I'm in Eugene these days. After zigzagging my way north, east and west through the towns of McMinnville, LaFayette, Amity, Carlton, Dundee, Newberg, Canby, Wilsonville, Aurora, etc, etc, and alternating between various sub-par airbnbs and mediocre hotels that feel like 5-star luxury lodgings in comparison, I made my way south to Corvallis, Springfield and eventually Eugene. Ladies, my butt is tired! My days are now feeling less like an adventure and more like "what the hell am I doing?" My first long stop--about six weeks--was in Springfield where we found an over-the-garage 1-bedroom apartment. The owner did say it wasn't the Taj Mahal! What an understatement. I don't know what was worse, the unfinished construction mess literally right outside my door, the constant battle with the spiders inside and webbing down the stairs, the super tiny shower stall that is more suited for a stick figure and not my more generous proportions--truly I could barely turn around in that thing--or sleeping on an air mattress for weeks on end. Oh wait, I remember the worse thing about it was the constant off-again, on-again water situation. SIX WEEKS! Have you ever had to drive down to the closest Carls Jr to use their bathroom in a hurry? It's like running down a hallway that grows ever longer the faster you run. It's a miracle I didn't have a car or more personal type of accident along the way. Not fun.
One day while on the I-5 on my way back to my dusty palace, I started laughing hysterically. I'm thinking, oh shit, I need to get off the freeway, what the heck am I doing, how much longer can I do this, etc etc. You get the picture. I had to laugh at myself and my life. There really isn't any other viable choice. So I dried my crazy tears, took a deep breath (or two), and told myself I could do this. Surely I won't have to do this too much longer, right? Hmm. From where I'm sitting, I'm not so sure. Next up, I'll tell you all how I ended up in Eugene.
Entry added on 9/18/2016 10:05 PM Last edited on 9/18/2016 10:10 PM
Earlier this summer, my best friend and roommate sold her house in Salem. While the entire process was a lesson in patience and planning, we were handling things quite well; packing at a steady pace and selling off items we didn't want to take with us on the move. We really had no idea where we wanted to go next, but Oregon was our oyster, and there were no restrictions tying us to any particular location. It wasn't until the closing date was a week away and still hadn't found our next landing place was when I began to get nervous.
We joked of becoming homeless, roaming around from town to town looking for the perfect house in the perfect town. We even took a short trip to several waterfront towns in Washington like Langley, Anacortes, and La Conner. (Honestly, the best part of that trip was pigging out on chili cheese dogs from Weinerschnitzel, my favorite hot dog joint, and which not a one can be found in the whole of Oregon.) Perhaps a rental would do while she continued her search, but that still left us wondering where to set up camp. At this point, she had to confirm the movers. So we (desperately) picked what we thought was a central location in the general area of interest, and on moving day loaded the truck and headed to McMinnville, a city of about 45,000 people and roughly an hour north of Salem and an hour southwest of Portland, and locked everything in storage except two small luggage cases filled with clothes, and a trunk load of must-haves like laptops, medical accoutrements, toiletries, food stuff for the road, etc.
Frazzled yet confident in our future success, we were officially on the road and onto a(nother) new adventure!
Entry added on 8/25/2016 1:51 AM Last edited on 8/25/2016 1:54 AM
Have you ever longed for your very own adventure? The type that requires plenty of courage, strength, and ingenuity? One where a sense of humor is a must and will go a LONG way to get you through those tight spots, while acting as a buoy for when you think you will certainly spiral into near desperation. I am a dreamer, and much of the time I live out my dreams through the books I read. Book adventures are wildly fun and safe, but secretly I always thought I had an adventurous spirit. Oh, not in the dare-devil, cliff-scaling, or James Bond type of way (hello, books!), but at least willing to try new, smaller scale stuff.
Of course, adventures are best shared. Preferably with your ace, your homie, your BFF, you get the picture, right? Vacations are typical settings for adventures and are often experienced with others in the moment. They're fun. They create lasting memories. They strengthen relationships. And then the carefree times come to an end, and it's back to your regular life. But what if the vacation becomes your real life? It could be totally awesome, for sure, but it could also morph into a test of that courage, strength, and ingenuity that I mentioned before. So where do you go from there knowing you can't turn back?
What started as a typical change of residence has become what I call my vagabond summer. And you know what, it's ongoing! I'm still swirling in the soup, adding my own ingredients along the way. My BFF suggested I write about it. Is she nuts? I'm living it! I can't even think straight anymore! But maybe she has a point after all.
So you, my PBS and forum friends, will be, hopefully, my willing audience. Maybe you'll have a laugh or two, maybe you'll learn that I really am nuts (or not), or just maybe I'll make Oregon come alive for you. At the very least, you will get a peak into my life behind the smiling avatar.
Entry added on 8/18/2016 10:25 PM Last edited on 8/18/2016 10:28 PM
I wrote a little bit on mine when they first came out a few years back. But I didn't keep it up and didn't see much on the boards of my friends or others (non-friends) I checked out. I just sort of lost interent in it. But if there is something interesting to read, I'm always game to read along. Never know what I might learn.
Karen H, Flushing, MI
Reply added on 8/19/2016 2:13 AM
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