Old Diary

Still Dry – but not nearly

I’ve been talking a lot about rain. Or the lack thereof.

I wanted to share a comparison with you.  Carter Lake — about 1 1/2 miles South of where we live in the Siltcoos Corridor.  This lake is entirely fed by rain water and snow runoff.  The snows have been light for several years and the lake has been gradually evaporating off.  When we arrived in October, this is what it looked like:

Carter Lake October 29, 2013

Carter Lake October 29, 2013

That marker stick is intended to show the depth of water, but as you can see — all 19 feet of the marker stick were exposed and then some.

We have had a couple weeks of decent rain now.  The lake is starting to look a lot different — as is the forest in the background.  Those deep, lush greens are more like what the forest should have looked like even in October but it had been a dry year.

Carter Lake February 19, 2014

Carter Lake February 19, 2014

No one here is predicting that Carter Lake will once again reach a depth of 19′ — it would take a long while (multiple years) to do so.  But it would be nice to see it recover a bit more than this.  There used to be good fishing in that lake — so I’m told.  Right now there’s not much in there.

But these ebbs and flows are what living in the forest are really about; they are why we came — more than anything else.  What is it REALLY like to live in a place?  Not going to see the touristy places — but to be aware of how LIFE flows around you in a new place.

I suspect some people get tire of my running on about the weather or the job or … well… you know better than I the subjects that I seem to get hung up on.  But it is those things that we came here for.

The Oregon Coast is not Wisconsin.  We knew it would be this way. And we are having fun learning what living in a new place is like.  That includes making new friends, finding new resources, adjusting to a new rhythm of life (whether it’s work or recreating).  We lived one life for the last 65 years;  now we’re trying out a new one.  Part of it has been mobile, some of it has been stationary in a motor home, and it doesn’t matter to us.

I guess I’m still on a high from yesterday’s meeting.  I had a heck of a time falling asleep last night after writing yesterday’s post.  I am truly a basically optimistic and happy person.  I don’t like getting cranky — it’s not really who I am — it’s who too many people around make me into.  We were overjoyed when we got here, and most of the time between October and now we have continued to be delighted to be here.  This is a magical place; with wonderful people.  Peggy and I were both commenting to each other last night about the quality of supervision we have enjoyed here… Let me explain.

You know from previous posts that I have sometimes ranted and raved about the fact that we weren’t getting MUCH supervision.  We got the keys to the kingdom — literally — all the keys we wanted an more — and then it was as if they just turned us loose to do whatever we wanted. Well, not really.  Someone WAS watching to see whether we were doing the tasks assigned to us. And I suppose that because we weren’t screwing up no one came along to say — ‘No, no… do it THIS way.’  That’s something I have always treasured — a boss, a supervisor who gave you a job and let you do it your way.

But freedom is a wonderful thing and once you get a taste of it you want even more.  That is why I eventually started working for myself. Peg never had that opportunity, but for the longest segment of her stay at Aurora Health Care she also had a mentor, a marvelous woman who really looked out for her and helped her along at several crucial junctures in her career.  To this day, Pauline’s name is revered in our family.

But we both have come to feel — quite independently — that our boss here is the BEST supervisor we have ever worked with or for.  And that is saying a mouthful because I have two mentors who I thought no one else could ever touch — but I am learning things here that have eluded me for the last 65 years and I’m thankful.  Being here is making me a better person:  I’m learning how to be even more upbeat, how to value people more than I have — and I don’t think I’ve EVER been a slouch on that account but being here where we are so incredibly dependent upon the goodness and kindness of our volunteers — and their dedication to tasks that some people look down their noses at — each and every one of them have touched me. And I think — for my part anyway — that I am seeing some of these characteristics because of how enthusiastic our supervisor has been about these volunteers who keep her forest alive and livable for our guests.

Yesterday during the meeting one of the presenters commented about our boss that she was like the Energizer Bunny — and truly she is.  And she is countered by a laid back, easy going boss, and he is countered by a boss… how can I even describe him… who in the middle of the worst catastrophes possible is still upbeat and (sometimes annoyingly) positive and  encouraging.  How can you not feel the love.  Well, maybe not “love”, but how can you not feel pulled up by your bootstraps to attempt the impossible with nothing in your hands.

WE'RE still smiling!

WE’RE still smiling!

Carter Lake has filled a little bit.  It has a long way to go yet before it’s full.  I don’t know if we’ll be here to see it full once again; or if we’ll be gone — or if the lake will be gone.  But for the moment I feel kind of like Carter Lake;  I’m being refreshed.  There’s new stuff pouring in day by day; there are new experiences to be had here and we’re excited to do so.  We’re not getting to them quickly.  We don’t have to.  Whether we stay here 6 months or 6 years we will see as much as we want in the time allotted.  But like a nearly empty lake we’re eager to be filled.  I can’t think of any experience we’ve had here that has not been positive; at least not if I give myself a chance to look back at it with reflective scrutiny.  It has been good to be here.  And the best part is that we don’t have to be in any hurry to move on! 🙂


4 thoughts on “Still Dry – but not nearly

  1. Mrs. P says:

    Nothin’ wrong with talking bout weather. We, here in Florida talk about it all the time. In fact, it changes so frequently our local cable provider has a news channel that reports the current weather every ten minutes.

    Just like Iowan’s talk about corn all the time and Wisconsin’s talk about cheese. Floridian’s talk about weather. Nowin’ that you like to talk about weather to, in Oregon…well that just makes us kin folk! 😉


    • Talking about News Channels telling the weather every ten minutes — we USED to have that, and in recent years the channels have switched and we no longer get such good info. Now I end up using my iPhone for updates.

      I really wanted to to get out of the cold — that more than anything else moved us from WI. So, because the cold was SO oppressive to me this change is HUGE, HUGE, HUGE. There I almost never left the house when I didn’t have to in the cold weather — I just did not enjoy it. Here, we are out every day and it’s livable. Not WARM, but livable. We don’t need HOT, but at 10º-15º life goes for ok to painful.

      We knew we would have a lot of difference here; but we did not plan on being in one place so long so soon. We often talked about whether we might end up in OR permanently — I have loved this area since the early 2000’s, and the temps are within our 70º – 40º average month temp range… well, close enough — Florence bottoms out the year at 38º monthly averages.

      But, wherever you live people are going to talk about what’s important to them. You’re right.Farmers in Iowa need weather. Cheesemakers in WI need weather or the cows don’t produce. Floridians — well, I’m not sure what they need — other than no hurricanes (just kidding, but not all that much)

      I’m good with being kin! Kin is good!

      A lot of what I am thinking about as I write is what I might want to know about where we were a few years hence when we might decide we have had enough wandering and we’re ready to plop down in one place and call that home for the rest of our time on this planet. We don’t know what the future has in store; and we don’t know what other places we might find that are more appealing. Before getting here in MY head the areas I had been looking were the TX gulf coast (between Galveston and Corpus Christi), Tucson, the Oregon Coast and… drum roll please…. the Ft Myers area — only because prior to Jan ’13 I would never have considered that but we had a really nice visit in the middle of January — but January is not AUGUST and we would need to be there in the heat, not just the winter.

      So — we’ll see. If I write enough notes about what this is like the choice later will be easier.

      One thing for sure — I don’t know that we have ever been in ANY place — any where in the world — where the population seem to be genuinely as friendly as they are here. THAT will be hard to replace.

      Just keep making comments — you often get me to think about new aspects than I have before. Love it!



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