We only spent five years in Maricopa. In 2003, he was unfairly discriminated against at work for not being religious and he lost his job. Then we lost our house a year later with no way to prove his case. At that point we decided to leave Arizona altogether. On top of all this, we feared it was only a matter of time before those who legally screwed me in the name of hate and spite might use their connections to come after me again. One of the perps may’ve been booted from the police force, but they still had connections, and we didn’t want to be their sitting ducks, waiting for them to take the opportunity to screw us even worse, or maybe even harm us.
The town was going to hell anyway with more and more homes popping up, land being split, and of course, the good old Mexican drug cartel. Shootings were becoming a regular thing. Had we been in the wrong place at the wrong time to witness something we shouldn’t have witnessed, that would have been our asses.
So the next question was what state we wanted to move to? Did we want to stay in Arizona and just move to another part of the state? Did we want to head to Colorado? Oregon?
Yeah, how about Oregon, we decided. Land was awfully cheap there. We should have figured there was a reason for that, but being the young adventurers we were, we crammed our tiny little RV with our most important belongings one sweltering June day in 2004. Then we headed north to the 2.5-acre parcel of land in the Oregon wilderness we’d “won” on eBay along with the RV. The land was located on Bly Mountain at an elevation of over 5000 feet and was definitely the most remote place I ever lived. Or thought I was going to live. The plan, since we no longer had house payments and utility bills, was to build a dome house.
It was a very sad time because while we were both ready to leave Arizona, I knew I would miss the house and some aspects of desert living. But now we were about to delve into the scary unknown and to be reminded once again that life isn’t usually what we plan it to be.
The first night we spent in Quartzite at a truck stop in the damn near unbearable heat. Even the rats were feeling it.
“How’s it feel to be jobless and homeless?” Tom asked me when we stopped to eat.
“Weird,” I said. “How about you?”
“It’s exciting,” he answered.
Let’s just say that over the years our opinion has changed a bit, LOL. Being that way by choice and having a place to hole up in is one thing. But when you’re forced to be that way it’s anything but exciting.
So, after additional stops in Barstow, Merced and someplace near Redding, we officially entered the Pacific Northwest. The land was lovely and very serene with its wildflowers and butterflies flitting about the junipers and Ponderosa pines, but damn was it cold! Especially at night. I knew that if it could be that way in the summer that the winters would be virtually unbearable. On top of that was the risk of being attacked by bears and big cats, and not being able to get the police out for the better part of an hour in an emergency, not that I trusted them very much after the corruption I witnessed and was a victim of in Arizona.
We also found there was no way to dig a septic, for even with an ice pick we simply could not cut through the volcanic rock that lay below. The expense of hauling water for showers and gas for the generator was mounting faster than we could earn the money to pay for.
By August we knew we would have to abandon the land, the RV and all our grand plans, and head into the city. The tiny town of Klamath Falls was over 4000 feet in elevation. Unlike in Phoenix or even Maricopa, running into people you knew was common there. It was a very depressing time for me because we not only struggled horribly in the beginning financially, but I hated being forced to once again rent, and I feared we would never own our own place again.
We stayed in a couple of family-owned motels, one of them by a really nice Indian family. By Halloween we were able to rent a duplex. We were there for 10 months. Next to us during the first part of our time there was a disabled woman who was quiet except for when her grandkids visited. Then another disabled woman moved in that was never quiet unless she was asleep. She was a rude bitch all the way. She allowed her service dog to bark in the shared yard, blasted her TV, and had obnoxious company of all kinds.
Although it was a tiny tilted old dump at just $450 a month, we were thrilled to finally be unattached from others and to rent a house from the summer of 2005 to the summer of 2007. He’d gotten a huge promotion at work right after we moved in, and I began entering sweepstakes and winning things like crazy. Even big prizes like a Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico in the Grand Turks & Caicos.
While I still hated the cold and the snow, our luck had really turned around. We spent money like crazy and we know we should have saved some of it, but we had fun nonetheless. The only real annoyances were some barking dogs and loud car stereos. During this time we didn’t license and use the old truck. Everything we needed was within walking distance.
Like many little girls and boys that grow up in New England, I’d always dreamed of living in California. In July 2007, it was time to once again pull up stakes for what we hoped would be even more opportunities and make that California dream a reality… even if most of the first five years would be a living nightmare.