Moving fears are not something we dwell on. Moving is difficult! So many tasks and upheaval! So much work to get re-established. But several times, we’ve moved because of our fears! Our latest move netted surprising results…But first, more about the moving fears…
Right out of college and newly inducted as an Attorney of Law in the state of Oregon, my husband applied for numerous jobs. He interviewed for a few he didn’t get. The pressure was on! I’d applied for teaching jobs when I’d finished college the year before with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education, but I hadn’t gotten any of those either. It was 1979. I was working a temporary position as a clerk in the water department of his home town while he finished law school. My job was scheduled to end in a week when he secured a position as an Assistant District Attorney on the Oregon coast. NOT where I wanted to go! Rainy, small fishing and timber towns were not my idea of career glamour.
But, move we did only three days later! No time to let moving fears set in!
The first several years, he prosecuted many drunk driving and under the influence violations, assaults, thefts, attempted murders. I worked as a substitute teacher and home tutor for the school districts. There was some overlap in the people we served since Coos County had less than 60,000 people. And we saw a lot of sad things. Scary things. (Many stories to tell another time…)
We bought a little house made of block: great in the fierce wind and rain storms of the coast! And only a few months later, we were expecting! I looked for a job in our little town (the County seat) which would be easier to manage instead of driving back and forth to see students. I signed on as Activities Director at a very small rural nursing home only a few miles away.
These were good jobs. We were learning so much! And we wanted to learn more! After both our children were born, we were restless and wanted more challenging positions. He took a special drug enforcement prosecutor position. I became licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator and took positions with companies operating facilities 20 miles from home. There was stress. Lots of it. And worse than that. There were threats. My husband was going after some bad dudes. He had phone threats and we had satanic drawings with threats in our home mailbox. He gave up that position and went into private law practice. But the office was across from the county jail! (No, below is not a picture of that jail!)
Prisoners could stare directly down at him in his new office! And they yelled out the windows at him as he walked down the street. Between that discomfort, the stress of my job, and raising two kids in a rainy climate, we decided a change was due.
After more than ten years on the rainy coast, we moved to the sunny east side of the Cascade Range in Central Oregon.
We bought a two story house in a nice neighborhood. I worked at substitute teaching, crisis intervention, raising our kids! My husband worked doing a few personal injury cases, but more family law: mostly divorces. Messy. Sometimes violent. Most involving custody of children, or protracted fights over property. It was not pleasant. And then it got scary. The husband of one of his clients lived in our neighborhood! He sent threatening letters, drove by our house and yelled threats.
After only six years in that home we loved, we decided to move!
We we found 21 acres close to town down a long dead end road with another property separating us from the main road. Our “someday” idea of living in the country suddenly was here with room to roam and space for raising cattle, market hogs, Labrador puppies, chickens, hay. We loved it! Driving down our driveway was like going to a peaceful farm far away from the pressures of law practice and the booming town which had tripled in size.
But after fifteen years there, our neighbor with health problems sold the property between us and the main road. I had a strange nightmare involving Clint Eastwood memorabilia I was throwing at a man standing between me and the only way out of a long room with a rectangular opening at the end.
Not long after, we learned who bought the property. The son of the stalker! Yes, it had been many years. But we were unnerved to see that man with his son standing at the end of our land and staring at us as we drove by on the long driveway to our mailbox at the edge of his son’s property. (Hmmm…something like the strange nightmare!)
Farm life is fun! And it’s a lot of work! I was tired of doing it! My husband had gone through a cardiac ablation and a hip replacement. Our daughter and son had gotten married. It was all ours, and now it seemed scary with a threat from the past suddenly in our neighborhood again!
My husband happened to read an advertisement about a country resort we’d visited once on whim. That afternoon, in our mailbox, was a postcard from the resort announcing new lots for sale! Noting the coincidence, the next afternoon, we visited it and were shocked to find an affordable lot adjacent to BLM land in a area of the resort not yet built up.
We bought the half-acre lot with gated community safety in a country atmosphere. And then we listed our home for sale.
We hired a designer to work on plans to build what we hoped would be a lovely and affordable house. But our home didn’t sell. There were so many frustrations over the next months! Winter came. We cooled on our realtor and the designer. We fired both. Our hopes were dashed. We couldn’t move forward. Then we went to our little cabin in the woods of NE Oregon. Being off-grid and hiking in wilderness for a week, our heads cleared. We felt a sudden push to list the house to sell ourselves. Within a week we had a sale if we agreed to be out in a month!
We started work with a new house designer who said he could have it built by Christmas! I went to look at rentals. Finding one allowing three Labradors and two cats was nearly impossible, expensive, and depressing after the beautiful home we’d sold!
Then, I had an idea: we like camping! What if we bought a trailer and parked it somewhere? We discovered there was an RV show scheduled at the fairgrounds just a few days later! We found a 19 ft trailer we thought we could tolerate and also pull with the truck we owned. And it was the right price. But where could we park it with that many animals? Then I remembered farm friends…I boldly called and asked to park and rent water and electricity on their 40 acres!
Our possessions were painfully pared and put in storage.
We arrived weeks later like the Clampets with two pickups, a trailer, a car and all our animals on our friends’ property. We were welcome and safe! At least until winter would hit with biting wind and snow. New moving fears might arise then, but for now it was summer and we were debtless for the first time since college.
But there was a shock in our move. The wife of our friend had COPD. And though only in her late sixties, she informed us she was terminal. We felt terrible putting extra burden on these generous friends! But they felt comforted by our presence. We explained how the idea had suddenly appeared and we all felt it was a blessing!
It rained the first three weeks.
And then there was trouble. The resort adopted new rules and the designer was not wanting to make changes. He made a fuss and his designs were rejected!
We’d have to hire someone else and our house would not be done by Christmas! And we couldn’t stay in the trailer through winter. Dozens of calls that day presented only more complications. When my husband arrived “home,” I barked at him, “We need a house to live in until the other one is done! Find us a house.”
“How can I do that?”
“Get on the internet…” I breathed, loudly!
He stomped out of the trailer, sat in the camp chair, and pulled up listings on his computer. Within five minutes, he was laughing.
“What?” I barked out the window.
“This is perfect, but you’ll never go for it! There are neighbors; it’s small, and down a long dusty road…”
We found the cute -didn’t know we needed- little house on five acres next to the resort with amazing views of sunsets and mountains, space for our animals, and no mortgage! And we still own our lot at the resort with use of the facilities: pool, tennis, restaurant, and more!
Here we enjoy the prettiest flower garden surrounded by lilac and butterfly bushes inside a deer fence. We sit on our back porch and laugh!
How could we have been so lucky to find this place just when we needed it? We wouldn’t have ever looked in this area or at this size house -only 1220 sq ft- if not for the strange series of events…We know the answer. “Someone” had a hand in it.
We no longer have moving fears. We are thankful for being led to a better choice and glad to be here!