I’ve never been an “Oregon person”. I was born in Seattle and lived in Washington State for 23 years and in Southern California for about 3 years. Oregon was just a place to pass through, going back and forth between Washington and California.
In 1977 I moved, from the Pacific Northwest, to Dallas, and then to Oklahoma in 1987. I now live in Oklahoma during the winter, and in the mountains of New Mexico in the summer. I have missed the Pacific Northwest with its coastline and rugged mountains. I never intended to stay in the southwest, but when my sons graduated from college and both married Oklahoma girls, and then added grandchildren to the family, I stayed to be close to them.
On vacation in July of 2005 my husband and I drove the Pacific Coast Highway from Arcata, California to Astoria, Oregon and “discovered” the Oregon Coast. Retracing our steps from the previous year we returned for another look in October of 2006, and then drove it again in October of 2007. We stopped at as many beaches as time would allow and drank in the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel of the ocean. I took full advantage of the photo “ops” and then put the camera away and just experienced really being there.
Being away from the Pacific Ocean for 25 years, not tasting its bounty of fresh fish - the one food item I missed since becoming “landlocked”, not smelling the salt air, or feeling the ocean mist on my face, or watching the movement of the waves and the tides, left an ocean-sized vacuum inside of me. And then being on the coast once again…it was as if my eyes could not drink in as much as I wanted to internalize, nor my body hold all the fresh seafood that I wanted to sample. It was a rediscovery of my place of origin that was long overdue. I encouraged and allowed it to completely fill all of my senses. I was alive again!