I believe I've ridden the ferry from Bainbridge Island over 1,000 times. Day in and day out, I embark and disembark 10 times per week, 10 hours of commute time. This gentle steel beast has glided through choppy, white-capped water, through a Sound as smooth as steel. It's been jostled by gales, bumped over waves. It's the place where I rediscovered my love for writing, and a place where I've devoured books and beer. Instead of viewing the ferry as part of an annoying commute, I viewed it as a place where I could relax both before and after work.
I will only ride the ferry another 10 times. This week will be my last few trips on the Wenatchee, or the Puyallup. It's been so long that I recognize people now - families with kids, a woman who wears the same boots and coat every day, men in neon biking gear. My fellow ferry commuters are like family, and I'll miss them. I'll miss the mirrored grays and blues of sky and sea.
But the time has come to move on. I'm going back to my hometown of Portland, Oregon, ready to rediscover its quirky neighborhoods, restaurants and bars. It's where my family lives, and many friends from high school and college. My boyfriend David got a great job there, and I'll take my time looking for employment. I'm going to focus on writing, cooking, relaxing. I've been working for 7 years straight, and I've got the itch to take a break. I'm looking forward to having space to think and exercise, to plan out meals and buy veggies from the organic produce stand. I'll miss newsradio and it's excitement, but I'll also enjoy the time off.
It's been an amazing run in Seattle and on KOMO Newsradio. I've worked as an editor, a desk journalist, an anchor and a reporter. I've interviewed celebrities, politicians, dignitaries, people doing good things in our community. I was in Key Arena when the roar for the campaigning Obama was so loud I could barely hear. I was in downtown Seattle when he won the election, when people closed Pine street with their glee and celebration. I've covered heartbreaking crime, acts of violence so devastating it took my breath away. I've meet some amazing friends and worked with talented people in Seattle who I'll never forget.
I'm changing the focus of my writing now. Instead of writing news every day, I'll write a blog about everything Portland. I grew up in Beaverton, and hardly ever explored the eccentric neighborhoods of the Rose City. Now I'll be living near Hawthorne street, and there will be plenty of fodder for blogging. I hope you'll join me on my new blog, called Portland 360.
Goodbye ferry, and goodbye Seattle. I know I'll be back! And if you're ever in town, please contact me for a drink or a walk or a bike ride. I'm very happy to be going home.