice big bed to sleep in that night. It was so warm. Catface spent the night in the big shed outside. I know, I know. That seems mean. But it is surprisingly warm in there and there are plenty of places for him to explore and jump around on. He ended up loving it. I imagine anywhere seemed like heaven compared to that cramped car for him.

Tomorrow I will write about my next day's journey from Farmington through Colorado, Utah and Idaho, ending with a night in a parking lot.

[Part Two is posted HERE.]
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