Making the Move

To be candid, I don’t live on Orcas Island—right now. I live near my high-tech, high stress day job which requires quite a bit of travel. My current home, which I spent years gutting and getting just right, is in the shadow of my office; so close I could walk—if I had an hour to kill.

I’ve lived in or near my present home for almost 15 years, before that graduate school in Arizona, before that in Idaho where my family is presently on their 10th generation (or more). So you could say, the Northwest is my ancestral home.

Kayaking on the small bay my new house sits above last September
Kayaking on the small bay my new house sits above last September

I’ve been going to Orcas Island ever since I arrived in the Pacific Northwest and as an avid kayaker, I find Orcas to be the most ideal for the sport, less shipping lane traffic, more places to go and see  by human-powered craft and a range of conditions from exciting to peaceful. Having nearly died of hypothermia when a shipping container ship’s bow wave capsized my kayak off San Juan Island, I have learned the value of better equipment, knowing the tides, dry suits and avoidance of big ships.

We’ve been looking for land to build on Orcas, so that we could potentially build a place to retire to when, presumably we could better afford it, and talking about it for far longer, so finding a house with close water access right on the bay we wanted to live on was unexpected. We were staying at West Beach resort. On our way to look at a lot up the road we passed by the house directly next to the resort and Nick said “This place is perfect. I wonder if we can turf these people out.” On the way back the guy that lives there was hanging up a “for sale” sign. It was fate. What else could we do but make an offer? Now there is just the boring stuff—loan, inspection, moving…

We know we will eventually live there full-time. Because there is a house it is likely to be sooner rather than later. For now the plan is to split the time between both places a three-day/four-day plan since our jobs keep us on the mainland. That is, if the inspect tomorrow works out okay. Fingers crossed!

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