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The Old Must Pass To Make Room For The New




The Former Must Pass Away

Sponsored by CriDental



I’m 10 years old.

I know this must be important because my parents, who were teachers, never let us skip school.

We were headed to Pacific City to look at a beach house.

They bought the place with my Uncle Joe and his wife.

That was 54 years ago.


Back then Pacific City was a little dive town.

It was officially listed as a ghost town.

There was no Pelican Pub, or fancy homes covering the sand, ours was one of a few located near the beach.

In those days there was a restaurant called “The Hungry Harbor” where the “In At Cape Kiwanda” sits.

The Pelican Pub was a pizza place for a while and then a place you could rent bikes.

But mostly it sat empty for years.



The grocery store was in the same place but not fancy.

The Sporty Tavern is one place that hasn’t changed much since 1947.


Today Pacific City is not only discovered it’s over-discovered.

For decades we’d tell people we had a home on the beach front here and they’d respond with “Where?”

Now, everyone knows Pacific City.


When my parents divorced they sold the house we grew up in, located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

My dad kept the cabin.

This place was the one constant in my life.

A place I always knew would be here.



Kathy started coming here when she was 18.

We had huge parties in this house, huge.

No, my parents didn’t know at the time.


Our kids have been coming here since day one.

One was conceived here, I know TMI.

This place is in our blood.

We are one of the last original property owners on this section of coast.

This place is part of us.


We sold the house in a week.

They say it’s all about location and that is true.

A front row seat to whales breaching in the water out front, cars getting too close to the waters edge and drifting away at sea and surfers and dory boat fishermen fighting over their space on the water.


This week is our last time here.

The sale will open new doors for my sisters and me but there’s also a grieving that goes along with the end of something that feels like it was always part of you.


It’s interesting for a building built on the sand it sure provided a strong foundation for my life.

Every walk on the beach, each time we run, feels like the last and that kind of hurts.

I’m not big on stuff.

Anything can be replaced.

But leaving is so hard.

I always felt this house gave me one more connection to Oregon.

This house gave me an anchor, now like the rest of my life it’s “anchors away.”


We didn’t get here a lot since moving to Montana but it always feels like home….or it did.

Now there’s a for sale sign in the front yard, the new owners contractors looking through the house to see what they can change and the knowledge that this too shall soon pass.


Sunday when we leave for the last time there will probably be tears.

Goodbyes are like that.

Something beautiful is about to die making room for something new to be born.

But the birthing process and death are not easy.


I understand the new family moving in has kids about the same age we were when my parents bought this place.

Now it’s their turn to build memories here.

I wish them the best.

Good bye Pacific City.

I really will miss you.



Kathy and I have a new dream.

She just found a Sprinter Van online that looks perfect.

Maybe we’ll stop by on the way home and look at it.

As I sit here writing these words I’m thinking maybe we aren’t meant to have a foundation built on sand.

Maybe Kathy and I are to be more mobile.

As we drive away we leave many told and untold things behind.

Good memories and bad.

Happy times and sad.

Stuff comes and goes but memories are forever…..

In 54 years we got more than our fair share from such an amazing place.

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Grief means you loved. Being military, we never owned a home until after I was married. Now that it’s just my mom, that house of 51 years will be sold when she’s gone. It was always the bathroom stop with kids when in town, a place to make a phone call or just to say hi. It’s going to be hard but neither my sister or I want it and we don’t want to deal with renters. All the grandkids own homes. I will cry.

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