Interview with Jim Murphy and Diane Disse
The Yachats Gazette got a chance to interview the owners of the Ocean Creek Bed and Breakfast, just south of Yachats.
|The Ocean Creek Bed and Breakfast|
TYG-Editorial Assistant: Where are you from?
Diane: I’m from Minnesota. I went to college in Minnesota, then I went to Spain for a year. Then I went to Denver, then Michigan, then California, then back to Minnesota, where I met Jim! And Jim’s actually from the east, mostly Ohio.
Jim: Yes, mid-western. That, and met Diane at MSO, and then we got married and moved out here after. I was in the hotel business for about 25 years.
Diane: Yes, he went to Wooster, in Ohio, and got his degree in philosophy and economics. I always asked him what he really wanted to do, and we finally realized that he really likes the hotel and hospitality industry, so that’s good! [laughs] He’s good at it.
TYG: The sound carries perfectly in this house! Maybe you should add a music room...
Diane: Well, there used to be a grand piano right there, in the original house. And the stairway to the second floor used to be on what is now the porch.
TYG: How come you changed that?
Diane: Well, it wasn’t here when we got here. The original house was built in the 1930’s, and it was small—just a two bedroom house. In the 1990’s, they added the whole back part of it, so it became a very big house.
TYG: Where was the garage before?
Jim: There wasn’t a garage.
Diane: That wasn’t rare, in the 30’s. Garages were not very common. Cars had just come around 1925—around here especially—because the roads were so bad.
TYG: Which reminds me—most of the cars back then you could just repair with a screwdriver.
Diane: You had to!
TYG: Yes, but you also could, which is quite amazing. [...] So how did you guys end up getting this place?
Jim: Well, I used to work at Salishan, for fifteen and a half years. And then before Salishan, we had a bed and breakfast in Lincoln City for six years. So when I left Salishan, I wanted to do this again.
TYG: What is Salishan?
Jim: Salishan Lodge and Resort, in Gleneden Beach.
TYG: Oh, I know what you’re talking about now. [...]
Jim: After that, we kind of looked around for something, and saw it on the internet. We got our realtor to take us out and look at it, and kind of knew it was going to be a good fit. A little bit of remodeling expense here and there, but it was going to work.
Diane: A lot of updating—it had been neglected for many years. This poor beautiful house had kind of been just sitting here for many years: it’s not set up very for a family home, because the spaces are so separate from each other, which makes it perfect for a bed and breakfast.
TYG: I like how you have the double glass doors here. What’s that room, anyway?
Diane: That’s the kitchen. Actually, Jim installed these French doors
TYG: I love the color of the wood!
Diane: See, we have votes on that. I’m not really crazy about, but a lot of people love it. It’s turquoise! [...]
TYG-EA: So, did you have to do wholesale remodeling in terms of where walls were, or...?
Jim: No, we didn’t have to move any walls—just added that. We went through Alsea Granite for carpeting, and the quartz counter tops you saw upstairs, and they gave me the wood floor. I installed this myself.Diane: And the tile in the bathroom, as well.
TYG: What was on the floor?
Jim: It was carpeted. And it wasn’t level. So I ripped up all the tiles in the bathroom—all the tile you see is new. Fixed some plumbing issues, did a lot of painting...
Diane: All the counter tops are new too.
TYG-EA: That sounds like thousands of hours of work!
Jim: Yes. It’s been four and a half months.
TYG: I like the open beam feel here!
Diane: Yes, I do too! And there used to be a mural on this wall, and we had to take votes on whether to cover that up or not, too. I won, and it’s gone...
TYG-EA: Is this the entire electorate? [motions to Jim and Diane]
Diane: [laughter] Well, friends and family get a vote, occasionally.
TYG-EA: So was it as much work than you imagined, or less or more?
Jim: I knew it was a lot of work; Diane thought it could maybe take a shorter amount of time. I’m a detail-oriented person; I want to get things done right. You know, sometimes when you work on a project, you go forward two steps, and one step back. Every project is a problem-solving [exercise].
TYG-EA: How did you level the floors?
Jim: I used Quikrete. Yep, used about eight or nine bags of Quikrete.
Diane: That took a long time.
Jim: Yes, a lot of time, and a lot of sweat. I discovered over the months what parts were new, old, and remodeled.
TYG-EA: Is there any pattern at all?
Jim: I haven’t figured it out yet. [laughter]
TYG-EA: Our last house was built in 1890, on the cheap—there was really not much rhyme or reason to how things were.
Jim: You think there’s going to be a stud; there’s not. [laughter]
TYG: Studs! We have had so many problems with studs! We recently tried to install one of those simple little hole board things. It was ridiculous trying to find the studs! The stud-finder just flat out didn’t work—we just couldn’t find any. Eventually we just settled for digging straight into the wall.
Jim: [laughter] Yes, just use the old hammer and nail trick to figure out where it is.
Diane: My father years ago invented a stud-finder! He was in the process of getting a patent when someone came out with it! [laughter]
TYG-EA: Oh no!
Diane: He was a contractor—he built mostly custom homes and stuff. [...]
TYG-EA: I think you’ve got a fantastic spot!
Diane: We’re happy. And the people in Yachats are just wonderful!
TYG: I know, right?
Diane: Oh, they’re so friendly, and progressive—it’s just great. Our neighbor to the south is Joanne Kittel, who has been just wonderful.
TYG: That’s an awesome neighbor!
Diane: She really is! She’s had two parties for us, to introduce us to people in the community, and then we went up there for the Fourth of July! What else did you want to know?
TYG: What kind of challenges did you face doing this place?
Diane: Well, I guess, a lot of regulations that we had to go through.
TYG-EA: Are you technically in the city limits here?
Diane: No, just outside. So we’re really under the jurisdiction of the county. But we do have city water, [though] we also have a septic system. I think we’re the last ones [south] to have city water—it’s nice.
TYG-EA: Do you allow kids [for overnight stays]?
Diane: Well, we haven’t determined age yet. But probably no one under twelve.
TYG: Especially in a place where sound carries so well!
Diane: Yes. We love children—I have four wonderful grandchildren in Otis, up by Lincoln City, but we won’t be having children here. Under twelve, anyhow. We also—even though we have our little lhasa apso—will not be able to accommodate pets.
TYG-EA: Have you taken the hike up to Perpetua yet?
Diane: We’ve hiked at Perpetua, but we haven’t been to it. And we’ve taken the Amanda Trail, a good part of the way.
TYG-EA: It’s a bit of a hike, going up.
Diane: It is, it is! Everything is up hill! [laughter] But it’s spectacular.
TYG-EA: Anything else you wanted to add?
Diane: Do you want to chat about the breakfast, maybe?
Jim: Oh, we do a soufflé or frittatas—something simple, with muffins or fruit breads.
Diane: He makes wonderful fruit muffins!
Jim: Not a seven-course meal. We keep it big and simple and plentiful.
Diane: We have coffee down here by seven in the morning, and the breakfast is on the table.
Jim: Check-in time is four o’clock, although sometimes [guests] arrive earlier; check-out time is twelve.
TYG: Well, thank you so much!
Interview with Carilyn Ellis, Psy.D.
Dr. Ellis recently joined the staff of Samaritan Waldport Clinic.
TYG: So, how have you been settling in to your new role?
Carilyn: I like it a lot. I’m very happy out here. It’s very interesting being a town psychologist. I’m used to working as part of a whole team—but that being said, I have the whole team at the Waldport Clinic, which is really quite fabulous. I like it very much. I’m very happy to be here.
TYG-Editorial Assistant: Would you care to describe your role there?
Carilyn: I’m a primary care psychologist. My degree is in clinical psychology. What that means, is I serve kind of like a primary care physician in the world of mental health. So I meet with people much like physicians do for their everyday needs when they have cuts and bruises and need medication, but in terms of the everyday anxieties and things they’d like to change. My saying, in my field, is “Anything you want to do more or less is right up my alley.”
TYG: So like more or less severe?
Carilyn: Oh, like if you want to sleep more, or drink less; if you want to take your medications more, or feel less stress—anything you want to do less or more, I can help with.
TYG: Although I guess that would include things like pain, but perhaps I’m getting a bit off topic.
Carilyn: You’d be surprised, though! There are two sides to pain: there’s the physical insult of pain, but then there’s also the suffering that it causes, and how people end up saying things like “This isn’t me!” That’s something that I can really, actually help with.
TYG: I was referring to the physical pain. So—it’s clear that you’ve been well-received! I hope you have, anyway...
Carilyn: I have! And I am very happy to be here, and I feel that I’ve been well-received by the community.
TYG-EA: I can confirm.
TYG: Where are you from?
Carilyn: Well, that’s an interesting question! I was born in Berkeley, California. My mother is first-generation Irish, and they lived out of San Francisco. My father was born in Gloucester, England. My mom and he met at the University of London. So although I was born in California, my family lives internationally. My parents got married in England, lived in California for a while, and then we moved to Japan. So I grew up in Japan, lived there until I was eleven, and then we moved to New Jersey. So that was really kind of my first introduction to US culture, in New Jersey.
TYG-EA: What part of New Jersey?
Carilyn: Sparta. It’s up north, north-western New Jersey. [...] So my re-introduction to US culture—because I had been born here—was big hair and leopard-print spandex. [laughter] But then we quickly moved to Switzerland, and went to the United Kingdom for a while.
TYG: Switzerland! Mom’s from Switzerland! She spent her growing-up there!
Carilyn: Oui, j’ai habité à Genève! Et à Grenoble, en France, which was where my mother was. I have got some great stories about house-hunting in France if you ever want to ask about those. But then we did actually move back to New Jersey, which is where my father’s company was headquartered, before moving back to California and ending up living one mile away from the original house that my parents owned when I was born.
TYG: You’re serious!
Carilyn: Yes, life really does turn full circle! And that was just in time to finish high school.
TYG-EA: That’s in Berkeley?
Carilyn: It was actually in Walnut Creek. I was born at Alta Bates in Berkeley, but my parents lived in Walnut Creek.
TYG: So, what was Japan like?
Carilyn: Oh, it was fabulous. So, it’s kind of hard, because when you’re a kid growing up in a foreign country, you hear all these stories about the US, and you feel like you’re missing out. But then, I lived in a country that really has days and events to celebrate children, and street fairs, and amazing food, and a place called Sega World.
TYG: Is that like Lego World?
Carilyn: It’s like a four storey video game super-place, where each level has a different theme. You could go there for days and days in a row.
TYG: I assume they had like a Mario level, or something? Because Mario is Japanese.
Carilyn: Mmmhmm. And they had like virtual reality, live action—it was really quite fabulous.
TYG-Graphic Design: And your parents let you go?
Carilyn: Well, that’s another story. [laughter] Mom and Dad found out a lot of things later, but my brother and I would tell my mom we were going to play ping-pong, which we did on occasion, but sometimes we would end up going to these video arcades. Some of them were age sixteen and older in Japan, because Japan has very different rules and laws about pornography—they’re much more open to that.
TYG: I know, considering the anime level. Some of these animes are gory as anything!
Carilyn: Yes. And they’re even worse in Japan. They’re edited quite heavily for US television.
TYG: And yet they’re still gory!
Carilyn: Yep, exactly! So we used to go to these places, and sometimes my brother and I would walk in; he was ten, and I was eight. If you’ve ever been to a casino—[you know] the bosses, the pit bosses? So they had these pit bosses at the arcades that had some more adult themes, and they would come up to us and start speaking to us in broken English, trying to explain to us that we should leave. To which my brother and I would turn to each other and make up a language on the spot, and they would give up on us and let us continue to roam around. [laughter] So we had quite a bit of fun. But, it’s very interesting, because looking back as an adult, it was a fabulous, exciting, wonderful childhood that I would never want to give up. But there were times as a kid when I really felt that I was missing out on being in the US, and having traditional birthday parties, and the 4th of July, and that kind of stuff.
TYG: What kind of birthday parties did you have there?
Carilyn: It was mostly family. We all lived very far away from each other. My father’s company paid for my brother and I to go to the American School in Japan, known as the ASIJ. But we lived in Tokyo, in a place called Den-en-chōfu, and my commute to school in the morning was two and a half hours, and my commute home was two and a half hours. So I was on the bus at six in the morning, got to school by eight-thirty. It was quite a grueling commute.
TYG: Admittedly, I have many friends around here who go to the Waldport school, who have to get up at six.
Carilyn: Yep. But the nice thing about it was that I slept in the morning, and did all my homework on the way home. So every time I got home, I never had to do any homework.
TYG: That is very useful!
TYG-EA: Was this on dedicated school buses, or public transportation?
Carilyn: It was a dedicated school bus. So at least it was a direct route.
TYG-GD: And you didn’t have to worry about strangers!
TYG: That’s another thing I love about Japan—the beautiful trains! It’s amazing! In America, you have to struggle to get anywhere. In Japan, not so.
Carilyn: Yes—you would choose to take public transit over driving, any day. Because driving is a nightmare compared to taking public transit.
TYG: I can imagine!
Carilyn: They have real express trains—not just the Shinkansen, which is the bullet train, which is really cool.
TYG: Did you ever ride on one?
Carilyn: I did ride on the Shinkansen. It’s very cool. If you look out the window of the Shinkansen, you see the world passing you by. And then you kind of look down below the midpoint, and it’s a blur, because you’re going up to 300 miles per hour, I think. And then there’s the magnetic train in China.
TYG: Ahhh, yes!
Carilyn: I’ve also been on that.
TYG: Oh, I envy you!
Carilyn: And then there’s the TGV, so I’ve actually been on the three fastest trains in the world.
Carilyn: It’s very cool, just seeing the train sitting above the line—it’s so odd, watching a little hover-train! You understand it, but it looks like a hover-train. [...] So are you going to do a magnetic transport system out here? Because we could use it.
TYG: I wish I could!
Carilyn: You just have to keep other things from sticking to it.
TYG-EA: He proposed high-speed rail to the Mayor when he was seven.
Carilyn: That would be very helpful. [...]
TYG-EA: How old were you when you moved to Japan?
Carilyn: When I moved to Japan I think I was six.
TYG-EA: So, English in the home, mostly?
Carilyn: Oh yes. We learned Japanese as a second language, and I was very functional with Japanese. Even when we moved to New Jersey, we knew that France and Switzerland were on the horizon. We were technically stationed in France, but Collège du Léman was where the company was going to send my brother and I. We had to start studying French, because—as your mother will know—in France they have something called “le bac”—le baccalauréat—which is their exit exam for high school, and my brother and I were nowhere near where we needed to be to take that in French. They told us we would need to be prepared to take that in French. I started studying French, and lost a lot of my Japanese. And then we went there, it lasted all of six months because my dad’s company was originally going to pay for school, then said that Mom and Dad would have to pick up the bill in a year—and the Collège du Léman is incredibly expensive. And then my mother working in Grenoble, my father working at times in Paris, my brother and I being in Switzerland—it was not a good combo for the family. So Mom declared a mutiny, and said that we were returning home to the States, which is when my father got the order to go to Madrid. And my mom said “No. You forced the kids to learn French, you promised they could go to high school in the United States.” So my it was decided that my father would forego that particular position.
TYG-GD: So what does your dad do?
Carilyn: He was an international sales manager for Becton-Dickinson. If you’ve ever seen the Vacutainer system, the sharps containers, all of the background medical supplies; if you’ve ever seen a B-dash-D with a little sun behind it, that was Dad’s company. He worked there for 29 years. It’s very rare, in this day and age. And then he worked for Pfizer for a few years, then Cooper Surgical, then retired.
TYG-EA: So your dad is a biochemist?
Carilyn: Yep, his degree was biochemistry from the University of London.
TYG-GD: What about your mom?
Carilyn: My mom... [laughs] My mother has degrees in English, anthropology, interior design, and ornithology. So the best we can see it, she can decorate articulately for birds and dead people. [laughter] Oh, and she just got her Oregon Master Naturalist from Oregon State University. She works for the Department of Fish and Wildlife right now, so actually US Fish and Game. She does some of their global trafficking campaigns. It was quite fun to come home to my mother having elephant tusks, and boots from taxidermied birds, and I’m walking out to the car helping her carry some of these things to one of these educational things she does on global trafficking—people trafficking animals—and I said, “Mom, we look like a family of drug dealers.” [laughs] Because here we are, ivory tusks, and all of this paraphernalia... confiscated from actual drug dealers! People are passing by, and I’m like “I swear the elephant tusk isn’t mine! I’m just holding it for a friend!” [laughter] Very interesting things, that my parents have been involved in. She’s done something with every one of her degrees.
TYG: So what will your position be in the new clinic [the Waldport clinic which is currently being built]?
Carilyn: I am the clinical psychologist in the clinic. We have one of the most integrated clinics in the Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, in that we have PA’s, physicians, nurses, a care coordinator, a psychologist, and a pediatrician. It’s a pretty cool setup.
TYG: I’m very happy that you guys will be moving up and out of that area, because if even a fairly large wave hits, downtown Waldport is gone.
Carilyn: Yes. I feel kind of guilty, because this new building has been in the works for so long, and I show up, and a few months later, I move in and have one of the larger offices. [laughter] Which was decided prior to my taking the job!
TYG-EA: So you finished high school in the Bay area?
Carilyn: Yes, I finished at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek.
TYG-EA: And then Alaska?
Carilyn: Yep! Went to the University of Alaska for my undergrad in psychology. I had a grant from the state to work with Alaskan Natives, so that was very, very fun. We were studying the cycle of alcohol abuse and suicide, so we worked a lot with the Natives. I lived in Fairbanks, so I was in the interior. It was very, very cold—64°F below was the coldest I ever walked to school in. So I really earned the right to tell my children that I really did walk to school in the snow uphill. [laughter] And then I did my graduate training at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. I did my training mostly in the VA health care system.
TYG-EA: How did you pick that grad program?
Carilyn: That was a very interesting selection process. I wanted to stay in Oregon, because all of my family is now housed in Oregon. It’s very convenient—Mom, Dad, my brother, sister-in-law, and my nephews are all in Oregon. The rest of our family are in the UK, so it’s easier to go for Oregon as a hub. But I looked at Pacific University, George Fox, and the University of Oregon, and I was actually offered positions at all three. But I believe very strongly in the holistic nature of psychology, being the physical, the social, and also spiritual concepts—whatever those are. It doesn’t have to be in a traditional Christian sense. [...] I wanted to go to a school that acknowledged all the parts of human experience, and George Fox is a Quaker school in its founding. We studied a lot of religious foundation, and that’s worked very well for me in my career, and helping people to attune to what is spiritually meaningful to them. [...]
TYG-EA: How the heck did you end up joining us in Waldport?
Carilyn: You know, it’s funny that you say that. My girlfriend India and I were doing our residency together at the Boise VA, and she had found the job, and was applying for the job in Albany. And she said, “You know, they have one in Newport.” And I said, “Newport, Oregon? I love Newport, Oregon.” And she said, “You know, it’s a little remote.” And I was like, “I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska! They have a grocery store, OK? I’m good!” So I applied for that job, and then they asked me to interview. It was so funny, because I interviewed in Corvallis, Newport, Albany, and Waldport. I was offered all of the positions, which was incredibly lovely and sweet, and I chose Waldport. And they were like, “Are you sure? Of all the positions that we’ve offered you...” But there was something about the Waldport clinic. All of Samaritan was absolutely lovely, and I wouldn’t have a problem working at any of them—I so enjoyed the experience. But the Waldport clinic was special. They had good camaraderie, they had a clinic manager who had been there for eighteen years—which is very rare in the health care industry—and I just genuinely enjoyed the people when I interacted with them. They were the most down-to-earth and friendly, and I thought “That’s where I want to be.” And I have absolutely no regrets. I’ve loved every minute of it. Your dad can tell you. I’m very enthusiastic about my job.
TYG-EA: Your energy is fabulous. I think we’re extraordinarily fortunate.
Carilyn: Everyone’s afraid that I’m going to burn out! And I’m like, “I’ve been like this for six years!” [laughter]
TYG-EA: But since you asked—why psychology?
Carilyn: I’m a profound believer that every human being has the right to an advocate, someone completely on his or her side. I think there is a lot of shame, and guilt, that follows us around, that make us feel like we’re not enough, or that we’re disconnected from others. I wanted to be in a role, where I could remind people that I’m on their side, that they’re not alone, and that there’s nothing they could say to me that would scare me away or make me stop believing in their value as a human being. I actually considered law, and psychology, because I figured they’re both areas where you can be an advocate for someone no matter what. But then I thought to myself, well, what happens in law when you do your best to defend somebody, or prosecute somebody, and it comes out the other way? And then I thought, well, in psychology, it doesn’t matter what the outcome is! You always get to be the advocate! Even if the person goes to prison, I can still be their psychologist. So I thought that psychology was the way to go, but I’ve got to tell you, I still do love law, and I consider going back some days to do both.
TYG-GD: That’s awesome!
TYG-EA: What do you do for fun?
Carilyn: “What is this fun whereof you...” No, just kidding. [laughter] I love to read. It’s absolutely one of my favorite things in the world.
TYG: Me too!
Carilyn: I read, anywhere from what I call the Doritos of literature, no nutritional value but they’re delicious, to non-fiction or historical, some memoirs and biographies... I kind of approach reading like I do music: I like what I like.
TYG: Well, thank you so much!
Carilyn: Yes, thank you!