From Austin to Applegate
by Dorothy Paredes
We always knew we were going to leave Texas. Oregon was on the list, although not at the top because being in tech meant work-life in an office. True, tech people work from laptops but, for us, work-life balance did not include full time remote work.
So, in 2018, we put a plan in place to move to the Greater Denver area began steadily counting down the years to our big move. Denver had a tech hub, mountains, BLM, and great weather for most of the year.
What more could you ask for?
Then, the great lockdown of 2020 happened and the workforce went fully remote. This afforded us an opportunity to completely reconfigure our plan. Now, here we are 1,254 miles away from Denver, and I couldn’t feel – be – more happy to have landed in The Applegate Valley!
My mom says the Applegate Valley makes her feel like she’s “taking a step back into the 50s.” I say it feels like home. This Valley is warm, inviting, and comfortable. The naturally photogenic landscape is heaven. Above all, we’ve been welcomed by everyone we have encountered in this community.
Community. The word has a new meaning to me. The dictionary defines it as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” This feeling of fellowship is what reassured me from the first day we moved to our home here, that this is where we are meant to be.
You read right: From the first day! We picked up the keys from the realtor’s office and came straight home. We were so in awe of just everything that we locked ourselves out of the house with our keys inside! We called our realtor, who called the seller’s realtor, who had to call the sellers, who kindly came to our rescue. You read that right, too: The sellers rescued us by bringing us their last key, which they had because they were still watering trees they planted the season before.
Where would something like that happen other than in The Applegate Valley?!? Certainly not in Austin, Texas or any other place that we knew of. That kicked off our amazing life here and was the first of many friendships formed.
Part of our decision to leave Austin was to find a place of belonging, a place to connect with the people around us in a meaningful way. We liked and appreciated our neighbors in Austin, and we were there for each other in a favor-for-a- favor type of way, but I can’t say we really knew them. We were cordial and knew tidbits about everyone, but after living there my whole life, it was a bit sad that we didn’t have memories with them.
Another part of our decision was that we wanted to be in nature. We had traveled over the years to Colorado, Oregon, Northern California, Tahoe, and found ourselves always going to places with lush, tree-infused mountains and vast fresh bodies of water. We wanted a change and a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, every day.
In less than a year of living here, we’ve attended Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, Halloween and birthday parties, a local play and many meet ups at the wonderful wineries. We were busier this last year than we had ever been in Austin, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! What’s been the most special, are the genuine relationships we have created with people who we cherish as family. Our web expands from The Applegate Valley, to Medford, to Eagle Point, to Ashland and that could only be because of our shared fellowship.
This is what makes The Applegate Valley what it is, this is the attraction, the draw, and this is what I hope to continue. The fellowship was here long before I arrived and I will do all I can to ensure it stays.
Dorothy Paredes is the founder of The Atrium Foundation (atriumfoundtion.org), a 501c3 that pays bills for cancer patients, a self published author (26 & Fu¢ked https://a.co/gkC07Gf), and works professionally in the tech industry as a program manager. You can reach out to her at email@example.com