Moving to another state is scary for anyone, especially when its really different from the state you’re leaving. I was born and raised in southern California so my frame of reference was really narrow. Sun, more sun, drought, beaches, surfing, all foods available all year around, lots of citrus and every restaurant delivers. There is a lot more, but I don’t have all day and you don’t want to read it all. Trust me.

Picking a state to move to that has seasons was the first thing that kind of scared us, but off we went anyway. We were looking for small town and a slower life and that is exactly what we got. At first some of the changes were comical as you will read below, but others were so subtle and were things we never thought of until we had them or it happened to us.

  • People in Oregon read more.
  • Leaves fall off trees (lots of trees – lots of leaves!)
  • People mow their lawns at 9:00 pm in the summer.
  • In October our lawn was dead. Real dead. In March it was suddenly green and verdant and again.
  • Locally sourced food is the norm.
  • Homes are affordable for everyone.
  • We can no longer imagine living anywhere without seasons
  • But I still worry about the snow even though there we only get 1 or 2 days of it each year.
  • You can cut your own Christmas tree for $25.00 just down the road, or get them for $60.00 in a parking lot.
  • Great wineries are everyfreakingwhere!
  • Liquor is controlled in Oregon so it isn’t everyfreakingwhere, but that makes it fun because it’s like a scavenger hunt.
  • We can’t grow citrus year-round, but we can grow almost every type of berry and apple.
  • Oregon is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts (not Salem though – I think turkey is first).
  • If you live and work in Salem your commute is going to be between 10 and 30 minutes.
  • You can buy chicken coops, bee-keeping suits and 50-gallons of tractor oil at Costco.

Each year that passes brings me closer to who I have always known I am, and the change in venue  brought about some very unexpected contentedness and peace that always eluded me in a fast talking, fast moving and all consuming space on this west coast. Finally, nobody cares about “who” I am wearing, where I shop or that there is dirt under my fingernails.