i wasn't solo this time as the blonde was in the car behind me ferrying the birds of bedlam and the orange and white kitty who loved to ride in cars. it rained for 36 straight hours and i was questioning the decision to go. it was hard to tell if the western appalachian mountains were crying or try to wash me clean. i was burnt out and jaded. the blonde was in need of a professional home and we had expanded her job search to include places that appealed to our lifestyle but also a compassionate take on her chosen profession. i was sad to leave a place i had left and returned to so many times, but you always know it'll be there to come back to if it didn't work out. it needed a commitment. something beyond moving far enough away that your folks can't just pop in on you at any time. 2,683.6 miles seemed like a nice round number. i was seeking authenticity and simplicity. eugene had a few desirables and that professional home for the blonde. i just wanted to drink good coffee, ride my bike and run with folks who took the task seriously, but not themselves. i was shocked at how easy it was to go. i think we thought about it for about 20 minutes. we both gave notice and flew out to find a place to live and three weeks later were on the road.
|photo by gtach|
10 years later to the day, i think about how much has happened and while i still think of myself as a western north carolina native, it's not hard to pass for an oregonian. we did come 2 hours east after 4 winters in eugene and have found bend to suit our recreation a skosh more, but the community i was welcomed into in a very short period of time in eugene are some of the most quality friendships that i have ever had and the experiences that i have had because of them have shaped me in an abiding way. the blonde found that professional home and left a confident therapist who could easily stand on her own in her field.
i'll never forget that little rainy rental on horn lane. the minimalist kitchen. the two pairs of ds trainers that always seemed to be a bit damp. that paved path on the river and the first weeks of speed work on the bark with LB, Bili, Tbag, lc, OD and Ticer. the smile that the blonde and i greeted each other with at the end of each day silently said that we had truly found our home in that community. i'm grateful we took the chance.