Things I Learned While In Oregon

1) Oregon is the best-kept secret in the United States.
2) “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes!” is a saying commonly attributed to the following states: Oregon, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Washington, Idaho, Montana, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana. SO NO, OREGON, IT’S NOT JUST YOU. STOP TRYING TO ACT LIKE YOU INVENTED THIS SAYING.
3) Caps-Lock is a powerful, powerful tool.
4) Grapes, en masse, are very heavy.
5) More insects than leaves are present in fermenting wine. By a long shot.
6) “The rainy season” is actually a thing. By which I mean, at some point, it starts raining, and then doesn’t stop for several weeks.
7) Small dogs are not, by necessity, adorable and irritating. In fact, they can be rather ferocious.
8 ) Chickens are more than just dumb, fat animals that will eat anything you throw at them – at least, when you’re cradling one as it takes its last few breaths of life.
9) Wild mushrooms are the best mushrooms.
10) Farming / gathering your own food is far more satisfying than buying it at the grocery store.
11) Mountains are really, really big.
12) I am, comparatively (both to mountains and to most other people), very small.
13) Wine is going local. Buy local, sell local, drink local.
14) Sustainability and self-sufficiency are two different things, and ought not be confused. You need not be one in order to be the other.
15) Even hills are pretty big sometimes, you guys.
16) Snow can actually be pretty for more than twelve hours at a time.
17) Winter is better in Oregon.
18) Most things are better in Oregon.
19) Clubbing is not better in Oregon. It’s better in Chicago.
20) Driving to work as the sun is rising is simultaneously the most painful and the most glorious feeling in the world.
21) Meat can be farmed and eaten in a sustainable and ethical manner (surprise!).
22) Meat still tastes good. Kinda slimy, though. Slimier than I remember.
23) People on the west coast are really, really chill.
24) Forests are really pretty.
25) They also smell really good.
26) There are a thousand bajillion different kinds of beer!
27) Hunting. It’s a thing. People do it. Who knew?
28) Freshly fermented wine doesn’t really taste that good.
29) It does, however, stain everything all the time.
30) The key to having a good time is to make good friends.
31) Good friends can be found just about anywhere.
32) Once you’ve found a place, a thing, a life that you love, you shouldn’t easily give it up.