My husband and I were recently ready to move out into our own rental house. We both thought it was way past time to stop being squatters at our friend's house: they have let us stay with them since June when we trekked across the country to live out here. We actually did go look at three or four potential homes, and quite a lot more online. We made phone calls, left messages, and scoured craigslist. Somewhere during all of this, naturally the topic of our future popped up. We discussed the general unhappiness we felt even as we were excited to look at places to live by ourselves, and why that might be. We came to the conclusion that we don't want to stay here.
Jamie is not really thrilled with snow. He doesn't like how dirty it gets due to cars driving through it. He doesn't like driving in it. Part of that is due to the condition of our car with nearly bald tires and brakes needing attention, not to mention that it is a rear-wheel-drive pursuit vehicle. The thing began life as a police vehicle and it likes to take off and go. With slick tires and slippery roads, that doesn't really work out so well for it. To be honest, I was traveling around much more efficiently and safely on my bicycle than most of the vehicles out on roads. I don't mind snow, as you might notice, since I biked through it and fell four times, instead of just once.
We both love the dry air out here, though. We went through the entire Oregon summer without air conditioning, and we didn't die. In fact, it was quite enjoyable. During Florida summers, there is only one reason you go without air conditioning, and that is because a hurricane came through and wiped out a power line or two.
Another thing we don't like is this little town. We are stuck in a basin with the closest city being Medford, which is an hour and a half away through a mountain pass. This actually has both good and bad qualities.
The restaurant selection is limited, with only a few being really worth anything. There are a very large number of pizza places with mediocre pizza that I don't think outranks Dominoes or Pizza Hut in quality. Another strange occurrence out in this area that Jamie finds downright annoying- the Mexican restaurants never have good salsa. Even I, not a salsa fan, find it strange that they serve a watery concoction with a very small amount of chopped onions and tomatoes in it and call it salsa. Our preferred restaurants include: Wubba's BBQ Shack, Tobiko Asian/Fusion, and Black Bear Diner. I think I need to do separate tribute posts to describe these restaurants with the attention they deserve. After a little while though, you want something more than this selection, great though they are, and Klamath doesn't offer it.
A small town is great for biking, though. The roads here, though weird and disconcerting with the angles they meet, and how one road can have a name then disappear and show up in the same general location some distance from the original line with the same name, are bike-friendly. The lanes are wide, and there is also a center bi-directional turn lane that I always knew as a "suicide" lane that cars can use to pass you without any problem at all. The multi-use path is useful in that it goes both to the community college and directly downtown without any hills to conquer. The only annoyance are the many cracks that create a bumpy ride. If I wanted to, though, I could go anywhere on my bike because the farthest place I would want to go is only 7 miles from home.
I have just recently discovered another reason that I know I personally don't want to spend the rest of my life here- I don't like the students. This is something that I've felt since the beginning of the school year when I fist met them, but it's recently become blatantly obvious. I would not have remained a bus driver very long if I had been trained here. I love my superiors, my mechanics, and my co-workers, but the main reason I like my job is the daily interaction with the kids- and that is not something I am finding enjoyable here. I miss my Jacksonville alternative kids and the adoring fourth-graders of the Phoenix Academy in Flagler.
So, this summer we will be packing everything up again and going to Colorado. We stopped briefly there to stay with a family we also met through Warcraft like our roommates here. Jamie considers one of the sons to be his best friend. My entire immediate family followed my younger sister out to Colorado when her army husband was reassigned. They are staying only two hours from where we want to go in Longmont. We will try that location and see if we like things there. It is very close to a major city or two, has a community college so Jamie can continue with his business degree, and it seems like it might be bike-friendly. The school district covers parts of a few counties, so I hope I like working for them. I've already submitted an application. I also personally would love to be near Mammy and Pappy. I have a coworker here in Klamath who is into scrap-booking that constantly reminds me of the time I spent making Father's Day cards with Mammy. I would love to have some people like her to share crafts with, and learn to garden. My mom used to have a great big vegetable garden and can all kinds of things to use all through the year. The vegetables and fruits that coworkers would bring in made me realize that I really love that aspect of life- the community farms and fresh produce and friendliness of people that will just bring in extra veggies they have to share with you. I think Pappy might like to have some real hugs every now and again too, and I love giving hugs, you know.
So, our friends here have agreed that we can stay with them the rest of the year until June when school lets out again. We will save as best we can and downsize our belongings and prepare to pack up and drive our two cars 20 hours back the way we came to resettle into another town with the potential to be our permanent home. I like Florida and the family there, but I'm really ready to settle down somewhere, and this part of the country is so gorgeous and pleasant that I really hope we like it enough to stay. I think if Longmont doesn't work then we will retreat back to Florida in defeat, and while I really miss our family members back there, I don't miss the weather at all.
June can't come fast enough.