This is the time of year, every year, where our airline tickets to head back to the midwest are purchased and then we start watching the weather. Our kids pray for snow. We pray for no traffic. We love going back to where we grew up don't get me wrong. It's pretty there, and Chicago is one gorgeous city, no lie. And our kids get to see their cousins that they love so much. But that traffic. No. thank. you. When we moved to Portland I couldn't believe how easy traffic was..no real rush hour, traffic always moved at a clip and even though I didn't like sitting in ANY traffic, it wasn't that bad to me. Fast forward and it's a different story. We work with a good amount of doctors and I always ask 'how far out can you be from the hospital?', because that drive time is growing. Or the person looking to ride their bike to work (we live on a bike lane and wow! That's crowded too!). Or the family searching to be equal distance between their jobs. But here's the deal. I'm not going to complain because even though traffic is bad, things could be much worse. I'm ok with others wanting to live here, heck I did. And the folks I've met moving here are great. When we get frustrated and talk about how it was, we stop growing. And this is way worse then some traffic. I prefer not to live somewhere where we want to make others feel awful for moving to a place others moved to before them and THEN wanted the borders closed (sorry, had to do it). Portland is awesome. Why wouldn't someone want to move here? I'm constantly thankful for Portland every day, blemishes and all. To me, it's one of the prettiest places on earth. Choosing between a visit to the coast, the mountains, the high desert...the more I explore the more I want to drink in every possible place here. I love showing off our city + state and I'm fortunate because I get to do this all the time with new clients moving here for work and looking for homes. So, this holiday season let's remember to welcome all those who just want what we discovered.....and give them a big hug.....under an umbrella...because while I've been here 20 years, I still can't get behind the 'a true Portlander doesn't use an umbrella' adage. And I hope you forgive me.