*(with apologies to Spencer Ellsworth)
We knew there would be trade-offs involved when we decided to move from Portland, Oregon, to Orcas Island. We’d be leaving behind so many dear friends. There would be no more walking to Trader Joe’s five times a week, or riding our bikes to the gym; no more having hundreds of delicious and affordable restaurants to choose from, and dozens of movie theaters. No hospital, very few doctors; gas costs a dollar more a gallon than it does on the mainland–the list goes on.
In return, though, we got the splendid isolation, the beauty, the space and peace and quiet. We got small-town charm, made fascinating new friends (and host visiting friends-from-away), and get to live in a crazy big rambling house surrounded by nature–cedars and wild ducks and great blue herons and ferns and deer and owls and a million songbirds and tree frogs.
It was more than worth the inconveniences, we decided. We would plan ahead for occasional off-island days, to do our big-box-store (and Trader Joe’s) shopping and our medical appointments; we bought Life Flight insurance for emergencies. We learned how to make a lot more things ourselves, and we began ordering more stuff online. We enjoy the hour-long ferry ride–even now, when we are mostly confined to our cars, it’s a little piece of enforced down time in a busy life.