Friday, July 16, 2010
7.10.2010: Ecola Beach, Oregon: Neil Prejean (1998)
The beach in Oregon means an entirely different thing than it does in Louisiana, which is staying out of the water because you’ll get cold, rather than filthy. But there you sit in a fine mist and watch the crazy surfers reduce themselves to puckered, red, shivering messes. I forgot to mention that it is intensely beautiful. Walking down to meet Neil, we realized that this was a momentous occasion—we had hit the Pacific Ocean at last. The day warmed up and we found Neil, his wife Miranda, and his 6-month old daughter Avalyn. I read somewhere that babies of all species have evolved to be irresistible so that their parents or caretakers don’t kill them or leave them to die. This is a bad intro to talking about Ava, but I found that while she was around and awake it was hard to focus on anything but baby.
Neil and his family had only recently moved to the area (suburb right out of Portland: “Like New Iberia is to Lafayette, sort of,” says Neil) from Colorado so that Miranda could start an intense Physician’s Assistant program, while she has a baby. She’s away from home all day and is sick of breast-pumping, although the school has provided her with her own room and refrigerator. Neil is still working for the aero-space engineering firm that he worked for in Colorado, although from home, where he can sit around in his pajamas, and they are none the wiser. He said that he’s the first to work remotely for the company and that they must really like him. While Oregon is no Colorado, there are plenty of farmers’ markets, outdoor activities, and they found a cool 100-year old house to live in. I hope it isn’t drafty in the winter.
Oh and Kim and Greg loaned us their car to get to the beach so that we could get back in time for the barbeque. Poor bus got left behind.