I have written about the idea of home before. It is an idea that is important to me, especially recently as I have started to build a new life in Oregon. It is hard to believe it was only two months ago when I was packing up to leave Dallas.
Earlier this year when I wrote about the meaning of home, I was at a point in my life when I had chosen to walk away from what had been and what I thought would be my home. I felt adrift in uncertainty. The thought of moving to Oregon had not even crossed my mind. Heck, the thought of visiting Oregon had not even crossed my mind. I had no idea where I would be living at the end of my fellowship. But I knew the things that were important to me.
Today, my life has a little more direction and much more happiness, and yet I continue to appreciate that I do not truly know what tomorrow will bring or what direction my life will take next. I love that this no longer drives me crazy. And that each day I get to wake up and make the choice to build a home in this new place through doing the important things.
It is with that attitude I have been exploring Oregon. And for the most part, I am really enjoying the possibilities and the anticipation of what my life could be. Not that moving and starting over has been all fun and games. I mean, moving to a place where I know no one kind of means that I have to meet a bunch of new people, which is pretty much my idea of the least fun thing ever. Thankfully, I have met some very nice people, some of whom even manage to at least seem as if they are not offended when I just do not feel like talking. Sure, I have hours or days when I really just want to sit on my couch, magically make my brothers or one of my best friends appear, and never talk to someone I’ve known for less than 5 years ever, ever again. But, those moments aside, I am trying to live with a sense of discovery and exploration.
So, today I thought I would share a bit about what I have discovered and explored.
More than anything, I have loved living in such a beautiful place, a place where I can go hiking and see the stars and not spend hours of my day sitting in traffic. It. is. amazing. In just the short time that I have been here, I have been hiking in several incredible places. However, hiking at Crater Lake has undoubtedly been my favorite. There are no words and pictures do not begin to do it justice. Suffice it to say that if you ever have a chance to go, just go and prepare to be amazed.
Of course, there are other great options, such as the waterfalls I recently hiked to and the nearby North Umpqua Trail.
I always want to remember to feel grateful for the opportunity to live in a place with such abundant beauty.
As if the trees and the waterfalls and the rivers were not enough, I have the privilege of living close to the ocean. Like I-randomly-feel-like-putting-my-feet-in-the-ocean-so-I-am close.
Just as Crater Lake was on the top of my must-see list, it did not take long for me to make my first trip to the coast. The town of Bandon was a great choice for my first coastal venture – great seafood, an especially scenic coastline, and plenty of little shops to explore.
Like with any change, there have been some adjustments. When I first moved into my house, I noticed that there was an interior bathroom perfect for sheltering during a tornado. And then I realized that, for the first time in my life, I probably did not need to worry about tornadoes. Wildfires, on the other hand, were discussed on the radio repeatedly through the end of the dry summer. And now it is fall. And most days are to some extent cloudy and rainy and will likely continue to be so through the winter. But at least it is not hot and humid!
I also love the easily accessible farmer’s markets. My sister-in-law lovingly calls me “sort of a hippy,” partly because she sees me as easy-going (hahaha) and partly because, well, I still do not fully know why. Of course, I’m fairly certain I only confirmed her belief when I got “Peace” tattooed on my body. And then every now and then I do things like post pictures of the farmer’s market produce that I am really excited about on Facebook, which she says are further evidence in support of her conceptualization.
In addition to a weekly farmer’s market, the town I live in has a farmer’s co-op that is open daily, so I do not even have to get up early on a Saturday morning in order to buy locally sourced products.
Speaking of farmers(ish), another amazing thing is that I am entirely surrounded by vineyards.
I really do live in an incredible place. It would be even more amazing if there were a Super Target and a Torchy’s Tacos. Seriously, I literally dreamed about Torchy’s queso last week – any of my Texas friends want to figure out how to ship me some? And while you’re at it, maybe some Desperado’s tacos? Or some Chuy’s salsa?? I’m sensing a theme… Like I said, there have been some adjustments.
These are just a few of the things that I have experienced since moving to Oregon. All of this and it is only the beginning. I have a lifetime to explore this new place I call home, to build new relationships, and to continue to create the life I want to live. I cannot wait to find out what is next!