Moving to Bend: some thoughts after my first week here….

I have now been a resident of Bend, OR for seven days.

Riverbend Park, which is adjacent to my office.

1: My apartment is nothing special. It’s okay – not terribly new, but in decent condition. It’s 150 sq. feet bigger than my last place, which is great, and has a huge ass closet. Which is good because the storage unit isn’t very large.

2: The neighbors seem nice enough. There hasn’t been any gunfire so far, although if the woman upstairs with the loud, annoying voice who likes to carp at her husband/boyfriend late at night doesn’t cut it the heck out that could change.

3: I thought the place had a washer/dryer and a microwave but I was wrong. I do not like this. However…

4: My rent is half what it was in Seattle. Technically it’s a bit less than half. This part I like a lot.

5: It’s hot as fuck here. It’s been over 90 every day since I arrived. However, there’s very little humidity, so 90 doesn’t feel especially hot. And that’s in the sun – in the shade it’s positively pleasant, moreso when there’s a breeze. And while the apartment has no AC, it also doesn’t get any direct sun so it can be 95 outside and quite cool inside.

6: If you don’t know Oregon – and I really didn’t – you may not realize that east of the mountains it’s high desert. Driving out last Saturday I was struck by how, if you didn’t know where you were, you might guess New Mexico or western Colorado.

7: The pollen palette here is new and interesting. Not like Colorado. Not like Washington, for sure. I’ve been sneezing nonstop since I arrived.

8: I mentioned dry, right? On a couple of occasions I’ve not only had spontaneous nosebleeds, I’ve found myself gushing from both nostrils. All those years in Denver I got used to the low humidity, but I guess several months in Seattle took care of that.

9: The job has been busy, and is going to get busier. What a long, strange trip it has been. This time last year I’d have jumped out of my skin for a chance to go to work in a job like the one I have now with a company like Merkle, but that opportunity wasn’t there. So I go to Seattle. Where the home office back east then closes the office and fires everyone. Then they ask me to do the projects I was going to be working on before they laid me off. Then they ping me and ask if I might be interested in coming back. And they move me to Bend. Whereupon they sell the company to Merkle. Which – wait for it – has an office in Denver. And company policy is exceedingly friendly to people moving from one office to another. You see where I’m going with this, right?

10: Lots of good beer here. My top discovery so far is Crux. I haven’t been to their tasting room yet, but I found their Saison and Dark Belgian in bottles at the store yesterday. The Saison is very nice and the Belgian is fantastic. I have to pay them a visit in person. Maybe later this evening, in fact.

11: Despite having a big deck in Seattle, I wasn’t allowed to have a grill. No such policy here and that void in my life has been filled. I have missed grilling steaks and sausages.

12: Time to do some shooting. I live next to Pilot Butte, which I think is probably the high vantage on this side of town. I suspect there are panoramas to be shot up there, and I note that the full moon rises this evening at 8:50 local time.

13: I don’t know about my chances of finding a social life here, though. Bend is small and I’m older than everyone I work with. There’s no Chelsea supporters group. OK Cupid certainly isn’t going to be any help (90% of my matches actually live three hours away in Portland). Oh well. I’ll stay busy, and come January expect me to be referring back to item #9 above.

14: More on that social life thing. My ten months in Seattle were probably the loneliest of my life. The Chelsea group was damned near the sum total of my social life, and that isn’t an exaggeration. I had my friends Evan and Sara, and knowing I could call on them in an emergency was all that kept me from utter panic when it came to thinking about the fact that my entire support system lived 1500 miles away. Here? Nothing and nobody. If I get sick I don’t have anyone to take me to the hospital or take care of Ronan. When you’re carrying an illness like Diabetes and dealing with a degenerative inner ear disorder that isn’t getting any better and for which there isn’t and never will be a cure, you can’t help thinking about these issues. And you can’t, perhaps, help thinking about that item #9 above and looking ahead to the first of the year.

Leave a light on for me, and wish me luck.


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