Port + Palm Co. - Floral Designer


A Little Slice of Oregon Life


After working in hospitality consistently since January, and in the process meeting droves of strangers, I’ve come to find the general consensus is as follows: moving across the country for no real, true apparent reason is a bold choice. Sure, I had my reasons. Florida felt like she was slowly nudging me out. My 28 year stint there was coming to a close and Florida wanted to push me out of the nest. It felt as if I had lived a full life and I had exhausted most adventures. Many of the things I had loved most and that had offered me refuge were moving on and changing. So one day, I did something that felt a little out of character, and maybe wasn’t the most financially responsible decision for me at that time- I bought a ticket to Oregon and moved in with two of my best friends for two weeks. It was summer and therefore the end of wedding season, I boarded a long solo plane flight to a place I knew legitimately nothing about. It didn’t take me long to notice that I could breathe better in Oregon. I was meeting people who were so different than me and everything I knew, but instantly felt like home. I was finding new passions, and I was watching my body hike (struggle) up steep hills, and I was feeling a major shift. After visiting Oregon I felt that nudge begin to teeter on a full force push.

Of course the time between my first visit in July and my actual move date in January weren’t easy. I started the process of closing down my business, reconfiguring my resume, took on a part time job to save money, dealt with heartbreak and doubts over moving. After a month and a half “soft move” that fall, I came back to Florida completely convinced I was staying. I was emotionally drained, I didn’t see a clear way to make the move work, and Florida was “safe”. Then something changed. I went in for my regular acupuncture appointment (stress from a divorce and a full life upheaval can bring on some not-so-fun health issues) and within 5 minutes of talking to my acupuncturist- therapist- I was crying. She listened, she asked questions and ultimately she said, “What do you have to lose? You can always come back to Florida, it isn’t going anywhere, but you could really regret not trying. Get your own place, get a car, get a job, and give it a real shot.” She also had no problem pointing out that I was clearly still in love with this guy I had met. Thanks girl.

There, I was forced to lie with my thoughts for 30 minutes, with 20 needles poking me in various places, and some chanting monks. The tears stopped flowing and I felt a wave of reassurance. I went home that afternoon and started looking for a place to live in Oregon and within 3 months I had landed a job at a resort, put a deposit down on an apartment, started packing my little apartment up, celebrated holidays, hugged everyone extra hard, and just like that - Stella was under my feet on a plane as we started our next adventure.


So about that guy… you know the one my acupuncturist so indiscreetly pointed out. Yeah, I was still in love with him. At the time of my move we weren’t speaking. Time apart had worn on us, the time we were together during my soft move was tough (wine harvest is no joke). Florida and Oregon are quite literally on other sides of the country from one another- not easy. A 3 hour time difference, distance, lack of time actually together, my uncertainty, did not leave much room for us to build a healthy, strong, stable relationship. But there was something different about him. We both felt it within hours of meeting. Within 4 hours of knowing each other he was galloping down the street with me on his back, we spent the next 2 hours trying to say goodbye in my friend’s driveway, we spent the next 2 days and nights together, and couldn’t wipe these stupid grins off our faces. He took me to the airport and after a glass of wine he had made plans to come visit me in Florida. We said we loved each other like two crazy teenagers who didn’t know what heartbreak and pain felt like and I skipped through that security line knowing I had just met someone who would change my life. It was crazy, we were crazy, and turns out we still are. It has been 9 months complete with 1 house purchase, a summer full of wilderness adventures, family gatherings, empty wine bottles, countless snuggles, a few not so great screaming matches, teaching and learning, growing and adjusting, with every single night ending in “I love you”. I’m pretty sure this is why Florida gave me that full force push out of the nest.


So beyond grateful for our friends Frankie + GA for capturing us during their sweet visit with Bruce and the airstream.

Photography | Coviello Photo

Jenny PrestonComment