Gayle Rich-Boxman, Fulltime Resident of Fishhawk Lake
Broker, Vernonia Realty
Your Gateway to Fishhawk Lake!
One of the perks of living at Fishhawk Lake is one you won’t find on RMLS or a website with real estate listings because it’s not about property it’s about people. Since it’s been over eight years of living out in the country, tucked away from the urban sprawl, my social network “in town” (Portland and the surrounding areas) has gotten used to the idea of me living where I do and when they come to visit, they don’t want to leave! It’s incredibly peaceful and gives one a sense of balance because it forces you to stop and see nature, breathe really clean air, have conversations instead of going to the mall….you get the drift. But, my point is that not only is it an amazing “slice of paradise”, but we just happen to have a community FILLED with very enjoyable people!!!
The other day a friend asked me if I get lonely out here and I replied, emphatically NO! The reason being is that my group of girlfriends at Fishhawk Lake love to get together for cards, shooting pool, eating yummy dinners or just snacks and sitting around sharing memories of our lives. We support each other in many ways, too. For example, one person may be heading into Hillsboro, about an hour and fifteen minutes away and will be buying a bunch of produce at Costco and offer to share some of it with another friend or pick up an ingredient that they may be lacking for a recipe. We’ll throw birthday parties (I had a fifties party for my 50th and made everyone come in 50’s costume!) or simply have leftovers so we’ll call one another and have an impromptu meal together.
A client from California (who has become a friend) bought a gorgeous home here on the lake about 9 months ago called me the other night with an idea. She wanted to have a girlfriend gathering at her home to get a new social network going for herself at Fishhawk Lake. So, I called some of my dear girlfriends here and two of the five that came had never even met my client/neighbor before, but it sounded like fun and it was. Out here you create memories over a walk in the woods, a game of dominoes, a boat ride, fishing or a glass of wine. It feels like a throwback to another time, a simpler time. Any of us who grew up in the 50’s recall this feeling. I spent the first twelve years of life an a very small town in upstate New York, and it was the same feeling, one of camaraderie, knowing your neighbors intimately, being there at the drop of a hat when someone needs you or being able to make a quick call to ask for a favor and your neighbor will unfailingly be there to help! I’ve had someone pop by or call and ask if we had a tool for some project or use of a phone if they don’t have one, etc. We don’t have to have TV or a bunch of strip malls nearby to find things to do together. There are certain special hidden advantages to living in such a small community and these are just some of them. You actually get to know your neighbors and you look out for each other, you know each other’s habits and your privacy will be honored as well as enjoying the compliment of being invited to someone’s home simply because they want to get to know you! The genuine interest and welcome embrace from a brand new friend is priceless.
Genny and Me
The first month I moved out here fulltime, I ended up going “mushroom picking” (for chantrelles–in our woods surrounding the lake) and met a truly remarkable woman, Genny, who has become one of my dearest friends. Even though she could essentially be old enough to be my mom, it doesn’t feel like there is any age difference between us! We love good healthy foods to snack on, rock’nroll music (especially loud!) and a glass or two of wine and meaningful conversation.
I have resurrected my interest in all kinds of card games which our family ALWAYS did when I was growing up and a group of us gals will play dominoes in one room on a Wednesday night while the guys are shooting pool in another room or just sit over a group dinner and laugh and share stories from our past. Each year my husband and I invite football aficianados and their spouses for our annual SuperBowl Party. Fun for everyone, because it’s something to look forward to in February when not much else is going on socially speaking and you can catch up on each other’s news since the holidays.
Twice a year there is an organized Progressive Dinner put on by the Social Committee of Fishhawk Lake Recreation Club that gives everyone up here a chance to get to know each other and check out cabins, decor, different views of the lake. The summer event is called Dock Crawl held in August and the winter event is Cabin Crawl held sometime in early December. Usually there are 3-5 hosts and you start out at one place for appetizers, the next one is salad, the next the main course, then dessert and some will host an “after hours” gathering at their homes if you want to continue to socialize into the wee hours! These are terrific venues for seeing people you haven’t caught up with during the winter months or just getting to know someone new, as these events can bring in 50- 100 people (more or less) depending upon the season, the weather, etc. The Dock Crawl gives many of us an opportunity to get our boats on the water and hook up to the hosts’ dock, or another boat or simply walk from home to home so that you can get exercise as well as food/libation. Cabin Crawl is fun because you get to see the homes decorated for Christmas and it’s lovely to see…almost like a Kinkaid painting with the glow of light on the snow or mirrored off the lake–simply heartwarming.
The Birkenfeld Store, 4 miles away also has been a live music venue for many months now since mid-2010. On many Saturday nights you can go enjoy blues, country or rock’nroll music and the drink prices are inexpensive. A small dance floor gets mighty crowded as everyone’s invited to partake whether you have a partner or not–very fun–but you can get sweaty really quickly!
The Birkenfeld Store
There are people from all kinds of backgrounds and we are an eclectic bunch. You don’t have to live here fulltime to be a part of this community either. There are faithful weekenders, some who fly from back east or drive up from CA., AZ and spend weeks at a time in their “vacation” homes. There are even those who split their fulltime living between an inner-city dwelling and a home out here.
Just know one thing: when you come out to Fishhawk Lake, you need to WAVE–whether you know someone or not!!!
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