Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Life in Oregon

     There we were, driving to Tillamook. I can still remember when the two of us traveled to N's interview. He'd been working as an assistant manager for Willamette Tree Systems, a tree planting company, whose owner was ready to retire to Eastern Oregon. This new job offering seemed suited to his experience and education. And oh did that sun shine on the coastline that day! Glistening white foamy waves, highlighted by the gorgeous blue sky. Perhaps that's what teased us into submission.

     Once that avenue had played itself out, we hitched up our britches and headed to Roseburg, to a new job, a new employer. Roseburg was good to us. We made some good friends, as we dove head first into volunteering at the girls' elementary school. And I found my 'vocation'--working with the wee folk. Good friends, good neighbors, and we loved the area--it wasn't easy, but we pulled up our happy, established roots and moved to Salem.

     In Salem, I realized it was time to say goodbye to many of my rural habits and beliefs. As well as learning how to drive and navigate on busier city streets. The transitions were slow, as I resisted, shaking off all that we had loved about Roseburg. Growing up with few education choices in the HS of my youth, I was hopeful that the girls would receive a better education than I had: the lure of better schools, more opportunities and more friends to choose from. All in all, it was a good place to end up.

     Even though my folks were sure that living in a city with a prison or two, would end with us all being murdered in our beds, we've come to love Salem. She's not perfect--a plus in my opinion--but she's lovely, vibrant, eager to please, and oh so green. People come here (I assume), to escape the big city, yet live with many of the benefits of one. A small city can make you feel like you do make a difference, that you are needed, and you won't have to worry as much about sharp elbows pushing you out of the way. It's not for everyone, but it is for me.

Ps. And guess what I forgot? All of the gratitude for the family help we received during every move (including the moves from rentals), except for the last. That's when the benefits of staying with the same employer came into play. Finally.


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