(And four years after returning to Portland, I would leave the city again, probably for good. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)
My move from Portland back to SF was made with the greatest reluctance, but I had good reasons: I hoped to be able to spend more time with TNG, who would be entering middle school, and to pursue a friendship with G, who was expecting a baby soon. As matters played out, I ended up spending less time with TNG than I had hoped, but a great deal more time with G and the baby than I'd anticipated.
San Francisco had become a feasible alternative because I'd inherited a certain amount of assets from a relative (my maternal uncle) who had won the Missouri state lottery a few years before. It certainly wasn't enough to make me wealthy (and money doesn't go very far in San Francisco), but it did allow me to live a little more comfortably than would otherwise have been possible, and most importantly it allowed me to take time off from work to be with family and friends.
G was due to deliver in September. Remember that this woman was a high school friend (and crush), and a classmate of my sister's - and now, at some 43 years of age, becoming a mother for the first time. In addition to being a high-risk pregnancy due to her age alone, she suffered a number of health complications, any one of which could have been life-threatening. The doctors had told her in no uncertain terms that she was crazy to try to have a baby.
But seemingly by a miracle, after some 48 hours of labor, Sophie came into the world on September 25th.
You can see pictures of her here:
As for G, the adventure was just beginning. We had gone from being "just friends" to officially "a couple" early in 2007; by Thanksgiving we had already broken up and un-broken-up several times.