Several times during our weekend spent on the Oregon coast, someone would ask me if I missed living there. The answer: a resounding "Hell no!"
We had a wonderful time with my family (and even got a "bonus" visit with Uncle Ra Ra) and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the beach. What's not to love about the soft sand between your toes, the roar of the ocean waves, noticing the change of tides, spending hours walking the beach, hunched over, looking for "treasures".... But at home, as we prepared for our trip, we were having temperatures in the mid-70s, with crisp, cool nights and the leaves are just starting to change and flutter down the street. You know, AUTUMN. That's the thing that I probably missed most, during our 8 years on the coast: the changing of the seasons. Just about the time I've decided I've had enough of HOT, sunny weather and wearing shorts, flip-flops and tank-tops every day, the weather changes and it's time for pants and even the occasional sweater. I dig out my knitting needles and yarn and dream about sitting in front of the fire-place with a good book. Then, a few months from now, we'll wake one morning to the first snow. The Ponderosa Pines covered in a blanket of white and we'll bundle up and go outside to see if we can work up a snowman. Then we'll go inside, have something warm to drink and settle down under the blankets. What I know about myself is that I NEED to live where there are distinct seasons, to notice the passing of time by the different smells, the migrating birds, the flowers coming and going, the change of temperatures. The ceremony of putting summer clothes away and bringing out the socks, boots, and sweaters.
But the coast IS a lovely place to visit. Anna, sweet Anna, ran down to the beach and said "Home! I'm home!" We moved just as she turned 3; she doesn't really have a memory of it. But during the first 3 years of her life, we spent so much time on the beach that I often wonder if, once she's grown, the mountains and high-desert will feel like home to her or the coastal climate. Hopefully both.