After spending much of her life not too far from the other Portland, in Maine, Margaret Spears decided it was time to head west, where her kids had gone.
With her children living in Portland, Margaret decided to move from the Maine coast, though she does reminisce when thinking about her home. “Maine has beautiful sandy beaches like Oregon,” she says. “Of course, the water is cold on both sides.”
Being retired, coming to Portland to live around her kids meant being fully integrated into their lives, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The major thing I do here is help with the children,” she explains. “I live with my one daughter who has three children under twelve, so I spend a lot of time watching and hanging out with the kids.”
As she speaks, the tone of her voice gives away just how much joy she derives from spending time around her family. It truly means the world to her. Yet, there’s still more room in her heart.
“Most of my other time is spent at Oregon Humane with the dogs,” she says.
You see, Margaret is volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society animal shelter.
“I started there almost seven years ago,” she continues, “even though I never really liked shelters. Still, it’s different when you get to help the dogs.”
Margaret’s passion for helping animals comes from the deep wellspring of compassion within herself. It was so hard throughout the years to see cherished friends go.
“As an adult with dogs, I find it harder and harder when they come to the end after you’ve had a long relationship with them,” she explains. “I just find it very hard.”
Whereas at the Humane Society, “they take the place of me having my own dog,” she says. “I get to interact with them, but I still know they are going someplace good.”
If it isn’t apparent by now, Margaret is a compassionate, loving person who cares very much for other living creatures. Still, what does she do for herself?
“I like to quilt,” she says with a smile in her voice. “It’s busy and you get to create something that’s helpful, something people can use.”
So, in the end, what does Margaret think when she puts the two Portland’s side-by-side in her head?
“Portland, Oregon is a great place,” she says before finishing with a chuckle. “But I think you want to keep that quiet.”
Sadly, it’s too late. The secret is out and people are coming to the ‘keep it weird’ Portland. Still, if they’re people like Margaret Spears, send them our way. As a wonderful PDX Person, she enriches the city she and her children call home.
William Bessette – PDX People Contributor
William Bessette is a journalist and freelance writer who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over thirteen years. When he’s not profiling Portland-area restaurants and residents, you can find him reporting on national and international travel and eco-tourism through his travel brand, Floppy Hat Adventures.