Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Why I Have Yet to Move to Oregon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Why I Have Yet to Move to Oregon

Article excerpt

AMAZING as it may seem, I'm not in Oregon.

I was supposed to be there by now. I certainly told hundreds of people I was going - and they remind me of that almost every day - but I'm still in St. Louis.

Here's what happened. Four years ago, I decided I needed to find a new place to live so I could avoid empty-nest syndrome when my son left for college. I figured I needed a new life about the same time he would have one, and I figured any new life ought to be lived by the sea.

With the help of my trusty atlas, I reviewed my options, clockwise around the country. The Northeast is too crowded. The Southeast coast offers no whales. The Gulf is not the Real Ocean. California is silly. Washington is exceptionally rainy. Wait - what's this small square state stuck between California and Washington?

Oregon. Great! It rhymes with my name - that's where I'm going, I said. There is an ocean, and besides, Oregonians share a lot of values held dear in the Midwest.

A few weeks later, I went to an international wildlife film festival in Missoula, Mont. There, we attended seminars on film making every day and we watched documentaries about animals every evening. And there, I met a gem dealer and wildlife lover who was familiar with the Oregon coast.

"Bandon-by-the-Sea," he said. "That's where you want to live. It's one-third an artists' colony, one-third a fishing town and one-third a retirement community. You would love the sea stacks - go to Bandon-by-the-Sea."

As he spoke, I could just imagine my new letterhead.

I went home from Missoula and called the Chamber of Commerce in Bandon.

"Hi. I think I want to move there," I said to a woman named Grace Turner. She kindly offered to send me relocation information. When the material came, I subscribed to the weekly newspaper and I alerted a real estate office that I was coming - four years hence.

The following summer, I visited Bandon in person. …

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