We’re sticking around in Oregon
Sometimes we meet nurses who were travelers, but they fell in love with a place or a person and decide to stay at that assignment permanently. That is not what happened to us. Oregon is nice, we like Oregon, but we do not love Oregon.
One of the reasons I cannot love Oregon is the absence of Fall. Fall is my absolute favorite, but here there is no such season. There’s no foliage. The farmers market has stopped. There is no haunted hay maze, pumpkin patch, or apple orchard nearby.
I wanted to make an apple pie because Rosh Hashanah, and crisp mornings, and Fall, but the pie called for boiled apple cider. I went to three different grocery stores and could not find apple cider. One clerk thought they stocked cider, but instead of bringing me to look for it in the juice isle, or in some lovely canned pumpkin puree and cinnamon stick display, she brought me to the beer cooler to look for hard cider. Do they not have cider in the west?? What are they living for? Pot?? It doesn’t matter. I later realized that the recipe wasn’t asking me to boil cider (I am notoriously bad at following recipes) The pie was concocted by King Arthur Flour, based in VT, where they have so much fall that bakers can buy a syrup like product called Boiled Apple Cider, totally different from apple cider with heat applied. The pie turned out fine anyway.
Instead of cider and leaves here they have rain. In September, my jeans were damp when I took them out of the closet. Now I keep a pair of “outside” pants hanging up in the shower between walks. There’s no point in getting another pair wet when I have so few pairs with me. After the first ten minutes of walking around in soaking wet clothing, your body heat warms the outfit up, and it’s raining again anyway so you barely notice.
Oregon isn’t so bad, you guys. Now that school is back in session, Coastal Radio has added a Monday Night show called “Viking Hour.” During Viking Hour, local high school students take over coastal radio and discuss important topics such as: is the new block schedule great or sucky? Do the cheerleaders (who decorate for homecoming) decorate the night before or that morning?
This week the show was devoted to homecoming and they played all dance themed music. Yes, of course they played Foot Loose. Why didn’t my school have this? I would have LOVED it.
Viking Hour also features interviews of faculty and other students. Viking Hour is the best. The Librarian, for instance, grew up in town. She’s updating the school’s book collection and she has markers and glue available for whatever project you’re working. On the weekend, she likes to go hiking with her dog and her boyfriend—the Librarian, she’s just like us!
As the Librarian rightly pointed out Oregon has truly beautiful and abundant hiking. The flora is so robust, it doesn’t make for great pictures. Our shoes and legs are always soaked after a hike, but the many trails to explore offer a great reason to stick around for the few blissful moments when the rain exhausts itself and clears up.
Mostly, we’re sticking around because extending our time here makes our winter travel schedule easier to manage. We’ve taped an 18 month calendar to the trailer wall. We measure out assignments with pieces of string to help plan time off for the next year of weddings, family reunions, and other celebratory gatherings. The Remote Work Life is pointless if it becomes more about Work than it is about Life.