News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Change is inevitable, adapting is optional

I lie on the floor crying, listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “What have I done?” I think to myself. I just wanted a change. I wanted to live by the water. I wanted to start healing from the rough couple of years I’d left behind — the death of my dad, an empty nest, a divorce, and selling a house of 21 years.

Instead I was stuck in Astoria, Oregon, during a worldwide pandemic. Oh, sure, I was by the water, but I was without a community, and for an extrovert like me it was like a sandpiper without its flock.

“Change is inevitable, adapting is optional,” I heard my dad say in my head.

I was not adapting well to this new life.

My plan had been to house-sit for a friend in Anacortes, Washington, for six weeks. The idea was to write, enjoy the beautiful view of the water, and heal. It was a wonderful six weeks. But alas, it was time to move on from that gig to something new. I didn’t know what was next. I was searching, but I was open to a lot of possibilities and what God might have in store.

For four months, I stayed with friends, and did some more house-sitting. I found myself in Ocean Park, Washington, staying with Abby, the cat, and enjoying the Pacific Ocean. I realized, however, I was not enjoying the nomad lifestyle. I couldn’t even figure out where to throw away garbage because I had been in so many different homes. Was the trash can under the sink? If so, was it on the right or the left? I wanted a place of my own. I wanted to put my garbage can under the sink, on the left.

That’s when, in a rather spur-of-the-moment decision, I rented a place in Astoria. Why Astoria? Well, it starts with the letter A, a great letter in the alphabet by the way. It was my mother’s hometown, a place I visited often as a child. My great-grandfather built homes there. And, if you are looking for a large body of water, the majestic Columbia River is hard to beat.

Thankfully, my sister and her husband lived only 40 minutes away and I was able to see them several times a month. We were in a bubble together, but I needed a job and avenues to see people even during a pandemic. Walking the aisles in Costco and talking to the clerk at the checkout didn’t quite cut it. Plus, I was buying a lot of bulk items for just one person.

After several months of lying on the floor listening to sad songs, trying to teach myself origami, questioning how I ended up in this position, and looking for a job and not finding one, I realized I had to move.

I needed a community, and I couldn’t just plop myself down in another new town.

Who knew when the world might open up again? I needed to move back to Sisters where I had a strong foundation of support from the friends I had made during the past 21 years.

I had thought of moving to Washington where I had friends from my college days, but it also would be new and unfamiliar.

I wasn’t in a state of mind to adapt to something unknown.

The COVID shutdown had taken a toll on my mental


That’s how I found myself back in Sisters and working a great job at The Nugget. It’s been an intense couple of months adapting and learning all the details of the job. I feel my brain will be better for it, however.

Yet once again I hear my dad in my head, and I’m having to adapt as I leave The Nugget to take a full-time position with The 1687 Foundation here in town. I question why God placed me in a job for just two months. Maybe it was to expand my brain capacity, but I’m pretty sure it was so I could meet new friends. And what is better for an extrovert than to have friends and feel welcomed in her community?

Yes, I’m still listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I’ll host a dance party with anyone who would like to come. As to getting my water fix, walking by Whychus Creek, Suttle Lake, and the Metolius will fit the bill.


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