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Old 05-26-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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Hi there! :

Looking for feedback from natives or anyone else that has relocated to Eugene, OR.

We we are both in our mid 40's; have children that will be relocating with us to Eugene. Our children will be in elementary school, middle school, and high school. We have always sent the kids to Catholic school K-8 and then public high school.

Husband is pharmacist. I am a former accountant; have owned my own nutritionals/wellness business for 9 years. My business does well in areas where health-conscious people reside; people who are proactive about their health. I have had a mediocre amount of success in Ohio; have had much better success on the West Coast.

Anyone have any experience with the Catholic/parochial schools in Eugene? Catholic church?

I am also Serbian Orthodox; I see that there is a Serbian Orthodox church in Eugene.

We are looking for family-friendly areas in Eugene; close to either Catholic schools and/or good public schools.

As far as political affiliation/social beliefs, we are Democrats, are liberal, but probably not as "liberal" as perhaps some in Eugene. This does not bother us as we have a live and let live attitude; as long as we are not dictated to, we don't want to dictate to others.

We are interested in family-friendly communities, arts, music, libraries, biking and walking trails. We would also be needing universities within a few years.

We are confined to the indoors half the year it seems. One of our primary reasons for moving is to get away from the snow and ice and live in an area that promotes health and wellness and an active lifestyle for ourselves and our children. We want to live in an area where we can bike, walk, and generally not have to deal with snow and ice.

An area of great concern (for me) is SAD. I've dealt with it on a profound basis for about the last 5-6 years here in NE OH, and I don't think that I can live through another winter here; it is that bad. Not only is it grey clouds for months on end, but it is also bitter cold. I literally feel sick when I come in from the outdoors when it is like this; I feel chilled to the bone. Please let me know how Eugene is going to be in the winter as far as grey and cloudy days are concerned and if there are days that are frigid cold and wet.

We are also looking for a different social culture, if you will; people who have more progressive ideas than what we've dealt with for 40+ years. We have lived away from Ohio for a few years in the early 80's (lived in S. CA). Moved back in order to have and raise our kids around family.

Thank you very much for any feedback you can provide.

Last edited by Donna7; 05-26-2008 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I think you can find a community in Eugene that fits your needs. Before you pack up your U-Haul visit the parish churches that interest you to see if it is what you have in mind. Oregon, the Willamette Valley in particular, is not 'churched'. Faith is an individual thing.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Bend Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna7 View Post
We are confined to the indoors half the year it seems. One of our primary reasons for moving is to get away from the snow and ice and live in an area that promotes health and wellness and an active lifestyle for ourselves and our children. We want to live in an area where we can bike, walk, and generally not have to deal with snow and ice.

An area of great concern (for me) is SAD. I've dealt with it on a profound basis for about the last 5-6 years here in NE OH, and I don't think that I can live through another winter here; it is that bad. Not only is it grey clouds for months on end, but it is also bitter cold. I literally feel sick when I come in from the outdoors when it is like this; I feel chilled to the bone. Please let me know how Eugene is going to be in the winter as far as grey and cloudy days are concerned and if there are days that are frigid cold and wet.
Eugene in the winter will have lots of cloudy days and it will rain its fair share - about 50 inches of precip a year - that's the reason it's so green there. It's not as if there aren't plenty of sun breaks in the winter; there are. You won't have a solid 3 months of gloom. There is occassional snow and ice but you'll not have snow on the ground for very long. There have been days, historically, that have gotten below zero and that's bound to happen every so often and every once in a while there is a year that gets a lot more rain that average. Overall, you can bike and walk year-round. Here's a chart you might find useful: Eugene Weather - Oregon - Average Temperatures and Rainfall
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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As others have said, it rains a lot west of the Cascade Mountians. Rain falls from clouds.

Why did you pick Eugene??? Redding California may be better for you weather-wise.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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Thank you EVERYONE for all the help and links (thank you very much). I will get back later to answer the last question (why Eugene). Have to go to a baseball game with one of the kids. Thank you again!
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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I just wanted to nod in agreement with Nell and Bendite's posts... I was going to say the same things...

Also, we were up in the Seattle area where the weather is much much worse and SAD is a very big problem. In Eugene we still have lots of grey misty damp and cold months but being in the valley it isn't as bad as it was up in the Seattle area. I was told by several mothers in the Seattle area to take a Vit. D supplement. They say to take it all throughout the year - even when you aren't feeling down - to keep it in your system and prepare you for the times that the weather is bad and you are at risk. I'm not a doctor so of course do your own research and talk to your own doctor about it, but I heard it mentioned so often that I thought I'd share it here.

I'm from Texas and thought the Eugene winters were bad... until we spent a winter in the Seattle area (we were actually on the Eastside in a more rural and even rainier and colder area...)... now I am so happy to be back in Eugene!! I have a friend in Ohio, and from what she describes, I think the Eugene winters will be much more bearable to you than the bitter Ohio ones.

Also - the Summer's in Eugene are SO MUCH nicer than the Summers anywhere in the middle of the United States IMO. The Summers here I think more than make up for the long misty grey winters. And actually, over time if you maintain the right frame of mind you begin to really love the different shades of grey and the feeling of the cool mist of the rain on your face. It's actually really nice. And it makes everything so green...
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Haggardhouseelf points out the impact of the Cascade Mountains... they cause uplift of the wind currents which is the major reason why it rains so much. There are areas that are called 'rain shadows' on the lee side of hills/mountains where the precip is less. Haggard lived on the western slope of the Cascades when in the Seattle area where they get a lot of rainfall.

I attended the UofO and Eugene was home base for my extended family, spent a lot of time there. As a kid, if caught in a shower, I just took my shoes and socks off and continued walking. One of the rhythms of Carson Hall was the tennies banging around in the dryer between classes.

When looking for a home pay attention to light in the common areas (living, dining and kitchen). Notice that home sale listings will mention a southern exposure? Look for that.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:45 AM
 
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Thank you Haggardhouseelf (good user name-feel like that myself sometimes) and Nell (and all). Thank you for your very helpful feedback; I sincerely appreciate it. I will keep researching on the net and eventually will make it out there to Eugene. I should go when it's nasty weather here so that I have something to compare Ohio's nasty weather to Eugene's weather.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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You're very welcome Donna... Sometimes I want to change my username to happyhouseelf... because I'm really not that haggard! But I thought haggard might get more giggles... and I thought it was funny anyway, so there you go. I am a mother who works very hard so there of course are days I prolly look a bit haggard even if I don't feel it.

I'm curious "Why Eugene?" too... if it's winter weather you're wanting to escape from, there are certainly sunnier places to go. Like Costa Rica! Hawaii? I love Eugene, and am learning to live with the long grey misty winters. Especially since having spent an awful winter up in the Seattle area - I have a greater appreciation for Eugene's winters, but they still take some getting used to.

Another thing I thought I'd mention is the food... Maybe it has just been our experience... but since we've moved here we have become food snobs! While living in California (we lived in the central valley area - Rocklin, CA) and in Texas (Dallas) it was expensive and you had to really go out of your way to find organic, local, really good food. In fact, I'd never even heard of things like "cage-free" eggs or free-range meat or things like that.

In Eugene, though, we've slowly been learning more and more about the food we eat and there is a strong push here for going organic, composting your food scraps, sourcing your food locally, etc. Really good food is very easy to come by here. Even the regular grocery stores here surprise me with what they offer. We also have Sundance Natural Foods here which is WONDERFUL if you are looking for natural foods, and we also have the Kiva and Red Barn. You know I used to love the Red Barn but I went the other day and it seems to be changing. I heard it's got a new owner now - somebody from California bought it up. Sad. Anyway - it's very easy to find good, locally grown, organic food here, and it's not much more expensive than the regular stuff. I suppose because it doesn't have to travel as far?

We love it, and wish we had known about this kind of lifestyle before... but no one really talked about it or pursued it where we lived before. I did work at Whole Foods Market in Dallas for many many years but even then, it seemed like only the rich people ate "health food" and the culture was just different somehow.

Anyway - you mentioned having your own wellness business, so I thought you might be interested in that. Eugene has an outdoor market every Saturday from April until December (google Eugene Saturday Market) and when/if you visit that you'll get a good feel for what I'm talking about. On one side of the street are people selling beautiful and practical goods they have made themselves, and on the other side of the street are farmers selling their homegrown and mostly organic living things - produce, plants, flowers, bread, eggs, meat, etc.

We also have a very good bus system as well as an awesome network of bike paths. I have found it's often quicker to get where you want to go via the bike paths rather than in my car. Eugene is cut in half by the river and there are more ways to cross the river by walking or biking than there are in your car.

This town is very much geared towards living well on all accounts - eating wholesome sustainably grown food, reducing environmental impact, living lightly, recycling, taking care of the earth, yourself, and our families. It's a great town. We love it and are so glad to be back!

And as far as coping with the cold, wet, and grey all winter long - I keep good music with me - happy music like the Beatles or Reggae or even the Beach Boys ... nothing sad or too depressing. I keep a hot drink with me (NOT coffee as coffee makes me feel worse... I drink a hot grain beverage like Inka, or I do hot apple cider, or sometimes I just keep hot water with lemon slices in it... the warmth of the drinks helps me cope with the winters here...) and I also try to get out and walk or do yoga or swim or exercise as often as I can even in the rain. Keeping moving really makes a huge difference... even walking or riding my bike in the cold rain somehow makes me happy sometimes... strange, I know! Maybe it's kind of like "Ha ha!! You can't keep me inside rain! Neener neener neener!"

Sorry this reply was so long!
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:56 PM
 
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I actually grew up in Portland, OR, went to college in Eugene, and then relocated to NE Ohio for 2.5 years, so I did the reverse of what you're considering. (I've since moved to Atlanta and have been here for 6 months.) Frankly, I adore Oregon, and my wife and I are seriously considering moving back to either Eugene or Portland in the very near future. The one and only reason I ever left was because my wife is from Ohio and she needed to finish her degree at the University of Akron.

In response to your first two questions, I'm not really aware of the presence or quality of the Catholic churches or parochial schools in the area. No doubt there are some, and probably good ones too, but generally, as Nell Plotts mentioned, the area as a whole is not "churched." The general attitude to life you see in people is secular. Growing up in the Portland suburbs, other than a small noticeable Mormon presence at school, rarely anyone I knew attended church regularly. The political climate in the Willamette valley is definitely liberal, but there are conservative pockets here and there, and the majority of the rest of the state is characterized by rural conservatism. In Eugene, you will find some hippie elements, as well as extreme liberal politics, but except for a few occasions on campus at the University of Oregon, I never encountered anything that was too "in-your-face."

To skip to your last question, there are definitely different attitudes in Eugene than what you will find in Ohio (or at least what I found there). Even those in the area with a strong conservative bent accept that they live in a city that can be a hotbed of radical liberal politics (as demonstrated by the declaration some years ago that it is the "anarchist capital" of the U.S.). As I mentioned, when I attended the University of Oregon, I did occasionally find some people who voiced their opinions strongly, and with a higher volume than most, but most people are delightful and charming, and they are tactful when it comes to politics.

As for your third question, there are definitely some nice areas for families - I lived for two years in a house on 21st avenue, off of City View St., which was a very pleasant area in the hills with lots of families and nice neighbors. Also, for a city of its size, it has a great deal to offer in the way of arts. There are some great parks in the city, hiking trails close by, opportunities for kayaking/rafting on the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, the coast is just a little ways over to the West, and the Cascades mountains just a little ways over to the East. The University of Oregon is a nice liberal arts state school in Eugene which I believe is often noted for its Business and Law programs (I went for English, and consider my time there to be extremely well spent). Oregon State University is only about 40 minutes away in Corvallis and is a technical arts school. Neither of these two state schools is ranked as high as Ohio State University, but they both offer a fine education. There are also plenty of private schools in the area.

Regarding SAD, this is a very real concern if you plan on living in Eugene. The winter months are gray, and there will often be a rainy drizzle that persists - almost endlessly. Having said that, I would take a Eugene winter over an Ohio one in a heartbeat. Temperature-wise, you will find that a nice warm sweater will suffice on all but just a handful of the coldest days. No longer will you have to brush inches of snow off your car. No longer will your clothes, car, or anything else that touches the ground be stained by salt or corroded with rust. And best of all, when the winter finally does end, you are greeted with a beautiful, dry, sunny, green Oregon summer, instead of a stifling, muggy Ohio one.
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