Between mountains and sea

All my life, I've pondered this question:  If I had to choose between living near mountains, or living near the ocean, could I make that choice?

This place I call home, where I was born and raised, is stunningly beautiful. From my childhood home, I could look out and see the Olympic mountains, and before the trees grew too tall, we could also see Mt. Rainier. A short drive and we were at the beaches of Puget Sound. And the Pacific Ocean was just 2 hours away. We spent most of our vacations camping on the Oregon coast, and for a week or two, every day was spent walking the beach, exploring tide pools, collecting driftwood and agates, or just spreading out a towel on the sand, and reading. We even spent our honeymoon on the Washington coast, in a little log cabin on a bluff above the beach. Falling asleep listening to the surf is like nothing else on earth.

But mountains were part of my every day, from month to month, and year to year. I love looking out and seeing Mt. Rainier or the Olympic peaks, snow covered, rising above the horizon and just so beautiful. I still love taking a day to drive around "The Mountain" and do some hiking, especially in August when the wildflowers are in bloom. My first date with my husband was an entire day spent on Mt. Rainier... hiking the alpine meadows, photographing wildflowers, then driving home the long way. Mountains are in my blood.

When we chose a place for a vacation cabin, we put ourselves between mountains and sea. The mountain views are of the Olympics and the salt water is Hood Canal, with another lake tossed in for fun. And we're just a short drive to the beaches of the Sound or the Pacific Ocean.

So, to get back to my original question. Could I choose? Or do I want it all, for the rest of my life?

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