By Mandi Donohue

Dear Methow Valley friends: The Donohues have some bittersweet and exciting news. We have decided to put our little home we love in Lost River on the market.

Initially, we wanted to put our house up to find something bigger in the area due to the upcoming arrival of our baby girl. Not only do we live in a one-bedroom loft with cement floors (I cracked my head on cement as a baby and we all see how that turned out!), but with the baby due and parents visiting mid-winter, that means they’re flying five hours across the country, and then driving five hours around the pass to get to us, with nowhere for them to stay. Add in the lack of space when you consider cribs and strollers — for us, it was a no-brainer.

However, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that babies change things. We began to fully realize the support that we are going to need. We have such an amazing community of people here that we love, and that love us, but in regard to those 3 a.m. phone calls where you’re about ready to drop off your kid to the forest fairies due to non-stop crying (you know those days I’m talking about, moms), those kind of phone calls for me are hundreds of miles away.

Therefore, with a sense of adventure and prayers for magical synchronicity, we’ve decided once the house sells, to relocate to the Big Bear-ish area of California — a touristy mountain town in the San Bernardino Mountains (known in our household as “The Poor Man’s Mazama in California”). While it is hard to leave somewhere so beautiful, with such great people, it just feels right for this new little girl to be around her aunts, and to live somewhere more centrally located when family comes to visit from the East Coast.  

This decision comes with so many unknowns it really is a matter of faith and trust. Jobs? Doctors? Renting? Houses? But it feels right. It feels true. It feels grounded. And the signs we’ve received remind us that we are being taken care of, always have been, always will — and that there is nothing here to fear or control.

We’ll be around for a bit, of course, as we’re not going anywhere until the house sells — fingers crossed! Not to mention, Lliam will still keep his property here so I’m sure we’ll visit often enough that many of you will scratch your heads to say, “I thought you guys were leaving?”

In the meantime, I wanted to plant the seed for a new Valley Life Mazama columnist. You might be surprised to know that the job isn’t easy. It requires a thick skin, a habitual (and sometimes neurotic) inner dialogue and a bit of creativity (especially with a full-time job) to get something to print every week. Yet, despite the constant challenge, it has been an extremely satisfying experience for me, working with so many wonderful folks at the Methow Valley News. Are you up for the challenge? Something to ponder, folks. Something to ponder indeed. With that said, hang tight and I’ll be sure to keep you posted as things progress.