Leaving Portland

A lot has happened since my last post!

On Thursday I was home, working, because pandemic. Remember we are still in a pandemic? I was working in our office and around 9am or so it was starting to get a little smoky. I left the office, did some laundry in the basement, went to the third floor to put laundry away, came back down to the office and it was even worse. Decided to take my work laptop upstairs to our bedroom for my 90 minute work meeting.

After my meeting was over, I walked downstairs and our house was so smoky I could barely breathe.

The air quality is so bad in Portland you can’t really breathe, especially if you have issues like asthma. The green on the map is good. The maroon color is hazardous. If you see on the map, 478 and 491 is where my aunt’s farm was. Nearby is 999!!!! Off the charts bad. Portland, near us is in the 300 range.

So anyways, Thursday Michael came home early because our evacuation level was changing. We were at Level (be Ready) and then Level 2 was getting closer and closer to our house (like three blocks or so away, basically on the other side of a river).

Near us, Oregon City/Beavercreek/Estacada/Molalla/Woodburn were Level 3 and so was Lincoln City (at the beach) and they were all evacuating.

Michael and I started packing for real and packing the cars. We waited a bit and then he went to get Logan, gas in the car and dinner. All the fast food restaurants were closed! So we had dinner at home and talked about a plan. We decided that Logan and I and the cats would go to Seattle to my parents house and Michael and Bella would wait a bit and see how it goes and if need be, he’d pack some more stuff. Then he’d come up to Seattle.

My car was mostly packed. We left around 6pm or so. It took over an hour just to get out of Portland. I avoided 205 because it was a complete parking lot with everyone evacuating from down South. I drove the backroads towards downtown and then picked up I-5 North. It was 10-20 mph, lots of traffic. People were nice, though.

Traffic got better once I got past Vancouver.

Then traffic thinned out and we were driving a normal speed. It was clear sailing the rest of the way to Seattle–honestly, traffic was pretty good! Best I’ve had during that drive. LOL

It was dark, smoky, cloudy, a very long drive. Logan would not nap. He was bored. He asked “are we there yet?” Every five minutes. The cats were not happy and kept talking to each other. LOL FUN!

We got to Seattle at 10pm and got settled. It was nice to be somewhere we could breathe. The air was much better!

Friday we got up and had breakfast and I did a little work.

Seattle had some blue skies and fresh air. As the day progressed it got a little more smoky and gross, but nowhere near as bad as home.

And the good part is that the smoke wasn’t in my parents house. So we could hunker down and just chill. I was still getting updates and texts and notifications from home. Still stressful. No idea how long we’ll be in Seattle. It depends on the air quality at home. It looks like it might start raining Monday or Tuesday in Portland.

Staying Home

Wow, life sure got kind of crazy and scary all of a sudden, huh?

I’ve been monitoring the covid-19 situation since Seattle because the epicenter in Kirkland was minutes from where my best friend lives and of course it spread to Seattle, where my family was. My 98 year old grandma lives in a nursing home in Seattle, too, so that of course is on my mind. Thankfully they have shut down all visitation.

I have basically been home all weekend “social distancing“. No gym. No swimming. I went to the grocery store at 8pm Saturday night to avoid crowds and just get normal essentials.

I already had a decent supply of stuff in my pantry to get us through a few weeks if need be. Having grown up with grandparents who grew up during the Depression that mentality definitely got ingrained in me. Always Be Prepared. You just never know.

And amidst all of this, it snowed!

My work has mandated a work from home (for those that can) until further notice policy, which is good news. And Michael’s work did it a few days before mine. We are both lucky that we have that option. A lot of people don’t and that is absolutely heartbreaking. I am so devastated for the people whose lives are going to be ruined by this crisis (lost jobs, lost wages, lost everything…).

Work is weird. I work in a place that serves the public and some departments are considered “essential” so it makes it hard planning on whether or not to close. I am glad my specific job can be done 90% from home (and I already worked from home once a week so I had everything set up and ready–a lot of people are scrambling now to try and get it going on short notice).

Portland is shutting down most things. Libraries and a lot of businesses are closed.

It’s been really hard not getting sucked in the social media loop and getting more and more anxious. And getting angry at people not takin this seriously and going out to bars and restaurants and clubs…seeing people smashed into a club in Nashville and New Orleans over the weekend made me really angry and scared.

I am considered one of the people who need to be careful. I have asthma. I also have a history of pneumonia. I was hospitalized 20 years ago with pneumonia and almost died, so it is a very scary thing for me.

Saturday I did weights and a kettlebell workout and then ran on the treadmill in our basement gym. Thankful to have that option! It wasn’t the best workout but it was better than no workout.

Sunday afternoon we went for a hike in Mary S. Young Park in West Linn. We’ve never been before and it’s a fantastic park with lots of dog-friendly and kid-friendly trails. It was the PERFECT remedy to being cooped up in the house all weekend.

I’ve cancelled Logan’s Batman Birthday party for next weekend. It was both an easy and a hard decision to take. I am bummed out and disappointed on behalf of Logan but my hope is that we can just post-pone it a few months and then have it then. πŸ™

Things are scary right now. We all need to be careful and STAY HOME. Protect our neighbors. Protect our loved ones that have compromised health. And stay SANE!