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March 24, 2010

Ok, not so big this time, but I’m moving my blog. Goodbye Wicked Stepblog, hello The Life Coastal.

I’m going to leave this blog up but from now on, I’ll be writing here.

Please join me!


A brief repose

March 23, 2010

Well, today marks one week since I left my graphic design job in Portland, crammed my little car full of assorted odds and ends and drove over Highway 6, in the dark, pouring rain to Bay City, making the move official.

It’s all too fresh right now to offer any wise perspective, but I have been watching the sun set over Tillamook Bay each evening. And when the moon appears and paints a glowing reflection on the smooth surface of the water, all I can think is: what a wonderful feeling it is to know that I’ve followed my heart.

I’ll post an update in the next few days on the whole adventure of moving from a large metropolitan area to a small, coastal community. I promise to provide deeply meaningful perspectives on returning to work as a reporter at a small town newspaper, post graduate school, during a period of general decline for the newspaper industry. I also promise a fully detailed report on our first week of family life in a little cabin above a bay.

But you’ll have to stay tuned, because I don’t have internet access just yet. I’ve been forced to actually read books in the evenings, heating my back against the wood stove and sipping red wine. Poor me.

Goodbye red house, hello Bay

March 16, 2010

We moved this weekend. We packed up our little red house in southeast Portland and hauled our belongings across the snowy pass of Highway 6 and carried them into a little white house in Bay City.

Monday was my last night sleeping in that little back bedroom. We slept on the old foam pads, which brought me back to my first nights in that house- driving out from Astoria with Chieffy. He’d sleep in the back of the car in a parking garage downtown while I went to class, and then we’d drive out to the empty red house, spend the night on the foam pads and get up at 5 to be back in Seaside in time for work. I didn’t even see that house in the daylight for two weeks or so.

This morning as I ventured out into my last morning of rush hour traffic, there was McDonald’s trash scattered across our lawn. People like to throw trash out their car windows as they drive by. We pick it up every day and put it in the garbage can. It is a busy corner on the bus line, where I witnessed two car accidents and a girl hit by a car. Also victims of that busy corner were one cat and one dog. No one ever came for the dog, so it’s now buried in our backyard under the blossoming plum tree.

We had invasions of mice, ants and these little flying things that got into my flour, oatmeal and rice. The mice were the worst though. Our neighbors across the street were obviously dealing something crack-like, as there were always different cars pulling up and idling there at the curb for a considerable length of time while one person went into the house to do God-knows-what.

I shouldn’t dwell too much on the bad though.

Kid learned to ride a bike in the park up the street. The Springwater Corridor trail was just a few blocks away and I explored its entirety on my bike. Our backyard had a bird bath and a small, perfect Japanese maple. We slept in a tent out there when the summer heat made sleeping indoors unbearable. Sometimes I’d come home from work on a scorching summer evening, drenched in sweat from a 13-mile bike commute in rush hour traffic, and dive into a cool kiddie pool, clothes on and all. We survived being housebound after one crazy winter snow storm by renting cross country skis and exploring our white-blanketed neighborhood from a whole new perspective.

I grew sunflowers and tall stalks of corn in the tiny strip of soil against the west facing side of the house. Ebon built a little table and we carried our dinner out to the backyard on countless summer evenings. Kid grew two years older, finished kindergarten and first grade. I worked full time and went to grad school in the evenings. Ebon played in a band that practiced in our cool basement. I learned to bake bread and knitted a gigantic blanket. We celebrated our first and second wedding anniversaries. We explored the Columbia River Gorge, sought refuge from the city by hiking up into its cool rock canyons and made it a mission to find its lesser-known waterfalls.

A life well-lived in a little red house in southeast Portland, and now we keep moving forward.


February 26, 2010

It’s been hard- all of this not-knowing. So now, suddenly, I know. And it’s a huge relief.

I guess I’ve been vague long enough and it’s time to make this official here on the interwebs…

In March we will be moving back to the coast.

This definitive statement comes after nearly two months of not knowing what the future would hold. I interviewed with a company in Portland for a pretty high-level position throughout January and February, and was relatively certain I had the job at one point. But at the same time, an opportunity for a reporting position in Tillamook arose and an adorable little house by the bay became available.

I have been vacillating between wanting one thing and then wanting the other this whole time.

In my head, I wanted the financial security and the satisfaction of launching a career in the field I went to grad school for. I had visions of a salary, an iphone, maybe a house in North Portland.

In my heart, I wanted the beach life. The deep breaths of salty air, the walks at low tide, picking up agates and smooth, worn pieces of glass. I had visions of splitting firewood and watching the white cranes standing in bay muck. I saw myself writing again, becoming part of a small community, of living more intentionally.

It was a decision I could not make. Ebon said he could make it work either way. I decided to let the universe decide. I gave my all during the interview process in Portland and when they let me down, I was truly upset. But their decision made my decision and everything fell into place so smoothly after that.

So, in the next few weeks, I will be finishing up my life in Portland, packing, cleaning, saying goodbyes. I’m a little sad to leave, but very, very excited for what this next thing holds.

A new decade

February 24, 2010

I turned 30 on Friday, which wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be. Everyone says 30 was their best decade, and I’m five days in thus far and cannot complain.

I had a great day, too, surrounded by family, friends, love and daffodils. I am not sure what the next decade will bring, but I do know that at 30, I feel more grounded in my convictions than ever before. And while I do worry from time to time if everything will work out, I have no doubt about the path I’m traveling on.

I told you there was a Sasquatch

February 14, 2010

Written by Kid, Erin and Ebon

Today was a rainy day in Portland, so Ebon, Erin and Kid decided to go hiking. They loaded up the car and drove across a troll bridge, where they paid one dollar so the troll would let them across.

As they drove deep into the forest, they saw a beautiful creek and decided that was the perfect spot to hike.

As they were hiking, Kid felt like something was following them. She could hear footsteps. Big. Loud. Footsteps.

“Did you hear that?” Kid asked her dad.

“No, Kid, I didn’t hear anything,” he replied.

But she knew she heard the Sasquatch. Then they got to a big waterfall that wasn’t on a map. As she was busy building a dam out of rocks in the creek, Kid suddenly noticed something running through the woods high above them.

“Did you see that?” she said.

“No,” said Ebon and Erin.

So, as they walked back, Kid saw big footprints on the same log they had walked across earlier. They were very big footprints.

She said, “Do you see those footprints?”

And Ebon and Erin said no.

Later on, after they got home and loaded all the pictures from the day’s hike onto the computer, Erin suddenly screamed.

There was a Sasquatch following them!

“I told you so!” said Kid.

The end.

Life Unfolding

February 11, 2010

Andrea Fuentes Diaz PhotographyI’m not NOT thinking about my blog right now. I think about things I want to say all of the time. The thing is, I’m facing a huge life-decision right now that is career-related and don’t want to divulge too much into cyberspace and then regret it later.

Other than major life-changing career decisions, life is unfolding quite smoothly. I’m putting in two days a week doing graphic design for a coffee roasting company, three days a week at the Ham Place. In the mornings I make smoothies, in the evenings I do yoga, watch trashy tv on Hulu (thank you, Andrea, eternally, for introducing me to the wonders of Jersey Shore) and slowly reading my way through a list of 1001 books that must be read before you die.

Weekends are for the beach. For hiking and picking up agates and laughing while Kid forces the small dog to wear pink dresses. These are good days and everywhere we go, we see signs of spring.