Goodbye Klamath / by Kenneth Benson

I taught Vega to say “I’m homeless” the other day, probably super insensitive to the actual problem of homelessness but true and super cute, Devon prefers "between homes".

It's been 3 days since we packed up our home. A huge thank you to Aunt Rachel for watching Vega two and a half days straight so that Devon and I could tackle the house. All of our things are now contained in our car or a 5x7 storage unit, a pretty amazing feat.  Over and over again as we packed our boxes for delivery to the Pumpkin Patch, the dump, Blue Dot or our storage unit Vega would look it over and proclaim "more stuff!" It's amazing the amount of things you can accumulate (not to mention dirt) and in the days since driving away I have yet to miss a single one. It was so invigorating to rid ourselves of all those many things that cluttered our home and lives.

We are now in Portland and even though we are on our way it's still settling in to our minds what we are actually doing.  I'll have dreams about work, and feel like I am only on vacation. Portland is familiar, so was Ashland and Tillamook. We have yet to venture into new territory, but that will come soon.  The drive time has been a good time to contemplate, and for the first two days most all of our thoughts turned to memories, and our friends in Klamath.

So, as we start this journey we want to thank all of those that were with us these last 5 years. No joke, Klamath would not have been what it was without you.

I remember driving in to Klamath for the first time. From the highway the lake was amazing, I spotted an eagle and the high desert reminded me of Utah. But, as we entered town there was an obvious cloud of depression and poverty. Yards were cluttered, the effects of meth on the city were clear and in your face and the lake was shallow and filled with algae. I remember the distinct feeling of "oh shit, where are we, and what have we done"?

The first year was difficult. Much of it had to do with adjusting to new jobs, making friends and discovering where the good was in what seemed like a lot of not so good. Matt and Alyssa, you were our first friends, things were more comfortable after we discovered we liked you and you started teaching us how to love the area we were in.  Thank you for buying a house and giving up Painter Street for us. The move to Painter made everything a little better. High school football games and camping trips helped us love the area so much more. Dragonfly attracted amazing people and it felt like a small family.  Next Sean moved to town with with his unpredictable Brit girlfriend.  We knew we loved Sean, we had known him for a while, but Rachel was an unknown. Soon though, her sarcasm seemed perfectly aligned with Devon's east coast bitch. Pizza nights and back yard chillin' made summers better. Sean, we slayed some fish! Charlie and Becca you didn't stay long enough! See you and Moonbeam in a few weeks. While Glenn and Mona were always great to us and amazing people to work with and for, we have been so surprised how much we have grown to love them in the last two years since Vega was born.  It has been unexpected and amazing. Thank for your hot tub, your house, motorcycle rides, dinners and mostly for how much you love our little girl. All of these friends and more made Klamath an amazing place to live. Though we constantly contemplated the next step, that "oh shit" feeling consistently faded making our decision and plans harder and harder to hold on to.

In the two years since Vega's birth Klamath opened up and surprised us again.  There is a real and very unique community of young families, entrepreneurs, and adventurists that we had never really interacted with before and it was our loss. Vega (and Leap to some degree) introduced us to Andrew and Christine, Patrick and Michelle, Liam and Sioban, Katherine and Randall, John and Julia, Clay and Danielle, Adam, Cara and Brad, Lannie, Whitney, Judd and Sheri, Tony and Jennette, Josh and Jill, Dr. Warren and so many more who we were really just starting to get to know and could tell that we would have had great friends for life if we would have stuck around a little longer and got out of our bubble. Again it is our loss.

We had so many life changing moments while living here. Klamath is not what you see at first. The lake is large and shallow but the little secret spots on its shores, inlets and outlets to the mountain trails and lakes have a depth that is more than can be seen at first glance.

We will miss you!