The population of this town actually has a high turnover rate, mostly as a result of the jobs that are available. Coast Guard non-rates move in, do their duty for 2-3 years, get the training they need for a more advanced position, and move out. Wildlife observers and state park employees work on a seasonal basis. The local newspaper and television station are both staffed by recent college graduates who move away as soon as they get a better job elsewhere. Even the graduate students stick around for 5 years at the most. A good portion of the town turns over every few years, and at times, it can feel downright tumultuous.
|Sunset over the hazy Pacific, 14 June 2015|
Well, today I added another benchmark to my temporal scale. A couple that I met soon after landing here in 2012 had their farewell gathering. They're moving north to Seattle, and now I can describe events by whether they happened before or after R and A left.
|Huddling around the bonfire|
The evening was pleasant enough and provided me with some closure. I had barely seen either of them in the last year - you know, me being abroad and all - but still, R and A were part of my Coos Bay story, and I was part of theirs. Maybe I'll see them again; maybe I won't. Either way, I can hold onto the stories we share, the anecdotes they star in. And I can tell you about the sunset- and bonfire-filled evening we had before they left.