This is Week 4 of a two and a half month long road trip around the West Coast, visiting friends in Gold Beach, Oregon
It was so nice to see Jo and David again! We have been friends for going on 30 years already, and they are my closest siblings by choice. When I formed my own real estate company in 1986, Jo set it up and made it happen. When I went away sailing in 1992, Jo managed all my mail and personal contacts, also acted as my journal from a distance by receiving letters from me where I could pour my heart out in private. When I traveled in Mexico, she sent me to meet my dear friend Healy Burnham. When I suffered through a nightmare relationship and being stalked in Washington in the late 90s, she was always there for me. When I worked on the North Slope in Barrow, she provided perspective and reminded me of my goal of retiring with a pension. When I joined the Peace Corps and lived in Romania, she reconnected me with the “real” world of American life. When I struggle with motherhood, relationships, isolation, hostile climate or general confusion, she is always there for me. I don’t know how I could have survived without them behind me all these years!
Jo and David have chosen to retire in Gold Beach, where they built their dream house out of pocket, one stick at a time. Since it is paid for they can live on very little income, and have joyfully built a delightful life having everything they could ever want. I am proud to be their friend.
I love the Oregon Coast, especially this section south of Florence. It is calming and beautiful, relaxing and inspiring. I hope always to return there, even if I never live there permanently.