Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Plans

Eleven years ago, when Carol and I met, we made plans to move to Oregon in ten years, when my youngest daughter Maddie would be 16. Maddie, her mom, Jennifer, Carol, and I all lived in Austin and we figured when she was 16 she could either live with us or enjoy the adventure of going back and forth.

Along the way, our plans changed. At the peak of the real estate bubble we feared not only  would we never be able to afford land in Oregon, but that if we didn't buy something soon, we wouldn't be able to afford land anywhere. So, we looked for and found affordable and beautiful land and bought 25 acres in Missouri - 15 minutes from Joplin. Hmm.

Then, about three years ago, while Carol was teaching at a workshop, I thought up the idea of selling our too large suburban home just outside of Austin and buying a smaller home in a rural neighborhood near Austin. That way we could have both our country dream and I could continue to be close to my daughter. I found the perfect place in Bastrop and we fell deeply in love with our little country home in the piney woods of central Texas. I was also able to survive a summer of 105 degree days and build Carol's perfect studio.

Well, now our plans have come completely and unexpectedly full circle and we have decided to leave Texas and move to Oregon. And, Maddie and her mom, Jennifer, who is one of Carol's and my closest friends, are coming with us!

On one hand we have lost a home and place, and in many ways a life style, we adored. On the other hand we have been given the opportunity to jump back and fulfill our original dream and move to one of the most gorgeous places on earth - where it rains! This wouldn't have happened without the fire and so I have experienced first hand our amazing human capacity to feel two completely opposing emotions at once.

I want to thank everyone who has sent us such kind and loving support through phone calls, emails, and comments. We are also profoundly grateful, beyond words, for the money raised in the fundraiser that my ex-wife and Maddie's mother, Jennifer, began. I want everyone to know that the money raised will be set aside to build a new perfect studio for Carol!

I can never say it enough - thank you.

- David

46 comments:

  1. You are so very welcome. The grace and resilience with which you have handled this adventure in your lives is a gift to observe. Will look forward to news of your new path as it continues to unfold.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons! It is very inspiring to see you recover your lives and turn it into a positive experience. Your remarkable relationship with your first wife is another example of your grace.

    Good luck on your new adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are an inspiring couple! Best of luck and I can't wait to see what rises from the ashes...the new chapter will be a lesson for us all :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am not surprised & grateful to know of such a wise & wonderful couple.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So looking forward to paintings from Oregon! Congratulations to all of you for finding a path to your dream!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd like to be the first to say welcome to Oregon! You'll love it here and we will be lucky to have you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. David, I'm sure you're going to get all kinds of offers of neighborliness from your friends here in the Pacific Northwest! I'm actually in Humboldt county, northern CA, almost all the way to Oregon on the coast. I don't know if you've already settled on a place, but be sure and check out Ashland and Eugene if you don't want to be in Portland. Eugene is very Austin-like, in all the best ways.

    And I will move mountains to get a very successful workshop going for Carol here in Humboldt if she wants one, where we have one of the best small-town art communities around.

    Best of luck to you--

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's exciting for me because you'll be closer! We live in Washington:) Oregon is really beautiful the beaches are amazing too! Thanks for sharing all this and happy trails to you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, that's so cool! More Texas Ex pats in Oregon! I am curious where you are planning to go in Oregon... the climate zones in Oregon are incredibly varied. I have friends in Austin, who also decided to move here (for a year to try it out) - and decide to move back to Austin... so if you want any suggestions for surviving happily as a Texan in Oregon, I can give you some (I am BBQ deprived ; ) ). I have lived here now for almost 20 years, and I love it! Time flies when you are having fun.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am so happy you have decided to move to Oregon! You will love it here - keeping my fingers crossed for a Carol workshop in my neck of the woods (Portland), but more than willing to travel to Bend, Eugene, Medford, Burns, Pendleton, Lincoln City--wherever you end up! Happy trails to you all in this next chapter of your story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You're welcome! Your courage and grace under these circumstances is inspiring. Best of happiness & blessings to you in Oregon.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am soooo very happy for all of you to realize a long held dream after your tragedy! It's very inspiring. Wishing all of you blessings and much happiness in Oregon (with rain!!) from a Ft. Worth girl (still wishing for rain!)!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dear Carol and David, I only just realised what you have been through not having found the new challenge as usual! My heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you, guys! All the very best with the move. Although I have never been to the USA I am sure that the place you have chosen is an absolutely wonderful one. Look forward to the next challenge)))

    ReplyDelete
  14. Greetings from beautiful Eugene, Oregon! We're delighted that you guys are considering living in this state. There are so many beautiful regions, and I guarantee that the natives are friendly!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi David and Carol. I am so sorry for your loss but so glad you'll be joining so many great artists in Oregon. When you get settled, let me know where you've been planted and I'll bring you some new art to help rebuild your collection. If you haven't decided, look at the Corvallis area...it is a great place to raise children yet live in the country. Let us know where you'll be.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am happy for you, that despite this terrible disaster you have been able to forge ahead and plan for the future. Like the other Oregon artists, I want to welcome you to our beautiful state. We have diverse climate areas, and varied terrain that you can pick and choose what suits you, from high desert, to mountains, coastlands and valleys. Even 'piney forests'. Good luck and prayers for a successful and happy new life.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Carol and David..another Oregonian here!...where will you move to in Oregon? I have only lived in three places, Illinois, Florida and Oregon and Oregon, of course, is my favorite, as I have been here for 35 years. I bet you will love it as much as I do. It is such a gorgeous place...so "outdoorsy"--a perfect place for everyone. (Some people can get a little tired of the gray and rain in winter--but they are just wusses) haha:)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am so sorry to hear about your terrible fire and also so amazed to hear the optimism with which you plan a new start for your family. Thank you for sharing your plans.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Best wishes on your new adventure! Looking forward to hearing of the new place.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Many good wishes for a wonderful future! You deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. We moved to Eugene from Ohio 4 years ago, and we are never leaving! Not even for vacation! :) This is a great place for kids and families, and the people are really friendly. Looking forward to meeting you all - even though I'm in Eugene, I'm sure we'll run into each other no matter where in OR you move! This is a small world for being such a big state!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Best wishes from Eugene, Oregon. You will always be welcome whenever you arrive.

    ReplyDelete
  23. David, I am so happy that your family, your wonderful, lovely family, can still be together, in a place that... it rains! (You may someday not *love* all that rain, but still...).

    My Mom always used to say that when things happen you can't make sense of, that you can't see the hand of God showing you the way. All signs, for you all, point to new happiness. You are one lucky man. The women in your life ROCK! Best of luck...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Best wishes to you both on life's next adventure. You are both inspiring and uplifting!! Cheer & blessings,
    Roxanne

    ReplyDelete
  25. God bless all of you! You are an inspiration. Ironically, I am heading out to Oregon for our son's wedding. Its a beautiful state with wonderful folks. Glad you are able to make your dreams come true!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Those lucky folks in the Northwest! We will miss having you in Texas, but wish you the very, very best in your new adventures there. When you come back to Texas to visit your family in the Hill Country, please look us up and know that you have a place to stay.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Congratulations on your decision! It sounds like a natural, how you described things going full circle. Thanks for keeping the community posted and wishing you strength and rest during the journey.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes, a full circle - I do believe our most heart-felt desires, if sent into the universe, come back to us in reality. Much applause to two people who really know how to count the plus's & not the minus's. You are both, truly, an inspiration. Very best of wishes on your new adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  29. What great news! I am so happy to hear that you all will be relocating to Oregon! It's just beautiful there! Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!
    My husband, Brian, and I will be in Portland, on Oct 5th thru the 9th, for a short vacation. If you happen to be up then we'd love to see you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. An exciting new start, David! Warmest wishes for your new beginnings!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I wish you all the greatest success. You have one another so all will be well. God speed!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Exciting new start. Great news and best wishes. So glad and inspiring to hear that Maddie and Jennifer will be moving with you. You are so blessed to have that type relationship with all. Glad the donations will come in handy and can't wait to see the landscapes Carol paints from Oregon!

    ReplyDelete
  33. If you ever come to Paris to paint I would love to meet you. I love DPW and am so happy to be a part of it. As said before, you are so inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  34. David, you and your family are incredibly inspiring. I am thrilled you will be moving to the Pacific Northwest! It is a place that fills my heart daily and I have a feeling it will do the same for you (all). I know I join many others in wishing you the absolute best in your journey to your new home. Blessings, Sandy.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Needless to say we of the Northwest, me especially, are thrilled to hear that you will be relocating to this area. Wishing you all the best, and look forward to hearing your plans.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Where will you be in Oregon? It's hard to go wrong; it's a beautiful state. It sounds like things are really coming together for you and your family. That's wonderful and exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  37. As a native Oregonian, I am delighted that you have chosen our beautiful state to start anew! I am in Eugene which is a fabulous small city. You will be only an hour and a half from mountain skiing to the east and the coast to the west. And, perhaps even better, many fabulous wineries in all directions! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you make the transition. Good days are coming.

    ReplyDelete
  38. We thank you! You guys have done so much for so many. A good family can be a good family any where. Sounds like Oregon will be great for you!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Best wishes on the move. Some good things can come from bad things. Good luck with all! Keeping you and the others who lost in the fires in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  40. your strengh is amazing!
    I am so lucky to have met Carol this year!
    Keep moving forward, and keep that strengh!
    Send you all the best and happy energy available.
    Hugs
    Monica

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow-David and Carol, we just learned of your situation today. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you. Blessings, Eileen & David McCoy

    ReplyDelete
  42. Congratulations. We'll miss you in Austin, but sounds like a dream come true for you. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow-when on door closes, another opens! Best wishes to you both on your new journey. It will be fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Well this will be a wonderful new start for you all, we will miss you in Texas, but you are going to a truly beautiful state, so have fun building this new and I know very successfull life.
    Rae

    ReplyDelete
  45. Too cool, sometimes it does seem fate is at work, in a good way!

    ReplyDelete
  46. You've got a house! Now I can exhale. Crazy, right? I never met you guys, but even so, my heart was breaking for you. I was thinking about the photos Carol posted of the progress on her studio - and how excited she was. I thought of it ... gone ... and felt so badly for you. Now, I've got a new picture in my head - her new sunny, lit studio - closer to the family - in a new state! I hope you get settled soon and that the feeling of being "home" seeps back into your souls quickly. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete