Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reasons I Love Central Oregon ~ Thursday Thirteen

1. Active Lifestyle - I had been athletically-minded in high school, but since then, my life had become 'busy'. At least I thought so. I had occasionally ran a few miles here and there - maybe pedaled around the block with hubby or enjoyed an evening walk. But here - I discovered that people enjoyed outdoor activities year round. Through winter, people could be found at the gym or pool, conditioning for skiing or training for a marathon. Their enthusiasm is certainly contagious. Before long, I found myself regularly going to the gym for an aerobics class. Then I started running again. Now look at me. A marathoner myself !? I can hardly believe it sometimes. Yet, at the same time, I don't want to go back to the 'old me'. :)

2. 360 Days of Sun - I'm not certain that is quite accurate, but we rarely have cloudy/rainy days, unlike the coast where it was seemingly just the opposite.

3. Smells Like Camping - Each morning when I wake up and go out for the morning paper, the smell of sage and pine reminds me of the many summers my family and I would camp in Central Oregon. I love the smells here. There are so many lakes that I have yet to have camped at them all. As the kids get older, I look forward to doing this more frequently.

4. Big City Amenities - Small City Charm The 'old timers' might disagree considering the tremendous growth the area has seen over the past 5-10 years, but I love the amenities that are so accessible here. All the while, it still feels small and not overwhelming or hectic like Portland. I've selected a few of my favorites to highlight here in this list (keep reading).

5. The High Desert Museum - I love the museum. I have had wonderful opportunities there... in the beginning, I was a Bird of Prey interpreter. Now, I do Living History with my children. Experiences I will cherish forever.

6. Friends - When DH and I returned to North Bend (where we'd both graduated from high school) after college, we were a little surprised to find that we didn't quite fit the mold of the typical 20 something resident. Granted, the majority of the population are elderly, retired folk. The population of school-age children had been steadily declining for some time - causing the school districts to close several rural schools in favor the larger, more centrally located schools. But the biggest challenge for us (particularly me) was meeting people with similar interests and mind-sets that were also of similar age. All of our friends were older.... they had grown children. Quite often, I found myself out of the loop, socially. I was a misfit. It wasn't until 2002 that I met my girlfriend, Lilli, with whom I dearly wanted to spend more time. But just as our friendship was beginning to blossom, we had to move. After our arrival in Central Oregon, it took over a year before I started to make new friends. For the first time in my life, I have a circle of women friends that I cherish. Amongst them, I would consider Deb to be my closest. (Hi, Deb! If this doesn't get you to leave a comment, I'll have to hijack your computer!)

7. Buffer Zone - We are about 3-5 hours from most of our friends and family. Seinfeld would call this the Buffer Zone .... too far to just 'drop in' on someone. Just the same, we don't have guests as often as I would like. Most of our friends and family aren't equipped to travel over the pass in the winter. Others simply don't care to travel. As a result, we are the ones that do most of the traveling.

8. My House - I love my house. When we first moved here, we were in an apartment for a few months despite the fact that I fell in love with this house the first time I saw it... only my second outing with the realtor. DH was more hesitant. In fact, he had cold feet! He had believed we could find a great house for the same price or less than the one we had sold in North Bend. He didn't want to leave a stone unturned. We looked and looked and looked. House hunting with my DH is awful. He is so particular.
  • The house must be single-level.
  • It must be 2000 square feet minimum.
  • 3 bedrooms + den
  • Master suite with walk-in closet
  • 3+ car garage
  • Great-room with sink in the island (not the stove) - this was my request
  • Vaulted ceilings - me again
  • It must have a south-facing driveway (to melt the snow/ice of winter).
  • The driveway must be flat (no driving up or down to the garage).
  • No more than two steps to the front door.
  • Wall in great-room or bonus room must be large enough for flat-screen TV. Room must be suitable for Bose surround sound setup.
  • Backyard suitable for children (fenced and relatively spacious)

Thankfully, we finally agreed that the Aspen floor plan and the neighborhood was ideal for our needs. We originally thought we would have to have one built from the ground up on a lot that wouldn't allow for a south-facing driveway.... OR wait for the next phase (which would've been at least a year). However, the stars aligned and one that had been 'sold' previously fell through and was available at the exact time we were ready. We moved in just one week before Christmas. It was a very merry Christmas that year. :)

9. Great Schools - The public schools are great. And yet, there are numerous charter & private schools to choose from. Finding the right fit for your child is certain.

10. The Public Library - Offering multiple story times for the kiddos with crafts, fun summer reading programs, and a cozy reading corner.... the kids love to go to the library. For adults, the county-wide reading program, A Novel Idea, is very popular. I've participated in the last 3 of the 4 years and have enjoyed every book selected.

11. Concerts in the Park - Throughout the summer months, there are free concerts in the park with food vendors and live entertainment. We love throwing a blanket down on the grass to take it all in.

12. The Municipal Pool - Newly remodeled, it now showcases an outdoor activity pool for young children, a 50m Olympic pool, and an expanded fitness center and a pilate's studio (mat & machines). There are many, many classes to choose from and the instructors are very welcoming/helpful. On-site childcare and children's programs are a highlight.

13. The Parks System - There are neighborhood parks everywhere... each one unique. The kiddos enjoy exploring parks they haven't visited in the past as well as returning to 'old favorites'. I most enjoy the 48 miles of river trails... accessible just a mile from my front door.

Happy trails, ya'll. :)

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  1. Now, where do you live again? I want to move there! Of course, I have to convince all my friends to come with me...

  2. you make me want to pack my bags and head to oregon! you should be in the real estate business ;)

  3. Compelling arguments you make there.

    To answer your question, I think I actually DO know the last word of the series. I remember JK said in an interview a few years back that the final word would be "scar".

    Those things, I remember. Anniversaries and birthdays, not so much.


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