Monday, August 10, 2009

Seeing the Future?

Howdy folks, & thanks for all your good wishes. I’m percolating along, tho admittedly at a bit less than 100%. Without going into too many gory details, a review of my symptoms (in combination with the fact that this condition is very prevalent locally) leads me to think I have a fairly mild case of West Nile Virus. Apparently it’s pretty unlikely (tho not impossible) that a mild case such as this will develop into the scary severe sort. Interestingly, the vast majority of folks who are infected with the virus get no symptoms at all, with the sort of mild symptoms I have being the next most common result. I do feel quite a bit better today.

With Eberle’s okay, I thought I’d talk a little today about one possible future she & I are giving serious consideration—actually, it’s an idea we’ve been tossing around for a few years, but it seems quite possible that we may be moving from the “idea” to the “implementation” stage. The pictures you’re seeing in this blog definitely aren’t from Indian Valley—no, they’re from a little fishing town called Garibaldi, OR (& of course, you can enlarge them by clicking).

We first came across Garibaldi on our honeymoon; we’d left Portland & headed west, with our ultimate destination being a condo in Lincoln City, one of the Oregon Coast’s big tourist towns. As we were winding our way south on US Highway 101 in the mid morning, we felt the urgent need of coffee, & we pulled over into one of those ubiquitous Shell convenience stores/gas stations. We’d veered away from the open Pacific at this point, but I can remember the fog rising up from the big harbor with its fleet of boats. To the eastern side of 101 a small village rose on a gentle slope toward forested hills.

This didn’t feel like a resort town—it had the feeling of a “real place” in a way that resort towns seldom do. I presume this is largely because it is on Tillamook Bay, & not on the open ocean; in some ways, it reminded me of Cascade, ID—a working class town in the midst of a resort area. (It’s a bit smaller than Cascade, actually—about the size of Council, ID in terms of population, tho Garibaldi seems to have mor
e services than Council).

We headed south, & had a lovely honeymoon in Lincoln City, but both Eberle & I filed Garibaldi away in our memories. When we returned to the coast for vacations in 07 & 08 (we skipped 06 due to commitments with The Grub Stake score), we took day trips to Garibaldi from our rental just a bit north in Manzanita; & we both continued to like the feel of the place very much….

We’re now talking pretty seriously about buying a house there. Now for local r
eaders: don’t panic—if we do, it’ll be a “second home” for the foreseeable future; we don’t intend a permanent move away from Indian Valley any time real soon—we both love our house & our surroundings. But Indian Valley has certain very specific drawbacks for someone with a lung condition. Although this hasn’t been the case too much this summer, the way Indian Valley is situated relative to surrounding areas make it an ideal collector for smoke from wildfires during the summer—because its low-lying, we routinely get significant amounts of smoke even from fairly distant fires on the Snake River, for instance; this in addition to the very real threat of local wildfires (there was one exactly one mile from our house the weekend we spent in McCall). In addition, while I’m aware that coastal winters are rainy, the winters here tend to be gloomy as well, as Indian Valley is very prone to inversions—i.e., the warm air stays high & the chilly damp air—often accompanied with frozen fog—lies low. The frozen fog—or pogonip, to use its Native name—is beautiful to look at, but I can tell you there’s a reason the Native Americans believed it to be injurious to the lungs.

& there are general maintenance issues with a 10-acre parcel, with a relatively big driveway (snow shoveling) & even bigger lawn (mowing, etc). In addition, there’s a pretty significant difference in oxygen between Indian Valley (3,000 feet) & Garibaldi (22 feet above sea level).

As folks wh
o’ve followed this blog for some time know, I’ve felt drawn by the ocean since I was very young, & there’s something about the sea that has always filled me with a sort of serenity. When I lived in San Francisco I loved going to Ocean Beach. For a few years I used to bike out there thru Golden Gate Park on Sundays.

Being on the north side of 50, I think I know pretty well that wherever you live, there are good points & bad points. But we’re both excited thinking about this, & we wanted to share a bit of this dream with you folks.

I’ve written this in a pretty leisurely fashion this morning—in between playing the banjo & a few light household chores—point is, I actually think I might be on the mend, as I’m feeling the best I’ve felt since Thursday. Hope you’ve enjoyed the Garibaldi pix; I’m looking forward to catching up on your blogs in the next couple of days.. We’ll keep you posted as things develop regarding the Oregon coast!


  1. oh, wow, don't you have a lot on your plates! first, i do hope you continue to feel better no matter the cause - and soon 100%!!! - and, it's wonderful news of the prospective new place - i love the fresh everything of new places new people new things to do - please keep us all posted - and feel all well soon! peace - jenean

  2. Thanks Jenean, I am feeling quite a bit better as the day progresses.

  3. Hope you're continuing to mend. I see the security word verification for this comment is mented, so maybe it's a sign, albeit one from a source that can't spell. I moved to the ocean - not on it but very close to it - a year ago and the difference it made to everyday life is amazing. Just to smell the salt is therapeutic. Go for it.

  4. I have always been drawn to the sea as well. Spending many summers on the Atlantic coast certainly developed an affinity for the salt air and the waves. In fact, I've just reworked an earlier poem to post for OSI. It's up right now.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers, John. I hope you feel better soon.


  5. Hi Mairi & Kat:

    Mairi: I think I am ment (I'd assume that the proper form, not "mented.")

    & yes, I know what you mean about salt air. Thanks for the encouragment!

    Kat: Thanks. I'll be over to check out your new poem; & yes, as I suggested in my comment to Mairi, I think I am pretty much better at this point. The last couple of days weren't so much fun, tho.

  6. John, I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling better - and excited that you might be moving to Oregon, at least part-time. That would make it much easier for me to wave as I go by. Ocean air would be okay, though? You don't need a desert?

    West Nile is scary. Is this on top of your underlying lung condition, or is it possibly the root cause of your lung condition?

    Whichever - I'm delighted to see that you are on the ment. Heh. My security word is thingsh, which sounds as if I'm typing under the influence.

  7. Hi Sandra:

    Good questions. If what I had was mild West Nile, it seems to have passed--which would be in accordance with a mild case thereof--mostly characterized by aches & fever, with no real "localized" symptoms (so, e.g., I knew it wasn't a real flu).

    So whatever it was seems to have been a passing thing. The underlying cause of my lung disease is a genetic thing (yes, I noted Willow's recent post on genetic testing with interest), further exacerbated by a young adulthood thoroughly dedicated to cigarettes.

    & other thingsh, as it were....

  8. Ah, that's too bad. Here's hoping that your projected move helps you deal with both problems.

  9. i'm sorry to hear that you've been a bit under the weather. in the movies, people always move to the ocean to heal in the salt air. i wish you well as the dream unfolds in perfect time.

  10. Garibaldi looks glorious .. go for it you two.

  11. Hi Sandra & Jen & Alan:

    Sandra: Thanks--you also asked about the desert air vs. the salt air. While the dry air is better for some respiratory conditions (like asthma, esp.) I find the ocean air is better for me, which isn't uncommon with emphysema--apparently some humidity is good, provided the attendent temps are moderate.

    Jen: Thanks! Timing is important in these things, for sure.

    Alan: Thanks for the encouragement!

  12. I hope you are feeling better. I had West Nile a three summers ago. Put simply, its a real -itch.

    The idea of you moving, gave me a panic attack.

  13. Hi Heather:

    No need to panic--we're not going anywhere for quite some time!

    Whatever I have, I sure am run down. However, I do plan on our lesson tomorrow!


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