You know the old phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”?

Well, living where I do and doing what I do, reporting on local events and interviewing people, I get to hear lots of comments on that phrase. Yachats is one of those places that has a wide variety of residents from youth to senior citizens. It’s also one of those places that doesn’t offer many corporate type jobs. There are few government jobs available, city and county employment is limited due to the size of the town. There are no school jobs here since there is no school. Mainly the employment available is construction or service industry oriented, or self employed shop owners.

Consequently most people raising a family work away from here commuting to various other cities on a daily basis. Often when speaking with those folks their grass is greener thoughts tend to be “it’s great to live here but it would sure be great if I could work here too.” Given the daily commutes many in the bigger metropolitan areas face it’s still a lot better to tough out the commute and live here enjoying the beauty of the coast. Another group I speak with are the kids that are in high school. The school is in Waldport so the Yachats kids either get rides with family or ride the bus. It’s funny to listen to their take on living here.

Most of them can’t wait to get out of high school and take off for college or the big city and some choose the military. What they all have is common is yes, “the grass is greener somewhere else and I want to test it out!” It’s hard to find fault with that way of thinking given the fact that if these kids want do something besides staying here and settling down to what is available they know they have to get out. I’ve seen a lot of kids finish school here and move away. Many of them come back to visit family, but a lot never return.

The other group that knows about greener grass are the retired and semi-retired residents. Some are life long residents who have enjoyed it here and never left but a lot are folks that had careers in the bigger cities and choose the Oregon coast as the place to finally rest, relax and enjoy. It is amazing when you listen to their accounts of their days as engineers, law enforcement officials, college professors, doctors, research scientists, entertainers, film writers, and a few former professional athletes. They had done their time and yes indeed the grass did look greener on the other side of the fence and they jumped fence when the right time came. Out of all the groups of folks I spoke with the older ones where the most content with their decisions.

They kids were, and are, looking, the mid-range group was enjoying the area but putting up with working away while the older ones knew for sure that this was the spot. Ironically their biggest problem was having the occasional medical situation that required them to go into the valley or back into the cities they came from.

So it’s probably a never ending question. Yes the grass is greener and the best if you’re looking to change, but it’s also greener if you want to get away from change. Like many things in life, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder! So enjoy the grass on your side of the fence unless you have an overwhelming desire to jump that fence!

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Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!