When I first moved to Oregon, I really didn't quite know what to think. I gave up beautiful winters with the sun glistening off the fresh snow, living across the street from a lake where I could sit on the dock fishing with a quiet Russian guy who barely knew English and drank shitty Molson Canadian. I moved to a state full of people who spoke like they were extras from the O.C or the Hills and it rained all the time. Orange wasn't just for Cheetos it was a skin colour. Then something happened. All those people went away. I'm assuming they got skin cancer and died. Or something. And the more I spent my time here the more I really started to appreciate the culture here. There's still too many hipsters and know-it-alls for my liking and as much as Portlanders pride themselves on diversity it's fairly nonexistent when it comes to racial diversity. But as a father I couldn't be happier with where my daughter is being raised. I realized this today. She said something, I can't remember what, that triggered that thought in me that I'm really fortunate to be where I am. She doesn't have to worry about odd looks from strangers if she wants to play with boys toys, she has never questioned same sex couples showing affection - Although one time she asked why two women were getting married and I told her because they love each other and she simply responded with "oh. That's nice" or something to that effect. It seems as though any thought or idea or interest she has, there's a program somewhere here to help foster that and encourage her to grow and explore. We're fortunate enough to live in an area where nature is all around us and if I ever realize we're spending too much time inside there's always a new adventure either a walking distance or a drive away. I guess it's nice to know that for the most part, there's really nothing else I could ask for as a parent. The rest is up to me.