Earlier last week, I completed the second year of employment at my job. I work there as a sort of a help desk technician for the automotive service industry. This job is the secondary reason for moving to the Portland area. This last not only marked the second year at my job, but also the second year of living here in the metro Portland area in a nice suburban area. We live just under 2 miles from the Portland city limits and often travel into the SW portion of the big city to go to one of the Safeway stores or to the children's hospital as needed. Instead of traveling 5 hours north to see the specialists there, we can simply drive about 20 minutes give or take to Doehrnbecher's hospital. This - was one of a few a major factors for moving here.
When we lived in Medford, toward the end, it was a pretty bad job market there for me. For my field - I work both in the I.T. realm, but also as a phone operator which makes me the ideal candidate for doing both jobs. I hate to say this, but the phone operator jobs in Medford pay very poorly and have a very high turn over rate. Having not had any luck in Medford, I turned my sites toward the Portland area for more opportunities and found a couple which helped confirm the decision to come up here. The prior year before moving here, we had come up to the children's hospital to see a Neurologist for a second opinion on an EEG which was abnormal and generally dismissed by the one in Medford. While we were here then, we stayed at an Extended Stay of America in Beaverton. I fell in LOVE with Beaverton based on what I saw and experienced and it stayed with me ever since then that it might be a good place to move to with more opportunities. I also had friends and a former co-worker tell me that I should move north. This pretty much pushed me in this direction.
Beaverton is about the twice the size of Medford and as of when we moved to this area, it was the ranked as the lowest crime center in the state. We ended up moving to Tigard which also, has a very low crime rate and has good access to the major highways within just a short drive. Tigard's slogan is "A Great Place to Call Home" I must admit, the city of Tigard has totally thrown out the total concept of how a city should look and feel in my mind. The layout of streets, the placement of buildings, and stores feels disorganized and does not feel at all like a suburb. We have HWY 99W which runs right through Tigard and is a very major thoroughfare. It runs the route directly into Portland and on the opposite direction, to other smaller towns such as King City and Sherwood. We can also drive about 45 minutes down 99W and make a turn west for another 15-20 minutes and end up at the Oregon Coast.
Over the last two years, I have witnessed the transformation of the Tigard area some with some old abandoned homes being torn down to make room for development of land right in the area of several large box stores and the highway ramps. Our local Wal-Mart has two side buildings on the opposite end of the parking lot which hold about 4-5 different stores. One building is now fully occupied, while the other is not, but is starting to gain tenants. Outside of the Wal-Mart on the left, is a field which was buldozed and earth was moved in preparation for something else to come in, but has not been indicated as to what is coming in. They have had black tarp held down by heavy rocks covering the dirt to prevent erosion and weed growth. I would expect this spring to have more indications of what is happening there.
We have seen both very different winters here, the first one, we had a brief touch of an ice storm and snow, but nothing too major. This last December, we got our first taste of what locals have referred to as 'snowmageddon'. Cars on the road were stopped, it was very windy, you could go maybe 100 feet in 10 minutes. Cars that were stopped and light enough were sometimes being blown to the side by the wind into guard rails. People still talk about that day in December when traffic slammed to a halt. What would take me 15 minutes or so to get home, literally took me 3.5 hours around 6pm. Snow was about 4" thick and we knew from experience the year before, the snow would soon ice over. I got to see what effects the ice storms have - parking lots became skating rinks almost - you could get out of your car, use a tree to hold you up, only to find 1/4" ice wrapped around the entire trunk! We are fortunate enough to have snow tires and 4wd on our SUV which made it much less of a risk for us, but I remember going to the Dollar Tree by our house, and feeling the car literally just slide on the ice, forget walking into the store, this was just as bad.
As we move toward the start of our third year, I am looking forward to positive changes and new and exciting experiences!