Cambiamo Case (Changing Houses)

20 Oct

20 October 2020.

Perhaps we are nomads after all. Our ten-year plan set in 2016 has been shortened by six years: we are leaving Lincoln City and returning to the greater Portland Metropolitan Area. Specifically, we just bought a house in Forest Grove, previously a small town on the edge of wine country and now the Western edge of the SMA.

Why?” you might ask. We do love the clean air, mild summer temps, and the low traffic of the coast (except for when the tourists flock in July and August and holiday weekends), but the pandemic and forest fire season gave us cause to reconsider where we live, the type of home we have, and what we do with our time. The evacuation during the Echo Mountain Fire was a bit unnerving.

Cascara Court (our current home) this spring. This is the front yard/garden. I’ve done what I can with it and it is quite nice.

Living two hours from our son and friends we have known for decades weighed heavily in the decision. We missed a summer of responsible socializing with Derek and said friends. There is little outdoor dining on the coast as it just is not warm enough for evening outdoor socializing. We had ONE NIGHT this summer where you could be outside without a jacket past 7:00 PM. ONE NIGHT and that was in September. 70 degree highs are great for hiking and gardening but do not lead to soft summer nights of barbecuing and lounging on the patio. We saw our son exactly once from mid-March to early September. Living closer gives us more opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.

Our time in Lincoln City caused me to rediscover my love of gardening. Not vegetables, mind you, but ornamentals, especially perennials. We reworked much of the landscaping on Cascara Court but as we are in a townhome with a small lot and a half-dozen 100-foot conifers providing dry shade, there was only so much to be done. I wanted a new space for my puttering.

Having sold Cascara Court in 13 days, we came to Portland to start house hunting yesterday. The market is moving so fast in the Metro area the houses are barely listed before they are gone. Last week I had 34 homes “favorited” on Redfin. By the time we met our realtor on Monday morning, many had already sold or had to be eliminated for a major flaw (no A/C, near a major highway, overlooking the MAX line) there were FIVE houses left to be toured. FIVE out of 34!

Long story short, we toured four houses, loved two, and made offers on those two. By 12:30 today, one offer had been accepted. Positive thoughts to the Universe, we will move in shortly after Thanksgiving. We are inheriting a lovely back garden with a fountain and space to entertain outdoors. The house is a Craftsman bungalow with impeccable attention to detail. When I have it all dolled up, you’ll see pictures. Below, two glimpses of where we are headed.

No grass grows under Barton feet.

Freestanding fireplace
Back garden with fountain

23 Responses to “Cambiamo Case (Changing Houses)”

  1. Barbie October 22, 2020 at 12:04 #

    I too worried about you and several others during this year’s horrible fires and am relieved you are moving closer to PDX. Forest Grove is lovely and I bet it has grown considerably since I was last in that area. The home and yard are lovely. I always look forward to your blog. Stay safe and happy. All is well in Barbie’s Bubble. Big hugs to you both!


    • Laurel October 22, 2020 at 13:45 #

      Thank you, Barbie! Forest Grove has grown immensely but it is still more of a rural town than a big-city suburb and has been quiet mid-week, at least. We walked into an almost empty Safeway at noon, a huge change from tourist-Mecca Lincoln CIty! We will be only 28 minutes from Derek, although the way he drives, more like 20 minutes! Glad you are well and aren’t we all happy to be retired?


  2. chloe erkenbrecher October 21, 2020 at 06:26 #

    I am sure that you will enjoy your new home. Much nicer to be in a warmer climate where you can sit out in the evening. Moving is always an adventure.


    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:21 #

      I hate the heat but a warm summer evening is a lovely thing for outdoor entertainment. Moving is always WORK. We haven’t had time to get too bogged down in stuff we have to get rid of so we can be ready for movers to pack us in short order.


  3. Jean Claude October 21, 2020 at 01:36 #

    So happy that you are getting closer to our unknown next location around Portland.. Looking forward to seeing you either there or in…Provence!


    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:20 #

      Are you still in Provence? Will you come back to house hunt again? The market is crazy but there are some great options “out west.”


  4. William Walls October 20, 2020 at 21:12 #

    It all about family, health, and friends. (good food and wine also help)


  5. Wallswj October 20, 2020 at 21:09 #

    It’s all about family, health, and friends. Congratulations. Would love to return to Italy – just discovered a family connection near Vicenza,


  6. Bill Walls October 20, 2020 at 21:06 #

    It’s all about family, health, and friends. Congratulations.


    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:22 #

      Thanks, Bill! Cannot wait to travel again, though!


  7. gayleseely October 20, 2020 at 21:03 #

    SO excited to have you closer. And I have always loved Forest Grove. It is, surprisingly, aptly named. I am excited to see how you settle in, make friends, build your garden, and put your own decorating spin on the lovely, lovely, property.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:19 #

      And close enough to you for walking dates!


  8. Karen Lloyd October 20, 2020 at 20:59 #

    Congrats! And I totally get the “why” of the move. Forest Grove is a great community with a wonderful small live theater (when it re-opens) and you’re closer to your favorite winery in Carlton, right?

    Happy move!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:18 #

      Closer to lots of wineries, I think. You and Chuck will have to come out once we are settled. Guess I had better get a patio heater or fire pit!


  9. graciamc October 20, 2020 at 20:50 #

    Good luck on your move! Sounds like you found a lovely new home. Enjoy being closer to family and friends.


    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:17 #

      Thanks, Gracia! We had hoped to come to Seattle in June. When this all opens up again, I hope we can see you and Will, one place or the other!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Marcia Kakiuchi October 20, 2020 at 19:26 #

    Oh my heavens! You are so right that you don’t let the grass or moss grow under your feet! I’m so excited about the home and community you selected! I grew up mainly in Hillsboro and spent a lot of time in Forest Grove ( or Frosty Grove as we called it). It is such a great town with the university. I think your time living at the coast was well worth it so you had that experience… check it off the list! Congratulations to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:16 #

      Did not know you lived “out west!” FG still seems rather serene although it has grown enormously in the past 10 years.


  11. Sarah Wyckoff October 20, 2020 at 18:57 #

    I’m so glad you are following your bliss(es)!! Happy New Home and Cheers to your upcoming adventures, wherever they happen!


    • Laurel October 21, 2020 at 07:15 #

      Thanks, Sarah. Nice to hear from you! Are you still in Nehalem?


  12. Deb Fischer October 20, 2020 at 18:19 #

    Wow wow, and welcome back to being closer! Happy packing and settling in! Hope femmes can have a visit one of these days!


    • Laurel October 20, 2020 at 18:20 #

      Yes yes yes! A Femmes gathering outdoors, for now, would be grand! Hope you guys are doing well!



  1. Moving in the Time of COVID-19 | Girovaga - December 12, 2020

    […] people shooting at you. Houses in the Portland area practically sell before they are listed. (See Cambiamo Case. […]


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