We chose to retire to this area of the country (the Pacific Northwest) for several reasons. Among them are:
- The natural beauty of the area is stunning!
- We love living on the Pacific Coast because we love cooler weather: mist, fog, the marine layer, storms coming in off of the ocean1 .
- We felt like we were stepping back in time every time we visited this area while house-hunting.
- As a mostly blue state, our rights seem more secure as people trend toward being accepting of gay people. In fact, there are more gay people per capital living in Oregon than any other state of the union.2
So, let’s talk about that third bullet: stepping back in time. The first neighbor we met, who grew up here, literally said “You feel like you’re stepping back in time here. Everything moves slower.”
Having only been here for a couple of weeks now, we can definitely agree. People literally move slower here. They drive slower. Speed limits are slower. People are in less of a hurry. They are vastly more friendly, easily striking up conversation with strangers and friends. People often wave at you as you pass them on the sidewalks and in their cars.
Here’s a shocker for you: they still pump your gas for you and wash your windshield. Good god! Seriously.
We chose a rural area for our retirement. When we called to setup our phone and internet service, we learned that the internet is slower here, too. A l.o.t. slower. Waaaay slower. I find this even more astonishing because the place where the trans-Pacific fiber optic cables come ashore that connect North America to Asia is just a few miles away–a very highly secured area.
And, for the home phone line, we had to buy an answering machine. Voicemail is not an offered feature. Yes, they still make answering machines! To be honest, I was surprised. My sister suggested we get an 8 track player for the tractor!
When I was a wee lad, I remember licking S&H Green Stamps and pasting them into the quick saver books. We would have stamp-licking parties with my aunt and cousins. (Remember those, Susan?!) Then, when we had books and books of them, we were off to the S&H Green Stamps store.3
Yep, you guessed it. The grocery stores in Oregon give you stamps at checkout! Five books of stamps gives you $50 off a $100 grocery bill.
You know what, I really like the fact that we’re stepping back in time. The country was, in some ways, just a bit nicer and less stressful. And in our retirement, that’s what we are hoping for: less stress; more nice.