The Apple-Tree House

The Apple-Tree House

I found a house. Built in 1930, it has hardwood floors, a washer & dryer, a fenced backyard, garden plot, stand-alone garage, basement, and finished attic. It’s in NW Bend, a couple blocks from the river and about 6 blocks from my brother’s house.

Most exciting thing to me? The apple tree in the front yard. I am ecstatic.

Okay, I think they’re actually crab apples, but whatever. Ecstatic.

And those crab apples are all mine as of September 16th, 2012, so I’m moving a week earlier than planned. Seven days to pack up my life and hit the road. Chaos. Ecstatic chaos.

I haven’t actually seen the house in person, so who knows, but I pretty sure I’m going to love it. Fingers crossed.

It’s amazing that we live in an era where technology makes it possible to arrange a move in a couple of weeks all by phone and internet.

But really, the thing that made this possible is much more old fashioned: family.

My mom drove from Eugene to Bend and spent an entire day looking at houses and meeting landlords (I really wanted to rent from a landlord directly instead of a property management company). My brother and his girlfriend know how quickly NW houses go, so over the last few weeks, they’ve dropped everything to go see properties for me. They also picked up my new Forester, so it’ll be waiting for me when I arrive. (Bill Kezer and the folks at Subaru of Bend were awesome to work with, btw).My uncle tirelessly advised me on my car search. My dad offered moral support and is contributing to my moving-truck gas fund. My other dad (long story), is driving Arizona to LA to pick up my motorcycle (actually it’s his motorcycle on permanent loan, but Bend is too freaking cold, too many months out of the year for a bike) AND is helping me load the moving truck AND is driving with me to Bend.

So while the apple tree gets the glory, it’s really my family I’m ecstatic about. I’ve been an absentee daughter, sister and niece over the last couple of decades. I’ve been oh so busy busy busy in the big city, no time for my family! I was busy career building, traveling, building my own sort of ad-hoc family of friends near and far, and doing fabulous things and being depressed because life seemed kind of meaningless. Yeah.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll still get the blues in Bend, and we all know that family is a mixed bag, but this family of mine has come through for me in the biggest way in the last few weeks. No one is shutting me out because I didn’t call enough or forgot birthdays. God bless them. And you know what? All the favors they’ve done for me to get me to Oregon? I can’t wait to return them. I want the very responsibility I ran from. I want to be relied on. I want to rely on them. Turns out they were reliable all along, I just wasn’t paying attention. But I am now.

I got exactly the house I wanted in Bend. And it has trees and grass and amazing stuff like that. But I got something much more than that. Somehow through the process of getting the apple-tree house, I SAW my family — through the eyes of a grown woman, and not through the eyes of the 17-year old who fled Oregon, looking for something bigger and better. And you know what? It feels pretty good to come full circle. Turns out the bigger and better I wanted had nothing to do with my success, my wardrobe, or my salary, or my car, or my man or any other supericial thing. Duh.

The Apple-Tree House

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but bigger and better has something to do with love, with community, with accountability. Bigger and better might be right in front of you. Bigger and better might be something you left behind. Bigger and better might be a small town. Bigger and better might be a crab-apple tree in your front yard.

2 thoughts on “The Apple-Tree House

  1. I was just checking out some of Dustin’s photos on FB and thought to myself, I wonder how his cousin is doing? (The one that magically appeared at my breakfast table so many years ago, chatting with Coco) – Coco is great, BTW: Her and Nancy tackled a pie contest yesterday, but that’s another story.

    I saw the link to your blog, thought I’d check it out and after reading felt compelled to offer my congratulations! A big move ahead, sounds like you’ve made a wonderful choice! (Bend is the only place I could ever handle in Oregon, the valley’s rain is just too much and everything outside of that is just “too small”)

    Anyway, I hope Bend is a great fit for you, I know there are some truly wonderful people there and it sounds like you’ve rediscovered family. Very nice! Anyhoo… Good luck, drive safe and say hi to your Dad for me! I’m sure he’ll never remember me, but he did leave a lasting impression on me. Cheerio, Zane

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