6 minute read
Why Are You Moving There?
July 16, 2016
People ask us all the time, ‘why are you moving up there?’ and rarely do they understand. So few are immediately happy for us. We have been called modern hippies. Some probably think we are crazy.
Almost two years ago we decided to move and we began to purge all our things, so when we got rid of our couch our friends probably thought it was odd. If you know us you probably wouldn’t be surprised that we got rid of all the furniture except two beds and a couple tables, but to us it just made sense. Who wants to move all that stuff around? We even went through our clothes to get down to bare minimum for the Washington winter. We kept a few sentimental things but not much, mostly pictures. It all fit into one small moving truck that was bigger than we needed because we had to tow a car.
Good bye Houston and hello Washington state! because we’ve moved to a location in the mountains north of Spokane (and no it’s not Seattle, so stop asking us if it rains all the time!).
Why? Why not, that’s what we say. Normally we get some blank stares when we try to explain the idea of growing by shunning a connection to a place. People don’t normally understand because it isn’t “typical” for Americans to be nomadic. Without going into philosophy, last year we travelled for about a month to Europe, and we wanted to extend that experience of extended immersion into our normal everyday life. We decided it was too easy to stay in one place, and we consider it is only possible to teach our son and ourselves about life by experience, and you can’t get that by living in a social bubble your entire life.
That pretty much sums it up, but it’s not enough to explain how we ended up in Washington. People say, it’s so far from home! and yeah, it is, but that’s the point. If we lived 200 miles away it would still be far, 2000 miles isn’t much different when you communicate by facetime. Also, why would we move and not go somewhere new? So — cold, mountains, and low humidity it is. Getting four actual seasons instead of one and a half was just a bonus.
Life is adaptation and challenge, complacency and indifference is death. That’s why we moved. And we’ll do it again.
Neither of us had ever been to Montana so we didn’t know what to expect. Turns out to be a really pretty place, maybe the best on the entire 2500 mile drive. The clouds and the mountains were huge, making great shadows. If we didn’t have a schedule and 10,000 pounds of vehicle we probably would have stuck around for sundown to take better shots, but it didn’t matter because we have the memories.
Before we left we made an effort to spend time with all our friends and family…. Since I was on the road working for 3 months before we moved it turned out to be a hard thing to do, but with some creativity we managed to make the best of it. We ended up spending almost every moment I was in Houston doing something with everyone and packed relatively little because we were so tired and busy moving around. Good thing we don’t have many things - we started purging stuff when we decided over a year ago to move.
Ten acres of land is a huge contrast from living in an apartment for a couple of years, but adjusting to a new kind of life is a pleasure when the environment is so appealing. We strive to make the best of life decisions, even in the shadow of isolation from family and friends; every day is a welcome challenge. You might ask why we would decide to live in the middle of the woods on a mountain after living in ‘the city’ almost our entire lives?
Normally when we travel we shoot from our vehicle because we love the look and most of the time we just don’t want to forget what we see. It works well because we love to road trip and there is normally a lot to see, albeit fast moving.
Since the packing started long before moving day, we spent a while in the apartment with bare walls and boxes because of all the travel I had to do before we moved. All the preparation helped us focus on the important things, and turned out to be a metaphor for our attempted-minimalist lifestyle.
Being an engineer by profession makes it hard for me to relate to creativity so I practice a lot either by taking photos or going through the thought process. So when my cousin challenged us to make some nature-related images just because, I used the opportunity to force myself to stop unpacking and think about what I see around us. As usual both Myesha and I found plenty to shoot. It’s always good advice to stop doing what you have to do and do what you want, a practice that I still have to get used to.
It would be pretty boring, but if we wanted to we could probably stand on our balcony and take landscape shots all day. We wanted to move to a place that was natural and different from Houston, and we got lucky to find this place. So now, whenever I can, I step out on the back balcony and make images of the clouds and the mountains and the evening sunlight. Eventually when we make the trails and I have the time we will go down into the meadow and shoot more, in the morning, in the cold, in the snow in winter. Fun stuff.
So I’m laying in bed one evening about a week after we arrived, and by luring me half-asleep into the kitchen Myesha woke me up to reveal she’d hidden an elaborate plan to sneak into the house my cousin who lives in san francisco. After sobering up from sleepiness we all went to bed, and spent a great weekend playing games and drinking adult beverages and just hanging out - things we don’t normally get to do. Of course we talked about photo all weekend, and got all competitive in the games.
If she would let me I would take pictures of her all the time. The good news is she will let me do all the projects I want, but this is what I get when I turn a lens on her when we are packing.
I don’t remember where this was, perhaps northern utah. We are both fascinated with animals we find dead alongside the road - yeah it’s a morbid fascination, but I think it expresses our appreciate for mortality. But that’s just me. Anyway, this deer was really dead (just like the bugs on the windshield), and the car it hit was probably pretty badly damaged.