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Monday, May 14, 2012

Some things, keep you sane.


This is the driving we do these days, on this two-lane road, one or two cars in front, one or two cars in the rear mirror. The sun shines more often than not, and the air is crisp and clean and smelling of fresh pine or seafoam, all day and all night.

I've escaped to this. I'm sane because of this. I'm in a constant state of reverie and contemplation and gratitude. There is no Heaven for me. I'm already there. How I longed for this all the years we lived in a congested city where even going to the supermarket meant a sure trauma or sorts. Someone would certainly take your parking place just as you were about to pull into it; someone would scrape your car while you were shopping and leave without notifying you; someone out there was always invading your viewfinder.

I always thought that we couldn't have lived here before retirement. My children needed certain benefits that we couldn't have provided without good jobs. My husband's job was highly specialized-his research work was not something he could do here. Our salaries afforded us a beautiful house, in a classy neighborhood, and bought tickets to the theater, dinner at up-and-coming restaurants, and opportunities all around us. Our mortgage, our car payments, our fees, needs,  particular services specialized to city living, all those expenses kept us looking for ways to advance, get promotions, obtain bigger salaries to keep experiencing more and more things.

The irony?

Everything we had in the city we can have here with just a few adaptations, such as traveling longer distances, driving three hours to see great theater in Ashland from the resident Shakespearean Company;  drive further and stay a couple of nights in Portland  to see and hear theater, opera, symphony, great indie groups. With a little enterprising, we could have lived here and adjusted our lifestyle. Our boys could still have pursued their science studies, and our girl, her arts program. Sure, competitions and variables would not be the same. A city tests you in different ways, but a city's biggest advantage is the seemingly endless opportunities that keep people searching and searching all the time.

My folks were country folks. The three of us, my brothers and I, all flew the nest as soon as we could to find our fortunes. Yet, in our old age, each of us looked for those things we had growing up, things we understood, things that nurtured us, and kept us whole.

21 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i look forward to those days...when i dont need traffic or the things i have to fight it to get to...smiles...i dont need heaven i am in it...that speaks so much of contentment...smiles.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I know exactly what you mean, Rosaria! We found that, in our last 5 to 10 years of living and working in LA, we didn't go to the theatre or much else because the traffic was so hideous, the parking such a hassle and we were so tired from working and commuting. Now we live an easy drive from both Phoenix and Tucson and many of the shows that play in LA also get to Phoenix. Driving is a pleasure. Your route and general ambiance is a dream come true for sure. Interesting how we scale down an simplify during these years. o glad this has worked so wonderfully for you!

Anonymous said...

You live in a beautiful place in southern oregon, too bad that the state has the highest hunger rate for children and elderly in the whole of the USA, one cannot eat the picturesque beauty of that state..Southern oregon got hit a little more than the rest of the state, lumber was king, no diversification at all, shame on Harry & David stuck it to all their loyal employees, now those retirees can't enjoy their golden years, getting their reduced money if at all from the govt. agency that regulates pensions when companies go belly up the employees get the shaft..I know all about Oregon, left there at 18 to southern california got a great college education for free on scholarships and help from wonderful native californians, now living in washington state that still funds schools, etc. I read your blog and always wonder how you would love living there is you worked in the largest city Portland and lost you and your husbands good jobs never to find another one..don't think you would enjoy that..now Seattle is different indeed, billionaires and jobs are up there, lots of innovations, it has it's up and downs but always money and jobs and people actually fight to get a home built in the 1950's and 1960's in the city of seattle due to the fact there is no more land being constructed..Enjoy your retirement where you are, you must both your husband and yourself good means to live there, because most people don't and they suffer a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rosaria williams said...

Anonymous, you are right on the money on the issues you raised. For sure, hunger and lack of employment are making it hard for anyone to live in rural Oregon. Glad you found solutions. Many young people leave and cannot afford to return, for sure.

And yes, we are on pensions, live off the savings we accumulated from our rush-to-work years in Southern California.
Thanks for adding this perspective!

becky said...

For sure, traffic defines our lives...or not. Heaven is definitely here...if we can find it.

MerCyn said...

I am so glad you found a retirement haven you love in a beautiful place. We are still searching!

Eva Gallant said...

I'm glad you are able to enjoy a "heavenly" retirement. You have earned it.

Rob-bear said...

You have retired to the kind of place in which I would like to live. That's not going to happen for me/us, So I consider that I am living in exile. And making the best of things.

May you keep enjoying what you have.

Blessings and Bear hugs.

Maggie May said...

I am glad you are in a place where you want to be.
As we now have no car (husband not allowed to drive) I am grateful to be near all the mod cons of the city. Not least of all the hospitals that we are dependant on.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Grandmother said...

I think the blessing is to live where you you chose for reasons that are personal and dear. I'm glad you've found that for yourself.

Diane said...

I'm so glad to see you're still here in Blogland!! :)

Sightings said...

I'm glad you've found your spot -- and I've been to Oregon a cpl. of times and I know it's a beautiful place. But I have to admit I'm leaning the other way -- B and I are talking about moving closer to the city where there are sidewalks and we can stroll down to the corner to get our coffee.

À chacun son goût.

yaya said...

I think it's good that you lived in the city first. Sometimes we do what we have to at the time and it's always easy to look back and think "what if"..but you worked hard and now you can live the life you love. You have good memories of the past and the wisdom to know that the future holds peace and comfort in your later years. Enjoy Rosaria! You've earned it!

Journeyin' Lady... said...

You are so right - living where you love is heaven! Happy for you.

Amanda said...

there is no heaven for me, i'm already there.

wow - yes, rosaria. what a gorgeous relationship to have towards life.

oceangirl said...

You live in beautiful country Rosaria.

the walking man said...

I live in the city I grew up in. Now it is pockets of habitat surrounded by devastation, destruction and the wilds taking back what never should have been clear cut in the first place.

It's odd how I would have to drive 25 miles to get to a place where there would be work for me if I could work without going bankrupt.

Vera said...

Well said Rosaria. I feel that I am in Heaven here (SW France), and am so glad that we hare moved away from the fast pace of our old UK life.

ellen abbott said...

It's easy to be convinced you can't have the things you want or that you have to wait til a certain point in your life. I was born and raised in a small city but by the time I had children of my own it was a huge city. After the bottom dropped out of the economy we found ourselves living at the country house full time. no need to go into the city to work as there wasn't any. but we do love it out here. the slow quiet pace and the space. the city is only an hour away for us though.

Phoenix said...

I love this post. I grew up in a small town that didn't have a ton of entertainment (or a mall, for that matter) and I spent hours in the fields playing by myself or with siblings. There's something very nice about being removed from the traffic and city congestion.

I hope your heart is at peace.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. you've certainly picked the right place now - given your kids the opportunities of living in a city .. and now they can come visit and appreciate your home and vicinity in the woods and coastline ...

Cheers Hilary