Tuesday, July 30, 2013

So now that we're here...

For months Rae and I said over and over "I can't wait until we're in Washington." For the weather, the landscape, the ideals of a blue state where nothing is outcast. And here we are. It's been two months now. Things have gone quickly, easily for the most part. I found a bartending job and started within a week. Rae started at Whole Foods but quit within a week (keep hold of your values over money, peeps.) I landed a spot at a reputable local barbershop. Rae finally got the social service job he's been preparing for. We found a place to live, transferred our residencies and licenses. We live here. In Washington. Seattle. Whoa.

We are alone. And not alone. It's a funny feeling. We are processing our places, the size of our feet and length of the streets and height of the curbs. I know very few people here, and those few are acquaintances from the past two months. I miss my family and friends, and the physical closeness to them. Hugs, words, seeing their faces. But I don't miss "home." I am my own home. Cheesy line, I know, and I've said it over and over. For a second I let myself feel guilty about that, but then I realize something that made the most sense I've felt in years.
I've always been here. This has always been my home.

I have the best family & friends I could ever ask for. They support me, love me, help me when I need it. Their presence in Oklahoma is almost all I need to stay there. But as early as junior high I was dreaming of living elsewhere. I wanted to live in a rainy city, downtown near a coffee shop (before I even appreciated coffee.) I wanted grey skies and ocean before I knew what ocean love felt like. Mountains and water and clouds to cover the sky. Immature, naive child thinking I knew where I wanted to live. But I did. I knew the small details of daily living that would make my soul feel at ease. Though a specific city destination may have changed through the years I always yearned for the Northern grey. Ireland set my heart afire again, and Pacific Northwest became first goal. I met my lover, aimed in the same direction. And we were off.

So now that we're here...
Every day hasn't been easy. Sometimes when you dream of something for so long that when you finally arrive you forget - it's still life and life isn't always perfect. I am in no way communicating dissatisfaction. On the contrary, I love it. I am amazed by my surroundings and how far I have come every day. I feel like this is where I've been living my soul life for years, and now it's easier to live outwardly. It's easier to let myself fly into the wind and settle in my bed in the evenings.  But you know how "they" always say you can't run from yourself?! We all know its true.
Here we are.
We arrive and deal with ourselves.
What's next?
How long do we want to live here?
Do we want to settle very far away?
Is this barbershop what I want? 
Do I want to cut hair forever?
What else do I want?
And how can I make those things happen?
And what about kids?
What about off-grid and sustainability?

How do you get what you want, when what you want is everything?!?!

That last question is the pinnacle. I want self-reliance. I want independence. I want dirt and land and trees and self-grown everything. But I also want travel. I want to cut badass hair. I want to be a momma. I want to be nature's lover.

Figuring out your own balance is the greatest thing I think we can ever do. Passion comes naturally. Balance is what you have to work for.

So, this is what I'm working for.

Pike Place Market, behind the counter

Aurora Bridge over Lake Union, view from Fremont Bridge

Lake Union

Lake Union from GasWorks Park

My loves at Discovery Park


Lighthouse at Discovery Park, overlooking the Puget Sound

where Salmon Bay connects to the Puget Sound

Rumi having a blast

wet dog, stick chewin'
Park yoga with doggie. She was bored.


Cheers to work, to balance and to a thousand passions!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hello, Washington

Aim: Washington - Complete!!! We made it to our destination state!

Washington in sight! Crossing the Columbia River

We crossed over the Columbia River from Astoria, OR to the state of Washington. While Rae tried to refrain from hurling on the steering wheel over the bridge I received a call - my home town of Moore had been destroyed by another tornado.
{Heart sink.}
The pinnacle moment of passing into the state we have been headed for these past months was shaken with news of things over which I had no control. Such a double-edged sword - being where you want but too far away to help in tragedy. We kept close contact with everyone, and the silver lining was that my being out of disaster range allowed my phone to get in to those who couldn't call out. I was able to contact everyone before continuing deep into the trees of Western Washington. Thankfully, everyone we know is safe, though some no longer have homes. The ache of not being there to help, hug, and comfort left a lump in my throat for weeks to come.

pulling Scampi into the Olympic National Forest!

Olympic National Forest

We drove up the West coast headed toward Forks, WA. There, just outside town and deep in the trees of the Olympic, we met some dear loves - Megan and Kevin. They welcomed us, Rumi and Scampi to stay for as long as we wished on their five acres of land.

Megan and Kevin have been homesteading for a couple years now. They are inhabiting their first home, a pallet house made with mostly recycled materials, while they dig into the earth to build their "hobbit home." They tend their goats, herding and milking and loving. They drink fresh goats milk (the best I've ever tasted, I might add) and feast of eggs from their chickens and elk jerky from the generous neighbor. The ducks waddle around snacking on slugs and quacking happy duck quacks. The rain falls and settles on the leaves, salmon berries begin to grow and blackberry brambles line every path. This place is gorgeous.

Rae helping with the kids

Mama Megan with her kids

Bogachiel River

Bogachiel River

This is Panda, he's a lover

Kid kisses!

mama loves

Bald eagles are everywhere up here

Megan showing us the garden plans

The name "Milktopia" was termed for the land, as the fresh supply of goats milk was a delight for each day. Rae and I are so drawn to this life - self-sustaining, quiet, in harmony with nature and dirt under the nails. It's what we want. It's the dream we want to see through, but for now we have plans in the city. Getting our feet wet with the area, jobs, experience, money saving. This was a hard place to leave behind, but everything in the right time.

One of our days near Forks we drove out to LaPush. The images speak for themselves. I loved this place.

This guy was irritated by our presence

Trail to the beach at La Push, WA

La Push, WA - Second Beach

On our way out of Forks we spotted a herd of wild elk. They didn't pay us much attention except for a curious look while we stopped the car and fumbled for our cameras. Nature, totally wild and uninhibited.

The Olympic Highway

The Olympic Highway passing by Lake Crescent. Be still, my heart.

Port Angeles, WA

The ferry from Bainbridge to Seattle!!

These are our excitement faces.

And there it is, folks. First view of our new home.

And here it is: the whole trip.
April 8  -May 23, 2013
6.5 weeks on the road
3,424 base miles

Hello, Seattle!