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Day 335 – Lucky

Mt Hood via Google Maps

Mt Hood via Google Maps

Just felt the need to recount some recent luck I’ve been enjoying.

This morning, whilst completing the third and final loop of my morning #68 route, I stopped my empty bus (SAFELY in case anybody from TriMet reads this) to admire the sunrise behind Mount Hood from an opportune point along Campus Dr on Marquam Hill. Unfortunately I couldn’t take a picture, but it wouldn’t have done justice to the scene. The fact I only had seconds to appreciate what was before me probably made it all the better.

It was spectacular, a glowing horizon  setting the carpet of high clouds on fire with a giant tooth of a volcano looming up from the rolling hills while the lights of Portland, still in complete darkness in the valley of the Willamette, sparkled like a box of jewels. It was one of those “holy crap that’s freakin’ beautiful” moments that come from a place so far removed from “normal life” one can only pause and try to soak a little up.

It occurred to me I was able to experience that moment due to a complex sequence of events that, on balance, can best be described as “lucky.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a misanthropic curmudgeon who would like nothing better than to be the keeper of lighthouse somewhere on the Pacific coast, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a moment to be grateful for some remarkably good things that have happened over the past almost year.

I’m going to jump in at an arbitrary starting point:

We Sold the Farm

The farm was a great experience and I remain convinced it was the right thing to do, both buying it and selling it. That we were able to sell it and get back all the money we’d invested plus a little extra was incredibly lucky.

We Found the Milwaukie House

We’ve now bought four places two of which we still own. The Brooklyn condo was itself an unbelievably lucky investment that will either be our retirement destination or will finance an alternate retirement location.  The Milwaukie house was a lucky find due entirely to Annette looking down the street from the place we’d come to view and seeing a sign. It’s a sturdy house in a neighborhood poised to explode due largely to TriMet’s Orange line. Unless the Big One hits in the next few years we are looking forward to a continuing appreciation of this dwelling all the while enjoying the fact we could leave our house, walk to the Max and go to either PDX or the Portland Amtrak terminal and be elsewhere without touching our cars.

I Got Rick Smith as a Trainer

I applied to TriMet on a complete lark. I jumped through all the pre-employment hoops with a perennial sense of amusement; sort of a “dear diary, you won’t believe what I did today” mindset, but then I met Rick Smith.

All of the trainers at TriMet are very good, but I was lucky in that I got paired with Rick. It’s hard to pin down to a specific instance or event while why I feel this way, but I guess the best analogy would be you know how some authors just seem to speak directly to you when you read them? Rick’s style spoke directly to me and I believe made it possible for me to successfully complete the training and progress in this odd job to the point were I got to see the lovely sunrise this morning.

So there it is. Three big events I’m grateful for that conspired to put me on Campus Drive this morning at the exact moment to see a jaw-dropping sight. Turns out the whole sunrise thing continued for a while. On my deadhead (remember what deadheading is?) back to the garage across the Ross Island Bridge the sun, above the horizon to the east, but still obscured to me by the Mount Hood foothills, caused the mountain to cast a shadow across the low clouds that were just barely above the mountain’s summit. Keeping the 20,000 pound glass and steel whale I was driving centered in the narrow lane of the bridge took most of my attention, but I was able to appreciate I was seeing a huge isolated volcano cast a shadow across the sky. I’ve never seen anything like that before.