It just irritates me like crazy to admit this, but I love where I live.
I’ve lived here for 25 years, so it’s about time I came to a conclusion one way or the other. Just didn’t want to rush it.
The truth is, I’ve always looked at our time in Oregon as temporary…just passing thru…second best.
Alaska was first best. But that was only for a season. Seasons change. I’ve been “getting over it” ….slowly.
Beyond Alaska, I am unashamedly a California girl. Every time I cross the border I sing “California here I come, right back where I started from”.
I do. I really do sing that…. which is why it’s a good thing I’m usually driving alone. To this day, I feel the comfort of home as I pull into my parent’s neat and tidy driveway, tucked in the Sierra-Nevada foothills.
Truthfully, I’ve hung a bad wrap on Oregon all these years. I have looked at this place like a diabolical enemy plotting my demise, rather than simply a geographical location. Personally, I’ve experienced the worst of life in this place….but I’ve also experienced the best.
My sons grew up here. They became good men…just like I knew they would no matter where we lived. Oregon brought daughters-in-law …..and the grandchildren bring joy and future hope.
All the years we’ve lived here, Doug and I regularly drive two-hours south to family. Lately, in spite of jobs and other obligations, this drive has become a more common occurence… for there is need at the other end.
To be honest, I’ve been a little cranky about it. It’s a long drive to make on a regular basis. And I’m struggling to make sense of the changes happening in our lives… where it’s all leading.
This last weekend it looked different to me…in a good way. I’ve been asking God to help me see, really see. I decided it’s okay to like this place. I want to feel at home.
We left our town of rolling hills, green with vineyards and made our way to open farm land. It’s haying season. On one side of the highway the hay lay cut. The bailers worked the other side.
The miles ticked by… to the pretty farmer’s house I like, where clumps of lavender grow in the side yard… to the little town where we stop for ice cream on the way home. And beyond the coast range in the distance, is the sea and sand I love so much.
Could any place have more variety or beauty?
Our destination is a place that hosted the garden of gardens, once upon a time. But no more. Mostly weeds now.
The weedy drive and the need inside pulls us in. I can’t see how this ends, just that it is a new season. And we can’t stop the seasons.
Yet even here there are spots of beauty… hanging on for dear life.