Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Josh Kelly: Living in Oregon

Being a Midwesterner living on the East coast for 13 years, SW Oregon is a whole new ballgame. I've come at the changeover from spring to summer. The spring rains and leftover snow in the mountains made for beautiful cool and sometimes cold evenings and mornings. As we've transitioned to summer weather, the dry heat can take your breath away. And the sun!  There hasn't been a cloud in the sky for nearly two weeks. If you visit, bring your sunscreen. Back home, there has been tornadoes, oppressive heat and humidity, and flash floods. I'm not sure if Ashlanders know how lucky they are.

Outdoors is where everyone lives. Every day on my half block walk to the costume shop, I pass nearly 20 people out running with their dogs, walking with their strollers, or ambling on their relatively short commute to work. In DC, I commute 80 minutes on two forms of public transit to get 12 miles.  On breaks, many people go for a walk or spend time on the outdoor deck of the shop. This week I will be joining my coworkers for a CrossFit session during lunch.

The organic selection at the regular grocery store equals that of  the conventional produce.  Plus, there are two grocery stores committed to organic produce exclusively. For those of us that have lived in urban food deserts, this is how the other half lives.  

When not working, the outdoor options for this place are too numerous to name. As a fisherman, there are streams and lakes to explore, one more beautiful than the last. It is the primary reason I've already decided to come back and visit. On my first weekend, I was driven by my fellow craftspeople, Betsy and Chris, up to Crater Lake.  It was awe inspiring. We had lunch at the lodge and pie on the way back, as is the custom. If I had a car here, I would be able to explore more, however I might not come back in to work.



A five week stay away from home is more difficult than I could have imagined. Although the people here couldn't be more generous, I'm still missing all my friends and family. This is the first time in nearly 15 years that I've spent more than a month away from my partner. Waking up without two cats to feed feels empty. I've missed my god daughter's junior production of "Aladdin". I've missed the first beach weekend of the year. Worst of all, I'm away when 4 of my theatre friends had their positions eliminated. Hearing news about such significant changes at home is scary. I'm not surprised. I understand what responsible companies have to do to remain within budget. I have survived similar cuts at arts institutions where I have worked 4 times over the past 13 years. It just stinks not being around for my friends. Chris's visit to DC next year will be a little shorter. More people might find it a little more reasonable length of time for an exchange.  My next post will be all about the great techniques and suppliers I've been learning about.

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