Monday, November 28, 2011

...Until We Don't

Over the summer and early fall, I took on this wonderful mantra:
"We Live Here!"
It was a way to celebrate both the place we live - the mountains, lakes, beautiful weather, places to explore - and the community in this place - friends that get us, welcoming attitude, the love of outdoors, willingness to explore, access to nature, and all the events planned with families in mind.

Each Friday in September, as we gathered with friends to hike around one of our high dessert beauties, I would turn to Michelle and marvel, "We Live Here!" Watching our kids splash in Sparks Lake with the Three Sisters rising in the background... "We Live Here!"  Sitting on the shore of Todd Lake while our kids hunt for frogs and tadpoles... "We Live Here!" Sitting outside Jackson's Corner with dear friends, pints of beer in hand, watching the boys play with their friends in their play area... "We Live Here!"  Checking in at the public pool, the one with twisty slides, water play structures, and zero-entry wading pool, waving at the friends who were already gathered and layering on the sunscreen... "We Live Here!"  Enjoying our end of summer party/graduation at the boys' school, with all the kids showing off the river they had built in the backyard, adults drinking home-brew beer, all eyes beaming at the two kids who have grown from toddlers to kindergarteners in this magical place..."We Live Here!"

Needless to say, we have come to LOVE Bend, Oregon.
The problem is, Bend, Oregon is suffering (along with the rest of the country). We know so many people, including numerous friends and co-workers, who have lost jobs and are still struggling to find a comperable position in town.  While August and September were filled with marvel at this amazing place we live, October brought the news that Scott's position is ending in Bend and my office would soon be closing. Ironically (amazingly, shockingly, coincidentally??) we received these two pieces of news within one 24-hour period.

We suddenly found ourselves in a very common position... and in a very uncommon position at the same time.  You see, Scott's job is ending in Bend, but he's been offered a transfer into a fantastic position in the Portland office. My office is closing, but I was given the option of working from home, or transferring to one of our other offices... two of which are located in suburbs of Portland.  So, after much gnashing of teeth, tears, and discernment (okay, how much discernment was really needed, given the situation??), we faced the music and are trying to get ourselves moved to Portland in January.

We are terribly sad to be leaving Bend.  The place, the people, the community.

We know Portland is an amazing City, and we recognize the amazing luck to both have jobs in the same place; a place that is not Cincinnati or Fresno, or Nebraska; a place that we would have been #1 on our list of places to move if we found ourselves jobless and out of options in Bend; a place that fits our lifestyle and values; a place that puts us 3 hours closer to family in Seattle and only 3 hours away from spending weekends in Bend.  Really, there are only two downsides to moving to Portland:
#1. We have to move
#2. Portland is not Bend.

This is the chaos that has been consuming our lives for the last 6 weeks.  How to move our family, choose a neighborhood , figure out a place to live (infinitely harder than we anticipated), find a childcare that comes remotely close Bloom, rent our house here... all the while dealing with my standard end of the year crazy at work and Scott's temp schedule of being in Portland a few days/week. Oh, and it's the holiday season. Awesome.  Stress Level = High. Faith Level = Tested. Hope Level = Wavering. Knowledge that everything will turn out for the best in the end = Solid.  Best Quote I heard this month: "Everything will work out for good in the end. If it's not good, it's not the end."

We Live Here!... Until We Don't.


Майя said...

Hi Alissa! I have been through changes like that and the one thing I learned was that keeping holidays as simple as you can bear in the time of changes can really help..and it will make the holiday special in its own way! Blessings!

Katie said...

Wow - what a big change! (And pretty amazing that your job changes came together at the same time.) I always find it's exciting to go to new places, but it's hard to leave what you love. I love your "if it's not good, it's not the end" quote. Good perspective!

Michelle Staley said...

Big hugs maxwells! Your soon to be new friends in Ptown are lucky to find you. We will miss you, but are excited for your adventure ahead. Maybe you can find a house with flat parking and we will park our new RV for a weekend of big city exploring?! =-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Melissa, this is such big news. I'm not even near-by to enjoy you week in, week out, and I am already sad that you're moving. I'm really happy that with the job losses there were new doors immediately opened for both you and Scott. Michelle put it very well when she said your new friends in Portland will be lucky to find you.
Anyway, I'll be praying for your stress level to go down, and for you to find the right house for your family. I'm sure that's one of the biggest stressors weighing on you.
The Lord will be your guide and your peace! Trust him!
lots of love and hugs,
Linda Saliu

Colleen said...

Oh my! It's so hard to move! You've really created a home there in Bend with all the wonderful things that become part of home, friends, community resources, activities, church. But what a gift that both of you were offered other jobs and that you aren't finding yourselves income-less. I love that quote at the end. So true! Good luck with everything!

Shannon said...

Come on now, Nebraska is not that bad! Of course, it doesn't have mountains or great weather AND is certainly NOT Bend :)

We will miss you but PDX isn't that far away.