Retirement in Oregon – by Dave Norton

Life in Oregon - photo by Dave Norton. Click photo for larger image.

You asked how we like retirement. The Retired Life is, entirely unlike most other things, just what it’s cracked up to be. I worked all my life for this: to not have to work all my life. Retirement is wonderful. It’s worth it.

We moved up here for many reasons: we wanted seasons; we got seasons. We tired of the sky being the same color all the time; we got skies with drama. We got tired of the cycle of six years of drought and one year of deluge; we got frequent gentle rains. We wanted out of the rat race; we got life at our own pace (which is a hectic one for Ellie, less so for me, both by our own choice). While we longed for a sense of neighborhood, we found ourselves surrounded by a community of welcoming, caring and gracious friends. While we wanted space, in a very rural setting, we found our own little piece of heaven.

We wanted a return to the land – we spend most of our day outside, working the soil, planting, fencing, pruning, preparing pastures for the goats, planning the way we want our home to be when we’re old.

Here in the early light of morning, as the world wakens to a new day on my run along the creek up to the first bridge, we discover in the deer and wild turkeys the only other traffic on our road. In the cool twilight as the sun drops below the mountains to the west and the crystal quiet of evening settles in, with the murmur of the creek just at the edge of consciousness, we know we are where we belong: we are home.

We lost some things we loved, as well: the closeness of old friends and family, the daily support and affirmation of co-workers, the comfort of structure, the endless variety of automotive enthusiast activities of Southern California. These things we miss. We are making new friends, and encouraging the old ones and family to drop in for a visit, to share for a time an interval of quiet in their lives as well.

We wish for you, in your own time and in your own setting, the peace and the quiet contentment we find here. Life is good.

Ripples - photo by Dave Norton. Click photo for larger image.

text and photos copyright Dave Norton, April 2008

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