Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

The Coast.

When in doubt, think about the Coast.

When possible, go to the Coast.

The Oregon Coast is, no lie, one of my favorite places in the world. (I've been going there since the Seventies; I'd better like it.) It feels like a place where I can reset, and, at minimum, feel more relaxed.

Back in April 1999, before I flew to Philadelphia for my brother's wedding, I first drove from my home in the semi-desert town of Hermiston, Oregon to Portland, then drove more to be at Lincoln City in time for a sunset. (I flew the next day.) I did that to leave behind the residual stress of the newspaper job and refocus towards the cool event that was the upcoming wedding -- which was a good wedding, resulting in a good marriage (plus my nephews! More win!), and I was more ready to enjoy it thanks to the Coast. I got to the beach, felt the wind, and soaked in the view. Good views can be soaked in, didn't you know that?

Another time in late 2003, when I was feeling a little sad, I spent time at the coast to help myself get over that. Our family at the time still owned a small house in the Coast Range hills about 10 miles inland from Lincoln City; we called it Slick Rock, after the creek that ran past it and into the Salmon River. Small, basic double-wide, but very comfortable, in a comfortable setting. It's a former house of ours that I still dream about. (Though, honestly, I've dreamed about all but a couple of our former houses, and as I've been a Navy brat and moved around a lot, that's a lot of homes I've dreamed about. I still think it's a good sign that I dream about my former places to live. They're worth revisiting.)

Various times at the coast come back to me easily: the week-long family get-together summer 1990, one of the times my family rented a beach house, during an especially spectacular run of weather (plus maybe the most satisfying plate of chees-covered potato skins I've ever eaten, at the late and lamented Dory's Cove Restaurant); the hike up (and up and up) Cape Perpetua, the highest point on the Oregon Coast; camping with Alicia when we were a couple, where we jury-rigged a successful way to boil over a fire using less-than-optimal equipment after the main thing we'd brought to cook food hadn't worked; my long weekend in a hotel in Lincoln City in 2007 when I really needed a break from my crazy-making hospital office at OHSU. Heck, now that I've thought more about the coast, I'm thinking back to a summer 1985 visit there where, as a commemoration of the then-40th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, someone in Lincoln City had painted fake white shadows on many sidewalks -- echoing the white shadows left in the aftermath of the nuclear explosion. Whoa. Heavier memory than I was expecting, but I can handle it. The Coast's always worth remembering, no matter what.

And thinking about the Coast right now was the right decision.

Think about soothing things tonight, people. Always a good idea. Could be soothing objects; could be soothing places; could be soothing people.

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