1. Drizzle is more than just the reason Snoop Dogg carries an umbrella, it is a primary state of being, one that you learn to ignore with the use of a three-season second-skin known as a water-resistant jacket.
2. Your closet is slowly filling up with more and more long-sleeve plaid shirts, jeans, jackets, scarves and ironic sweaters while those colorful shorts you had in whatever sunny land you came from begin to get pushed further and further back in the recesses of your closet until you forget you even had them.
3. You’ve been outside the Portland-Metro area more than once for reasons other than the Country Fair, snowboarding, Sasquatch or that time you drove up I-5 from the land that must not be named.
4. You know exactly how long it takes from your current position to drive to the coast, Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, and Sunriver. Also, by bike.
5. Your roommate casually asks you if you need anything at the dispensary because it’s Sunday and Sunday is BOGO (buy one get one) day. Then, after a moment of reflection, you realize how that question in other states could potentially lead to prison time.
6. You quietly walk down the aisle reading through the choices, thinking of the wealth of complexity and human knowledge that is contained within each and every one. Some may not be for you, but others surely will. You see some you recognize and daydream about what you were doing at the time you first held them. A child runs screaming by and you shush them. You are in a sacred place. You are in the beer aisle, and it looks like…yes. Your favorite seasonal is out just in time for Fall.
7. You are inordinately happy that people outside the state have a hard time placing Oregon on a map. Like a greedy explorer that mistakenly thinks your “discovery” entitles you to ownership, you begin to think you alone are worthy of true Oregonianhood and everyone that came before or after is an imposter. You have gone full “Columbus.”
8. You know how to pronounce Molalla, Yachats, Willamette, Chehalem, Wallowa, and Yaquina. Now, for some reason you crave Dungeness Crab.
9. You know that Oregon filbert farmers produce 99 percent of the nation’s hazelnuts, and that hazelnuts are just rebranded filberts.
10. You look forward to the special joys that come with each season. Fall means a steaming cup of Stumptown coffee next to the fire in a warm cafe watching the grey day slide towards an early night (and the onset of SAD). Winter means it’s time to strap on the skis and check the snow report on Hood (and a city-wide shutdown for two days as people remember they still don’t know how to drive on ice). Spring means fresh strawberry milkshakes at Burgerville, and summer means floating the Sandy, Clackamas, or Willamette with Rainier in hand thinking just how nice it is to live in a state where every season is so precious precisely because it (and two and a half weeks of unbearable heat) will end.