We’re sheltered from most the world here in this fishing village along the “other coast.” It’s funny, I’ve now lived near the Atlantic coast, Third coast, South Shore, Gulf Coast, Bay Area, and now Tillamook Bay & the Oregon Coast. I really am afraid to be away from water, I think. And afraid to boat. Sort that one out.

We gave up cable TV.

There’s no direct line of sight to Mt. Hebo so we can’t use a little HD antenna. Not missing it. I can’t begin tell you how much you won’t miss it a couple weeks after the season premieres. It’s the feeling you get when the roller coaster flattens out at the end of a run down the peak climb & drop. It’s like you can feel all your emotions and bodily fluids swish & slug back and forth for a few days before finally leveling out. Then days later, you stop and realize you’re once again taking smooth & even breaths. You forgot to stop and check your breath because you discovered all this time you never knew you had and you were happily lost working on the life you dreamt about between commercial breaks.

There’s still no stop light in this town.

There was talk of it on 7th St., the road that turns to the marina. Patience won out again.

I learned I hear the ocean at night, not the sawmill.

I walked over one night to confirm the saws were idled, then listened for the rush of serenity. ‘Something else.

Old Coast Guard Boathouse Tillamook Bay at sundown. The Pacific Ocean is behind that treeline back there.
Old Coast Guard Boathouse Tillamook Bay at sundown. The Pacific Ocean is behind that treeline back there.

We had nearly 70% turnout for midterms in the county and the state – and they called it “low turnout.”

I got drafted into digitally lending a hand in the County Commissioner election for a lifelong Democrat recruited by Republicans to run for a non-partisan campaign. Positive campaign only. We won handily. Word of mouth, many debates & forums, and unformatted emails still kick ass. PS – any disgust I had before for Wix has only been magnified.

It’s pretty cool how Oregon handles elections.

I auto-registered when I updated my driver’s license. If there’s a pun back there, it’s unintentional. They do mail-in ballots only. Everyone gets their ballots about 3 weeks before the polls close. Most every town has a dropoff location. Most every voter gets their double-sealed envelope mailed in ahead of time so we had the majority of the results posted to the county website 4 minutes after polls closed – which out here is 8pm because the Republic still supersedes party agenda.

I say, “most every” because what defines a town and a city is smaller in volume out here. Back home, no area of 5,000 residents would be anything bigger than a, “town,” but in Tillamook County, 5,000 is about the population of the biggest area, Tillamook. So, it gets called a “city.” There’s probably also something about the courthouse and county government offices or the like defining it as such, but still it’s an adjustment.

Our fishing village of Garibaldi is a “city” which claims nearly 800 residents, but I call “horseshit” cause I’m guessing half live in Portland and claim here for a tax break. But, we have a city mayor, city planner, three members of the council, and a city engineer.

Reading what they’re doing back home in Porter County has me wondering if they should take a step back and consider the Oregon way.

Our niece was born down in Eugene on October 30th.

Might have a point guard on my hands. Drafting plans to make sure she has enough blacktop to practice 30-footers. They might move here. They might stay there. Planning accordingly just in case.

Our neighbors make some of the best BBQ in the world.

In fact, we found out we’re neighbors after we discovered their barbeque.

The guest bedroom is nearly ready.

Since Camp Fire blocked our ways back to Bay Area for Jay’s funeral, we picked up a DEWALT miter saw and are finishing shelving using leftover deck wood. So, your room will be proper ready by Sunday, maybe sooner, but speaking of neighbors, we’re having a birthday party for one this afternoon – since we didn’t go to Bay Area.

Katie and the DEWALT miter saw
Katie and the DEWALT miter saw.

Anyone who thinks those California fires didn’t factor in our decision to come up here should watch Camp Fire. We’re probably going to find out that PG&E power lines, once again, tripped another tragic NorCal fire. Seriously. Guns are a problem in heavily populated area but, to me, it’s second in California to a box of matches.

We brought the saw and extra hardware back via a ’96 Silverado 3500 Dually best known as The Family Truck. When I drive I leave it on the local country station mostly for the news, though I’m told once a day that,

“Heaven’s just a sin away.
Oh, whoa, just a sin away.
Heaven help me when I say,
‘I think I’m giving in.'”

I went crabbing on the bay last month for the first time.

Tillamook Bay crabbing selfie.
The official Tillamook Bay crabbing selfie. If you look in the reflection in the lenses you can see Larry the crab whisperer.

Went with a couple locals, one being a crab whisperer. Three of us on a little boat caught enough to feed the church’s men’s retreat, while everyone else went out on the ocean to fish and only caught sunburns. Now mind you, everyone had selections to sample because a couple guys went out the day before to crab and fish just in case and brought coolers full, but there’s something biblical in there about simplicity and going with what you know instead of something flashy when it comes to survival, but I’ll be damned if I can remember it right now.

‘Starting to feel like our 1/4 acre ain’t enough because I can’t raise a couple hundred heads of cattle on it.

Met a few friends out here whose family farms are a part of the Tillamook co-op, the ones that make Tillamook cheese. I think one of them has an oceanside farm. I didn’t know that was a thing. Might check their farms out – after I finish a draft of my fifth first novel. Also, I still need to help more with the BBQ to remodel the iconic building they just purchased even closer to the shore and pier. And Katie’s got cousins who still need some hours in on their Habitat for Humanity home.

So, yeah, I stretched out a little more here than I did in Bay Area.

By the way, we bought an old 1920 Mill house here in Garibaldi.

It’s on the east side, just up the hill from where the original Mill was. With Katie’s commute, we haven’t been moving in real fast. Don’t really wanna do much else but see her when she’s here, when she’s not sleeping. Pics to come.

Speaking of the best part of me, we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on October 24th.

our fouth wedding anniversary, celebrated at Pirates Cove Restaunt in Garibaldi
Our fouth wedding anniversary, celebrated at Pirates Cove Restaunt in Garibaldi, OR. Despite the name sounding like a mini golf bar & grille, it’s quite elegant. And it really does sit in a “pirate cove” along Tillamook Bay.

‘Can’t believe it’s been four years since her, me, and Blaise took the morning BART to the Lake Merritt stop to get in line at the clerk’s office so Katie & I could wed. Now, 700 miles north and sneaking away to a local fish restaurant to reminisce.

It’s after lunch and I still need breakfast coffee.

I can hear the DEWALT miter saw and Milwaukee drills calling my name. Or, it’s Katie moving furniture around in work prep.

Four minutes later…

Your guest room will have a vanity. That’s what I heard moving.

And if you’re looking for shelves for clothes, it’s doubling as your bed platform.

Salutation with the obligatory Enzo & Lily pic:

enzo and lily say, "hi."
Enzo & Lily say, “hi,” while sitting where the guest bed used to be.

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