Moments on the Coast: Returning to Lincoln City, OR

I began typing this blog post on the road heading to a town that means so much to me. I’d brought my small suitcase for a two-day excursion to the place that smells like seafood and lays on a beautiful beach loved by its residents: Lincoln City, Oregon.

There’s nothing extravagant about Lincoln City. It’s a small, quaint but peaceful town. There’s one outlet mall, one Safeway, one casino, one golf course. At least this was how it used to be in the part I spent a majority of my childhood visits.

Why is this city so important to me? My sweet grandmother lived here until she passed away a few years back. Even though she had cancer, this isn’t the sentiment I want to focus on. Her legacy inspires me every day to create something for myself, something I can call my own work that I am proud of. She was an artist, and so much of her creative spirit lives inside of me. Sometimes cities can embody every thing and/or person we miss.

The knick knack shops on the main strip that sell saltwater taffy, my favorite pancake place, the small Beanie Baby store by the Safeway that can no longer be found but that I frequented as a kid. I was so excited when the town slightly modernized to include a McDonald’s (even though I’ve never set foot in one before) and only the best: Coldstone Creamery.

Driving to Lincoln City takes about 4.5 hours—maybe 4 hours on a good day without traffic. It’s a long trip, but worth it. About halfway, you definitely want to make a visit to a rest stop. I always ran straight to the vending machines and grabbed some Grandma’s Peanut Butter Cookies. I don’t care what anyone says—they are the best, most moist cookies EVER!

Whipping around the final bend entering the city, the golf course begins to emerge and that’s when you know you’re minutes from getting out of the car. My grandma’s house was just a quick left through a short, winding road by the post office. It was a beautiful home. Dark wood, plenty of plants and a beautiful, large back deck.

These memories are sacred to me. I haven’t returned to this town in years, ever since she passed. Coming back with my parents and the love of my life is such a special thing. We made new memories and gained perhaps a little more of the closure that we so needed.

“In this Sahara of sorrow, these graces that hold me; it’s from you that I borrowed. Did you know you’re so beautiful? On the edge of summer. That years from now, I’ll cry to remember how very close you were. Knowing this, I will reach for you the way you want me to.”  -“Daughter," Vienna Teng