Monday, July 7, 2014

Choosing Oregon

About 2 years before we moved to Oregon my cousin’s husband’s job changed policies and they had to relocate from a moderately rural area on the outskirts of Atlanta to the San Diego area.  She has been one that has commented on my blog over the last two years with real understanding of how painful it has been.

I just read on her blog that her husband has taken a new job and they are moving to South Carolina.  I was astonished.  Stunned, even.  South Carolina?!?  Land of huge cockroaches and humidity and fireflies and honeysuckle.  Wherever she is in South Carolina, it can’t be too long from the warm beach—which sounds just like paradise to me.

Earlier this year I found out that one of our Durham friends had gotten a new job and after only a year away was moving back to North Carolina, to a city about 2 hours further south.  Let’s be honest—I was consumed with envy.

And yet…


After we got back from our spring break in Utah this year my younger kids started doing a lot of “living in Oregon” grumbling.  Which is unusual for them because they have had so many good experiences living here.  Now you may think this grumbling is because they’re picking up on my vibe, but I’m very careful to keep my vibe out of their sight.  They know the move has been difficult for me (they would have to be unconscious to have missed that one) but I really have worked to be positive around them about living in Oregon.  I do my working-through-difficult-feelings here or with my friends, but not within earshot of them.

Anyway, I started to be concerned about the grumbling and decided for the end of the school year to assign a 5 paragraph essay on “why living in Oregon is a good thing.”   And do you know what, by the time the essays were all the way done (which I hate to admit was a few days after school was done) their attitudes had changed and the grumbling had slowed down or stopped.


When we were in Durham I got asked frequently how the kids were doing, or variations on that theme.  And what I said comes back to me in this moment, the moment when I learn that someone else is lucky enough to be moving back to the southeast. 

I loved living in Durham.  I LOVED living in Durham.  I will cherish our time there for the rest of my life.  But Oregon is great for my kids.  They are happy here.  They have so many opportunities here that they never could have had in North Carolina.  They have friends who live only blocks away and a youth program that is big and thriving.  They can take classes at the schools and will get to go to released-time seminary.  I love seeing them having all of these great experiences—experiences I never expected that we would be able to provide for them. 

It’s interesting to have this dichotomy.  This is such a terrific place for our kids, while it’s still not what I would have chosen.  But because of how good it is for our kids, now I would choose it.  Even though I’ll be (figuratively) waving goodbye to my cousin while holding a sign that says “totally jealous” with my other hand.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Cindy...we tried for Oregon before we ended up headed for SC. From here it looked perfect for us and we wanted Medford/Grants Pass some kind of bad. He applied for jobs absolutely everywhere (except, I am sorry to say, Rhode Island. We turned Rhode Island down flat) and the company in SC is who wanted him. So I'm happy to be going to SC but Oregon looked so, so lovely. The jealousy works both ways. Thank you for being jealous for us. I need all the encouragement and excitement I can get. From here it looks like jumping into the unknown even though it's going home. The devil you know, you know...

    Also, I'm glad I was able to make a comment or two that helped. We've had similar experiences, and I've appreciated your honest perspective so much too. I'm not sure I'll ever understand what it's all for, but maybe part of it is how it helps us to find each other. Thank you for this.