Yesterday was my birthday. Everything was great, good weather, nice lunch, and little trip to Macy’s for a pair of fancy flip-flops and a couple pairs of badly needed pants. Oh, yeah, and a quick stop at See’s Candy Store for a box of two-dozen truffles – dietetic, of course.
Now that I am older and more mature, I have to take a fresh look at my life and surroundings. You simply can not imagine what I am forced to endure almost every day – especially during the summer and fall.
Sometimes, way up here in the Great Green Pacific Northwest, I wonder if anyone cares what we have to suffer through in these barely livable surroundings: Sun blocked out by the tall evergreens; small birds eating our very valuable seed; vicious and out-of-control squirrels roaming around our backyard, running between houses, and jumping from tree to tree. All of that and the nosey neighbors who are always trying to loan us their tools or wanting to help us with some project.
We often feel trapped in our environment since everything we need is within a mile or two of our home. Because we travel such short distances only once or twice a week, I am often afraid that the gas in our tank may go bad during the two to three months between fill-ups.
Every day, more bad news: Oregon’s governor just raised the car license fees from $27 per year to $43 – requiring us to pay out a total of $172 every two years for the tags for our two cars. Somehow we will just have to find a way to overcome this huge financial burden in 2011 when our tags expire. In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to save our money by reducing our annual See’s candy purchases from three boxes to two.
I sure miss paying sales tax on everything like we did when we lived in California. Yes, we save about 9% on everything we buy, but I do understand that starting next year the Governor will raise our state’s gas tax by 6 cents a gallon. That means that we will have to come up with another $2.50 every three months or so when we have to gas up again.
So as you can see, not all is paradise up here. Please stay away for your own good. Nothing is doing well up here anymore; 2500 sq.ft. homes on 1/2 acre properties in great neighborhoods near town are dropping in value all around us. Some of the really nice ones that were $350K to $400K are now going for under $275,000. There must be a glut of at least two dozen of these homes in Salem. It’s a scary thing to see a “For Sale” sign every mile or so in a metropolis like Salem. I guess that gives our local real estate agents something to do when they’re not selling insurance or bagging groceries at Wal-Mart.
In all seriousness, we hope all of our family and friends can come and see us when it is possible for them to do so. We are having the time of our lives up here and we wish that we could share it with everyone in our family and whatever friends we still have.
Yes, our life is a little boring, but Netflix and watching the squirrels play just a few feet off our deck keep us from bouncing off the walls. If nothing more important comes up in the meantime, we may have to make a little five mile trek over to the Willamette Winery for a few little tastes of local Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir to break up our day.