We Are Moving! To A Historical School In The Middle of Nowhere


Our roommates here in Portland, OR, who were strangers to us on September 2013 when we met them for the first time as our airbnb hosts, bought a school and invited us to live with them.

Yep. A school. The former school was built in 1908 and is the landmark of Deer Island, Oregon, a community which as of the 2010 census it had a population of 294.

Former Deer Island School

Deer Island in the Columbia River was named by the Lewis and Clark expedition which stopped to dine here November 5, 1805 on its way down river, homeward bound. The explorers camped on the island on March 28, 1806, Captain Clark recorded “This morning we set out very early and at 9am we arrived at an old Indian village on the NE side of Deer Island where we found our hunters had halted and left one man with the canoed at their camp. They arrived last evening and six of them turned out very early to hunt. At 10am they all returned to camp having killed seven deer… The Indians call this island e-lal-lar, or Deer Island.”

There is nothing there but the nearest city, St. Helens is only 7 miles away and Portland is about 35 miles away.

Maybe it’s not in “the middle of nowhere” but it is the most “middle of nowhere” place I have moved to in my life. The smallest city or town I’ve lived in had about 30,000 people and most of my life I have lived in big cities like Mexico City and London.

This is without a doubt a change.

The “school” is big so my husband and I will actually have our own private one bedroom/kitchen/bathroom apartment within the building.

Jason and Diane, our roommates have big plans for the property. They moved there about a month ago and are already in the process of remodeling the whole place. We move in tomorrow.


I kind of fell in love with Portland and the view of the house we are living now, but this is the deal with our lives. God moves us around to the most unexpected places and we are up for it. We just go with the flow. We don’t have much so it’s easy for us to move, we also don’t have any big attachments that deter us from being able to move.

As a city girl, this will be an adjustment; but as a mountain girl, I am excited for the outdoor activities I will be able to do, and specifically one activity I have always wanted to do which is gardening. There is plenty of space for that.

Us gardening months later. Me with the bright green gloves.

J and D have been working on our “apartment” installing the bathroom, building the kitchen and the bedroom, painting, etc and are excited for the big unveiling this week.

Josh and I are a bit confused as of why they like us so much or why they want us to live with them or why they are being so nice and doing so much work (with our apartment) for us. They are great people. The best things in life are given out of love, and this seems to be one of those things. We experienced this on our wedding too.

They are over the moon about the place. This to them is their home for the rest of their lives and have big plans and projects in mind. They even already appeared in the local paper.



We have no idea how long we will be there. Really no idea, but we are just following God’s lead and once again He is taking us somewhere that if you asked us a few months ago where we would be, we would have not been able to guess.

Stay tuned!

[All photos taken by Diane]

11 thoughts on “We Are Moving! To A Historical School In The Middle of Nowhere

  1. How exciting! I love old buildings and seeing someone buy them to remodel and preserve makes me very happy. And how cool to live in a place like that! I look forward to following your journey into country life. 🙂


  2. Congrats on your new adventure! Plan on doing a waterfall photography and hiking road trip through Washington and Oregon for the third year in a row this summer. You picked a great place!


    1. Thanks! We didn’t really pick, but I agree Oregon is pretty amazing 😉


  3. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.


  4. Hey! your images aren’t loading properly, i would love to see how the place looked like! 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, I’ll fix this asap.


  5. Hey! your images aren’t loading properly, i would love to see how the place looked like! 🙂


    1. Thanks so much for letting me know, I’ll fix this asap.


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