Oct 302009

Coming to Creswell – Part 1 (Still Moving After All These Years)

OK, we’re moved in, our old house has sold, Christmas is put to bed for another year, and we’re moving ahead to our new normal life.   I finally have time to write down a bit about our journey.

A friend asked me to write this before Christmas and I’m just getting around to it.  I’m not usually this lay back about getting things done, but I think Oregon is already working its magic on me.

Oops.  I guess I may as well confess it now; we just moved to Creswell from San Jose, California.  I was born in Portland so technically I am an Oregonian by birth and my wife has citizenship by right of marriage.  I’m glad to have that out in the open.  I hope you don’t hold it against us.  We’re legal now. We even got licensed and everything.

Rewind a few years: We started our journey several years ago; well… even before that.  Way back after just getting married, back in the olden days, before time began, my wife and I moved up to Woodinville, Washington.  We followed some family and friends on an exodus of sorts.  We loved it there and since it was pre-Microsoft the Woodinville/Redmond area was still actually considered to be “the sticks”.  We lived there for just over five years, but moved back to San Jose when we had our first daughter so that she could know the rest of the family that lived in that area.  We always think back on that decision as one of the best and worst decisions of our lives.  We never regretted being around family, but we always missed living in the Northwest.  That whole bit about it raining in Seattle is true, but we still loved it there.  When my kids were old enough, we decided to consider moving back so we planned a trip up north to check out the area and how it had changed over the years.  Our first clue that things had changed was when we couldn’t even find the house where we used to live or even the city of Woodinville.  The place had grown so much from Microsoft’s participation in the area that it barely even looked like the place we’d loved so many years earlier.  It wasn’t enough different from California to even consider making the switch.  So, to the delight of our kids who didn’t want to move away from their friends anyway, our plans went onto the back burner.

Fast forward a few years:  We decided to do a road trip up the coast to visit a pastor friend that I’d chatted with online, but never met in person.  We had four days off for Thanksgiving so my wife and I gathered our somewhat reluctant daughters and once again headed north.  The trip was uneventful, but my wife and I enjoyed Florence while our kids mostly pouted and reminded us constantly that it was probably illegal to hold them hostage.  We found out that year that you can get great Chinese food for Thanksgiving dinner in Lincoln City.  This was different from our normal Thanksgiving fare, but we made due.  We absolutely loved the Oregon coast.  Well that’s not completely true.  I mentioned already that my kids found it tedious, so it would be more correct to say that my wife and I absolutely loved the Oregon coast.  My daughters didn’t think Fred Meyers was a valid substitute for a full service mall.  They were not impressed by trees or an ocean that wasn’t littered with surfers.  One of my daughter’s quickly accepted an offer to ride back south with her cousin and my other daughter beat a hasty retreat home via the Portland airport using something about having to get back to work as an excuse.

My wife and I enjoyed a nice ride back down the coast and stayed a couple of days in Florence finally meeting my pastor friend.  We were overwhelmed by the hospitality we experienced and pretty much decided that very weekend that we were destined to live here, well not there, but “here” in the Oregon sense of the word.  We visited several times over the next few years and almost bought property once.  Right when we were going to call the realtor with an offer some nefarious types flew airplanes into some buildings in New York and the world changed.  We decided to put our plans on hold.  Some other, not so reluctant types, bought the property we’d fondly started calling “our’s” and built a great house with lake access and, well, I’ll stop beating myself up on that one now.

Years went by and we knew that it was just a matter of time before we made the move.  One of our daughters was out of college and the other bound for Nashville to start a singing career so we figured the time was right to start looking again.  I couldn’t get away for the weekend, but my oldest daughter, the non-Nashville-bound one, said she’d go with my wife for a trip up to look around.  I wasn’t there to keep them on track so they decided to go to Eugene this time just to see what the college town looked like and if they really did have malls in Oregon.  I got the call that weekend that our plans were changing and unless I really had something against the idea we were moving to Eugene instead of Florence, oldest daughter and all.  My wife consoled me with words like, “you will absolutely love it here… it has the best of all worlds…”

A few weeks later I was convinced enough to take time off for a trip.  It was February so there was a lot of snow on the passes.  We witnessed a really bad accident where a baby was flung out of his car seat into the snow after the car he was in rolled over five times into the center the I-5 median.  We held their kids in our warmer car until the rescue workers showed up.  Fortunately, as far as we know, no one was hurt beyond scratches. Once the rescue trucks pulled out we were also, ever so slowly and cautiously, on our way.  The rest of the trip was no less than delightful.  I loved Eugene and the surrounding area.  It wasn’t a difficult sell.

Our realtor in Florence directed us to a couple in Eugene that have since become our best friends here.  After several trips and lots of house hunting we finally found a place in Creswell that we thought looked like home.  It was more than we thought we could afford, but we made an offer, they made a counter offer, and we accepted.   The die was cast.  The dice rolled.  The onion peeled.  The cookie crumbled.  The deed was done.  We were finally, after all these years, moving back north.   Well, half-way north at least!

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