They’re looking for a “situation.”

Hal and Diane

My friends Hal and Diane Buttrell are looking for a “situation.”  Not a situation in the sense of “a state of affairs”  And not a situation in the sense of  a “condition.”  More of a “situation” in terms of a place to live.  The place that they have been staying for some months is about to be sold and they need a “situation” — perhaps a house-sitting situation, or perhaps a rental if that “situation” is right.  Meanwhile, they have a piece of undeveloped property for sale and…

It reminds me of something my grandmother wrote in a letter to her son Willard during the Great Depression.  In those years following ‘the Crash of ‘29’ there weren’t many bright spots in Oysterville.  And there certainly wasn’t any money.  As my grandmother Helen Espy wrote to her son Willard:  We are far from in need, but are not exactly enjoying ourselves… We are doing a lot of old time bartering these days and it works fine.  We have traded oysters for apples, cabbages, rutabagas etc. and now have exchanged some old lumber for potatoes.

I don’t know if it’s harder to find a house to live in than it is to find food for the table, but it sounds a lot more difficult to me.  Especially right now with the tight housing market.  Diane is always hopeful and Hal (often a man of few words) is always supportive of her efforts..

Oysterville Science Academy Students in Lab Coats

Even with the spectre of “homelessness” hanging overhead, they  have been busy (and, so far, successful) in trying to revive the Methodist Church in Ocean Park.  And Diane continues to breathe life into the Oysterville Science Academy — a project that she began in 2015 with  only her enthusiasm and a dream for a better learning experience for kids.  Now the Academy has a Board of Directors (“a working Board,” Diane emphasizes), involves the Ocean Beach School District, and is poised to begin a new phase next summer for Academy graduates.

Hal, who suffers from Congestive Heart Failure (and sometimes sports a portable oxygen tank) still keeps an eye on their property, discouraging the gorse and other noxious weeds that might want to settle in if unchallenged and hoping that just the right buyers will come along to share his enthusiasm for the location and its possibilities.

Meanwhile,  between now and April, they are hopeful that someone “out there” will have need of two energetic, responsible adults to match up to a house that needs their particular brand of TLC.  Perhaps there’s “a situation” that could be of mutual benefit.   Diane says to contact her at if you have helpful information.

Leave a Reply