Saturday, January 20, 2007

How I Came To Be Here


One morning about 20 years ago I realized that I really needed a new life and in order to do this I would have to quit my job and move away from New Jersey. My first choice was to move to Hawaii. I hadn’t even considered Oregon at that point.

I took a month off, booked my flight and rooms on three different islands. I wanted to see what living on an island would be like and which island would suit me best.

I started in Oahu where my parents spent their winters. One of my goals was to retire or at least not work for a few years, but the economy there would have me working within weeks. That is unless I lived in an unsavory neighborhood.

From there I spent a week on the Big Island, which ranged from the most beautiful to the bleakest place I have ever been. I loved it up around the Parker Ranch and around South Point, but Hilo was nothing special and Kona was a bunch of white cement around black rocks. Racism was rampant on the Big Island. The Hawaiians hated the Japanese, who hated the Chinese, who hated the Samoans who hated the Koreans, and put them all together, they all hated Caucasians.

From there I went to Maui which struck me as being very much like California. Other than the sameness and the made especially for mainlanders type of resorts I stayed at, the rest was just too foreign. I figured it would it be hard to fit in any local culture that didn’t have something to do with the tourist trade.

Though I had been there for a little over three weeks I was also starting to understand what “Rock Fever” was all about. Locals everywhere I went mentioned it. It is a feeling of a rat in a maze, being stuck on an island. The only way to shake it is to get away or go mad. People on the Big Island especially have this affliction. Some go to Oahu monthly just to see something different.

With my dreams broken, I realized that it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to move to Hawaii. I headed home but stopped in Vancouver Washington for a couple days to visit someone I was having a long distance relationship with. I was dejected realizing that I might have to stay in New Jersey.

I picked up a local real estate booklet while at a grocery store in Orchards. Those were things I never read, but for some reason I picked one up and threw it in the bag to read later. When settling down for the evening I paged through the booklet. I thought the whole thing was misprinted with the decimal in a position too far to the left. I wondered if they used a different currency here, but that wasn’t so. Houses I knew that were being sold in New Jersey for 400k were on the market here for 70k. I suddenly realized that if the prices were that low in the Portland Metro area, they would be even less here on the Coast. I drove to Astoria (actually Cannon Beach) the next day and picked up some real estate booklets to bring back to study on my flight home.

The day after I returned to New Jersey I put my house on the market.

10 Comments:

Blogger LeLo in NoPo said...

I love this story. Serendipity happens.
(you can make that into a bumper sticker if you like)

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Auntie L said...

Guy - the minute I opened your new installment and saw that photo my mind went into overdrive and it started humming the theme to Green Acres. Now it will be stuck with me the rest of the day. Thanks, alot!

Glad you are here anyway to keep us enlightened with your musings. They are something I look forward to seeing every work morning with coffee cup in hand and SAD light ablazin' next to the PC.

8:10 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks any way Lelo, but I'm not a big bumper sticker fan. An article on this subject will follow some day I'm sure.

Auntie L. Sorry about the song in your head. My nightmare song is the theme from Flipper. A SAD light, eh?

Would you be so kind as to email me at bbpress@intergate.com? I have some questions about which one you use. We have one that is getting old and are looking for a new smaller one. Anything you can share would be helpful.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

Well, at least you're not from California. ;)

Not that I'm anti-Californian or anything... :)

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lelo,

If Guy refuses to use your quote, I will....and I will make sure you get full credit.

Anyway Guy...I have a few words for you...


They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!
Everyone loves the king of the sea,
Ever so kind and gentle is he,
Tricks he will do when children appear,
And how they laugh when he's near!
They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning,
No-one you see, is smarter than he,
And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder,
Flying there-under, under the sea!

Love ya Guy...

Love,
Anon

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way...

I also have my SAD light next to my PC...My morning ritual is coffee, news, blogs, and the light....

Nice to see that I am not alone..

Love,
Anon

9:33 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That's called Californication, Jaggy.
Those from California would love Maui.

Nice try Love Anon, but I am amune to flipper this week. We've been out horse shopping and now I can't get the Country music out of my head that they seem to play in every god damn barn...

I'll email you about the light.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Auntie L said...

Anonymous - there are probably more.... I am trying to convert as fast as I can.

Love,Anon - I have always been meaning to google the lyrics to Flipper so that I can sing the correct version...NOT Thanks, now that is stuck in my head

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Auntie L said...

Guy - let me know if you received my message about the lights.

Having problems on this end with the email..

9:24 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I got it and replied. Let me know if you didn't get my reply. I hate to leave people hanging.

9:37 AM  

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