The truth is I am very grateful for my life. I have two beautiful children, an amazing husband, a lovely home and we don't live too far from most of our family. But my struggles began when we moved here, away from the world I knew. And in many ways I still miss that world I knew, which makes the last five years of living in this small Southern Oregon town a HUGE adjustment. But during this period of adjustment I have found that this place does have it charms.
This area is known for its birdwatching opportunities, and I can see why. It is not unusual to see groupings of pelicans floating on the surface of the lake, or loons roaming the wetlands. I find great enjoyment from watching a covey of quail pecking around in our neighborhood, with the babies following their mama in a neat line. There are frequent sitings of deer roaming around and I have even watched an entire heard frolicking around the golf course at my fitness club! Watching them play and scrounge around for food is surely entertaining. We have hawks, vulchers, and even gulls (that seem to particularly like to scavenge around in the Wal-Mart and K-Mart parking lots! Hmmmm.) Dragonflies love this area with midges as a constant source of food and ladybugs are abundant.
2. Locally Owned
When I think of my favorite places in town to shop or eat, I realize that they tend to be locally owned establishments. The bagel shop, the bakery, the delicious Italian restaurant and the yarn store are all not a part of a national conglomerate. They are run and owned by people who have lived here for some time, saw a need and filled it with their expertise, hard work, and personal investments. I respect that, and do what I can to support it.
3. Free Parking
With the downtown being as small as it is, there is free parking! It is rarely difficult to find a place to park and walking down Main street is fairly pleasant. Plus it gives ample opportunity for practicing parallel parking.
4. A Great Place To Raise Kids
That's what everybody told me when I moved here anyway. And I can see that there are a lot of things for little ones to do with the many parks here, the dance studios that offer ballet and tumbling classes, and the city-wide Harvest Party at the fairgrounds every year. There is a really good church community here with various places and opportunities to worship, and church leaders frequently come together to pray for this town. And there are different kinds of schooling choices from private schools, Christian schools, home school, as well as public.
5. Big Blue Sky
I live in "Oregon's City of Sunshine". It is a treat to look out my window and see nothing but blue for most of the year. With the exception of this very unusually wet June, it doesn't rain too much here. We get thunderstorms, snow storms, occasional torrential downpours, and stunning sunsets. I have invested in several pairs of sunglasses, as well as snow boots and heavy coats for the first time in my life. It is fun to go sledding in the winter and camping in the summer. Plus my favorite flowers grow here in abundance. Brilliant poppies grow wild on the hillsides and lilac bushes go crazy in the month of May.
Whew! I admit that I feel better about keeping things positive. Now that I have all of this written down, I'll have to visit it from time to time to remind myself that it really isn't that bad.