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When you move to the suburbs, remember this: You’re not the first.

You’ll find long-term residents in your new town whose parents and grandparents all went to the schools your kids will attend.

They’re not used to new people.

When you tell them you moved from Portland’s inner-eastside, they’ll look at you like you just crawled out of the sewer, then ask how you ever lived in such a place.

Agree with them.

Tell them you’re glad to find a place where the yard isn’t a public toilet, where the paper flies in strong enough to chop your plants down, where the call to volunteer is loud.

Do that and you’ve laid a great foundation. It means you get to raise your kid in good schools with other parents doing the same.

You might be a model citizen but it doesn’t mean you get a break on the street.

The usual law and order still applies, in spite of your ecstatic feelings of finding what feels like home. You may guide the future of America with your parenting skills, coach until you’re blue in the whistle, but it doesn’t mean you get to skate on the rules everyone else lives by. Or else.

Start with the stop sign and speed limit sign. A stop sign is a habit. Get it. See a red octagon with white block lettering?


Pulling out of your new cul-du-sac, the stop sign at the end of your road means the same as it does in Times Square or a red light on Broadway.


But, you can see three blocks in every direction?


It’s four in the morning and you’re heading out?


It’s a new stop sign and you don’t know why they put one there?


Boomerpdx Lesson: Not every stop sign saves a kid chasing a ball, but the habit will.

Better Boomer says make a difference that matters, set a good example.

For good measure, read this to everyone you know over 50 and ask them if they know how much a failure to obey the stop sign ticket is.

For the record, it’s $295.

Speeding, $195.

About David Gillaspie
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