September and the early part of October found us back in the Homeland, immersing ourselves in visits with friends, family and jazz. Other than a week in Monterey, California for our annual visit to the Monterey Jazz Festival, all our time was spent in Oregon and it was good to be back in familiar territory.
Portland has changed a lot in the 10 years since we left. Some of the changes are good (improved public transportation, more live music venues) while some are not so good (increased drug addiction, mental illness and street people, and a visibly growing gap between the rich and the non-rich). But our blog is not designed to repeat the opinions of Portlanders and Oregonians generally about what “has gone wrong” there. Our focus is on what surroundings and experiences make us feel comfortable and “at home”. And there was a lot that made us feel at home: sharing meals and laughter with old friends, seeing family members and just taking in the beauty of the state that will always be ours. We’ve truly never left home.