Since being back in Oregon I have noticed some things that made me realize that it is easy to overlook the details in your every day life. I thought I’d share some of my observations and would love you hear from those of you who just made a big change in your life and how that made you become more aware of the little (and big) things.
- First off, street signs are almost impossible to see/read. Why? Because these giant,bushy green things called trees grow everywhere! I have taken to scheduling an extra five minutes into my drive time so I can pass the place I’m going and have time to turn around and come back to it. Unless I memorize all of Salem I don’t think this is going to be getting better as my Realtor who has worked in the area for 25 years employees this strategy too.
- There is not a direct route to anything! When the landscape gets in the way grids cannot exist. Sometimes you have to go left to go right. Its craziness, but sure makes for pretty driving.
- With that said, everything is SO close. You can drive through like 4 towns in the time it took me to get to work in Phoenix (and I never left the city). The small town feel is knocking at your door around every corner. Dairy Queens, Figaro’s Pizza and Les Schwab’s are everywhere. Pancake breakfasts and car washes held my firefighters and teenagers are a thing. How could I forget?
- I have to look at Oregon Ducks logos EVERYWHERE. In Phoenix I saw one per day because lets face it, the only thing Duck fans and Beaver fans have in common is they both didn’t go to The University of Oregon (had to throw that in for my dad). But really, even an outdoor stone fireplace at one of the houses I looked at had that O carved into it. Needless to say we did not buy that house.
- Beaver stuff is everywhere too! Even Target has Beaver merchandise and I was pleasantly surprised when a bunch of Ducks clothes were on the clearance rack at Fred Meyer and I could not find one Beaver shirt there. Ha! The front wall had some mighty fine orange and black though. With college football starting this week I need to up my orange and black game. Since finding Beaver apparel was so scarce in AZ I have this compulsion to buy Beaver gear every time I see it. I haven’t purchased anything new yet because, no job, but I’m sporting my old stuff as I type this. Go Beavs!
- People can be nice. No, really! Since coming back I have talked to so many strangers! Yesterday at Fred Meyer I had mini conversations with 4 different people and someone even gave me a carnation! In Scottsdale when I grocery shopped people wouldn’t talk to me at all unless I was dressed up and skinny (which was rare, ha!). Now I find myself walking around the store grinning like an idiot because people are so friendly.
- Being cold outside of the house because of the weather happens more often than being cold inside the house because of the AC. I used to have to layer my clothes in the house in Phoenix because the air blew right at my spot on the couch. And every freaking restaurant is FREEZING. Now I can’t go anywhere without layers because who knows when its going to be 90 degrees or when it will start raining (which happened on my run this morning, I’m still trying to warm up!) Plus, most homes don’t have AC here. Weird right?
- Living in a hotel or RV (like we are now) means less is more. For me when it comes to stuff, variety has always been the spice of life. Because I have trouble making decisions I make buy lots of different things to avoid not having the perfect thing for the perfect occassion. What’s good for one day might be bad the next. This is true for food, clothes, books (hello kindle deals), shoes, jewelry and even hand soap! But now that I am sharing a 30 foot motor home with Anthony and two cats I have had to streamline my options. Its been weird, but I actually like the less is more approach. I have to be creative with the options I have. This has been the hardest for my diet since snacky foods can be stored in cupboards and healthier options often need fridge space I don’t have. But I am going to challenge myself to keep up with this when we finally have a place of our own again.
My life has changed in so many ways in the last few weeks but the list of things I’m getting used to is short. Of course I miss my job so much it hurts(I think about those sweet student faces every day and get tears in my eyes) and my friends. But these tiny changes listed above also point out how much my life is the same. I have a roof over my head (albeit a small one), food to eat, cats to pet, a fiance who takes care of me and family and friends who love me. The fact that the things that have changed are so small makes me feel so blessed. I hope that I can remember to keep looking for these things I’m getting used to, so that they continue to remind me so stop and ponder the things that mean a lot. Moving has been hard, some days are harder than others, but I hope I never really get used to the things I’m getting used to.
Love you more than Dairy Queen and scented hand soap,