Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Nearly One Year

I arrived in Bend, behind the wheel of "Mellow Yellow," my 1984 VW Westfalia, towing a little ladybug utility trailer on August 12, 2008. Mrs Elliott arrived along with two gigantic moving vans on the 18th. In just a few days we will have been here for a year.

I'm just saying.

18 comments:

  1. Ready to head back to San Diego yet?

    I give you three, maybe four more Bend winters before the novelty wears off.

    Just sayin'.

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  2. Tryin' to peg me as some kind of mollycoddled sissypants, are ya? You calling me a mewling little pussified softie?

    Pshaw.

    I'm never moving back to SoCal or any other sand state.

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  3. "I'm never moving back to SoCal or any other sand state."

    Boldly said, sir, for one who has yet to experience his second Central Oregon winter.

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  4. Indeed, Sir, indeed. And I stand by my statement, Sir, indeed, I make it a promise, a vow, Sir, a vow.

    Last year's "oooh -- watch out for our big bad scary Bend winters" didn't live up to the advertising. I remain unimpressed, Sir, quite unimpressed.

    Harumph.

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  5. I have faith. I'm a southerner, and been here three years, and so far can handle the winters. Plus, you know more about Bend than I do, in three years.

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  6. "Indeed, Sir, indeed. And I stand by my statement, Sir, indeed, I make it a promise, a vow, Sir, a vow."

    Would you care to make it a bet, sir? I will wager $100 that you will be gone within five years, sir.

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  7. @Nan: Ol' Blackdog is just tryin' to be my personal buzzkill, my Cassandra.

    As my sister-in-law in Spokane wrote this morning,

    "As far as the winter remarks- blog reader comments...blah blah blah- of course you will do fine. Have to say I hope you don't have a winter like our last one. I think we are all a bit shell-shocked by that one...even some of the more hardy types I know were soooooo done with it. But I will be very surprised if we see one that bad this year. We will muddle thru like we always do anyway. Still have the same snow shovels we got when we moved here-15 years this year. Always makes me wonder why there's a rush on them every year...hey news flash- it snows here- duh."

    So Blackdog, I will take the wager with one limiting clause: Mrs Elliott has strong ties to her children and grandchildren who live near Sacramento. My current medical problem has made me more aware of how fragile my health is. If I am forced to depart Bend because of a medical condition that leaves me dependent on her, and she wants to be close to the kids, then I am well and truly screwed. To live in a stucco'd strip mall wasteland makes me shudder. It will be payment enough. Otherwise, it's a fair wager, Sir, and I accept it.

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  8. "Have to say I hope you don't have a winter like our last one."

    HAH! You call that a WINTER? That was NOTHIN!! Sheesh, these greenhorns!

    We had a fair amount of snow in December and January, I'll grant you, but very little after that. And hardly any of our celebrated "inversions," when the temperature stays below zero and the town remains locked in gray frozen fog for a week at a stretch.

    Actually the snow isn't the big problem here; we don't really get that much of it. And neither is the cold; extreme cold is pretty rare. The problem is that winter drags on for eight months. THAT's what wears you out eventually.

    "To live in a stucco'd strip mall wasteland makes me shudder."

    Me too. But there ARE places that are not like that and are not Bend.

    "So Blackdog, I will take the wager with one limiting clause:"

    Accepted.

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  9. "HAH! You call that a WINTER? That was NOTHIN!! Sheesh, these greenhorns!"

    You did catch that she was writing of last winter in Spokane, right? We visited for a niece's wedding and what Bend was seeing was Tinkertoys compared with our more northerly, inland relatives were dealing with.

    Well, I know we had many days of inversion last winter, because I wrote KOHD's Adam Clarke to learn how there could be fog when then temps are below freezing. Why, I wanted to know, doesn't the water vapor just freeze and drop out of the air?

    The vapor, he explained during a You Ask We Answer segment, is in a super-cooled condition where it remains liquid even though it's below freezing. It's when the vapor touches something that it crystallizes to ice, leading to that lovely hoar frost and other fancy white filigree on plants and fences.

    Jeepers. You are just determined to break my spirit, aren't you? Are you normally such a cheerless fellow?

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  10. "Well, I know we had many days of inversion last winter"

    Not "many." A few. "Many" is when we have several spells of a week or more.

    I'm not trying to break your spirit. Life in Bend will do that. If anything I'm trying to save your spirit by encouraging you to get the hell out. I realize that's easier said than done, however.

    Those of us who try to be realistic are always called "cheerless" (or worse) so I'm used to it. "There is no commodity in the world so rare as truth, and yet the supply always exceeds the demand." -- Ambrose Bierce

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  11. "Ol' Blackdog is just tryin' to be my personal buzzkill, my Cassandra."

    According to mythology Cassandra always spoke the truth, but nobody believed her. If the Trojans had believed her when she told them about that wooden horse they would have been better off.

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  12. Fair enough, I appreciate your concern.

    But with all due respect, if it's Bend that's going to wear me down in a few years, let me learn that lesson myself. I'll find that more interesting to deal with then than having to deal with someone wanting to wear me down now.

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  13. "if it's Bend that's going to wear me down in a few years, let me learn that lesson myself"

    Fair enough; I'll leave you alone. And your medical miseries are bad enough without me adding to them.

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  14. Good point about poor Cassandra. She isn't the example I was looking for.

    So, let's see. From recent literature we have our Pollyannas who will view the world through rose-tinted glasses and find the good in everything. But do we a character, ancient or recent, who embodies the opposite? Eeyore, anyone?

    Several people have told me that I see the silver lining. IHTBYB (whose postings I always read with interest, and where does he find those pictures of them chicks with the humongous ta-tas?) called me the "ever-ebullient permabull Jack Elliott."

    These people don't know me very well. In person I tend toward grumpiness. Mrs Elliott bought me a lager glass with Grumpy -- of the Seven Deadly Dwarfs -- emblazoned on it. I'm "Grumpy Smurf." Right after last month's family reunion here, she bought me a sign that says "I childproofed my house but the children keep getting in."

    There were, like, a dozen little grandchildren all between the ages of 8 months and 4 years, all blond; most needed oiling, near as I can tell: they tended to screech a lot.

    But when writing, I tend to look at my words before publishing, and as my recent, now deleted, post slamming the downtown flower pots demonstrates, I can get cutting and mean. So before pressing the "Submit" button I look to see if I am condemning w/ faint evidence.

    I do believe that one should not immediately ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence or thoughtlessness.

    Which might be Pollyanna-ish.

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  15. "as my recent, now deleted, post slamming the downtown flower pots demonstrates, I can get cutting and mean."

    "Cutting and mean"? Hell, you ain't in my league, dude!

    BTW, fir your amusement, here's a video of the Bend Chamber of Commerce Chorus performing one of their most popular numbers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

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  16. "`Cutting and mean'? Hell, you ain't in my league, dude!"

    That well may be true. i can get plenty mean by my standards, and I've never not regretted it later -- sometimes deeply. I may not be able to box in your weight class, but it's not a skill I'd like to develop further. Compared with the losses, the rewards are meager compared to the losses.

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  17. "I do believe that one should not immediately ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence or thoughtlessness."

    Couldn't agree more, especially since incompetence and thoughtlessness are so much more common than outright malice. But that is not an excuse for incompetence and thoughtlessness, especially among people who are supposed to be professionals.

    "Compared with the losses, the rewards are meager compared to the losses."

    Don't knock it; dark humor has seen me through a lot of tough times. "Life is a tragedy to a man who feels, a comedy to a man who thinks." -- G.B. Shaw

    Just remember: Always look on the bright side of life!

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  18. "....an excuse for.....especially among people who are suppose to be professionals."

    This is exactly the type weak-kneed follow-on logic that does nothing but keep an argument going when the main point was made long ago. Unprofessional, pure and simple.

    What appears to this writer is nothing to accomplish, bor-ring, no treasure to dig, just letter place holders to waste in an effort to do what?

    Yammer on, ....albeit in a professional skill-building writing style fest?

    Have we all nothing better to be doing?

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