Vacation and Confirming Your Calling


People in Oregon are crazy. I mean, they are crazy.

We spent two weeks in Corvallis, Oregon, with my grandfather and his wife Sandy. It was a great vacation, and it was awesome to get to know Sandy a little better. We enjoyed sitting in their living room, talking and teasing. Pap and Sandy were fantastic. Ariel had so much fun with them and misses them greatly. Nic and I miss them even more. It was a REALLY fantastic vacation.

But the people in Oregon are crazy.

Let me begin with their roads. There are two roads that run through Corvallis called 99W and 99E. Both of them are at times divided highways, and they run north and south. As if this weren’t befuddling enough, they intersect sometimes. In Portland, near the airport, there are these random flower boxes right in the middles of streets. They serve no purpose other than making you turn a little to the right and then left again on streets with no traffic. And then there is 80th Avenue, which has EXITS and is a four-land, divided highway. Even our GPS was confused by the way the streets work.

Then there is the food. In Oregon, they don’t know how to make pizza or pasta. Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of places in the country without decent pizza, but usually there’s at least one place somewhere. We went to half a dozen places looking for decent pasta or pizza. What we got was Chef Boyardee or reheated store brand frozen pizza. (If you are ever in Newport, avoid the Cucina Pizza at ALL COSTS.)

And worst of all, NO DUNKIN’ DONUTS. This is an abomination of epic proportions! For some reason, DD just hasn’t caught on out there. There are next to no DD’s anywhere in the northwest. Starbucks is good coffee, but drinking it every day would turn your stomach inside out. There was nowhere to get a decent donut.

You think I am being unfair. At Subway, they had NO provolone or Swiss cheese. How do you have a Subway without CHEESE?

Third, Oregonians don’t know how to drive. There are two types of Oregonian drivers – the speed limit driver who stays in one lane and gets where he is going when he gets there. I don’t so much mind this person. The other is the reckless, rude and dangerous driver who shows no respect for anyone else in the road. He speeds. He brakes needlessly. He swerves across lanes of traffic. In New England we have rude drivers, no denying. But there was something just – I can’t find the word to describe it.

And then there was the personal rudeness of people. New Englanders are considered rude, but we generally appear to be rude because we keep to ourselves. We are abrupt and often hurried. In countless lines in Oregon, we had people cut in front of us, slam doors in our faces, and even jostle us. At a museum, I was reading a plaque to Ariel and I had a tour guide walk up right next to me, I mean TOUCHING ME, and just start talking over me. In line at Subway, two older men downright ignored Nichole repeatedly, even when EVERYONE ELSE in the restaurant could hear her asking them to move.

Now, let’s face it. People everywhere are crazy, and I am exaggerating for effect a little bit (but not much). People here in New England can be just as crazy, and our roads don’t make any more sense then the ones in Oregon. The real difference is that they are our roads.

New Hampshire is my home. It is where I am raising my daughter, where I minister and live. It is in my blood. I visit other places, but this is MY PLACE.

And that is one of the reasons I know I am called to minister and work for the cause of Christ here. I cannot imagine living and working anywhere else.

It is good to be home. And all joking aside, Oregon was great. We did lots of fun stuff as a family and generally enjoyed ourselves immensely…now if they only had a Dunkin’ Donuts.

1 thought on “Vacation and Confirming Your Calling”

  1. We moved out west about a year ago, and found that in Colorado they also have crazy drivers that cut you off and act as if they have no rear view mirror. It took me a while to figure it out, but the difference is that no matter how rude a New England driver is and how close they get when they cut you off, they are (mostly) in control. Rude…too fast…but they know what they can get away with. In Colorado they are oblivious to any one else around them, which makes them truly dangerous. You haven’t faced fear until someone pulls in front of you from a dead stop when your doing 45 mph. And what makes it worse is that you pull up beside them and glare and they have no idea why your doing it.

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