Joy discovered. (AKA living in Bend)

You know what the best cure for a grumbling, whining, complaining-about-the-cold-kind-of-attitude is?  Look for the good.  Start there.  And slowly, slowly, you’ll notice that things start to look better.  The sun shines a little brighter.  You discover beauty buried beneath.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu says it this way, “As we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard.  We have heartbreak without being broken.”

So, in the spirit of giving thanks, here are some of my favorite things about Bend.

1.  Fresh snow.  It’s like powdered sugar.  Or frosting.  I love the way the neighborhood transforms into a giant gingerbread village.

2.  Ocean rolls + coffee.  I never knew what cardamom was until I moved here.  And now, I’m kind of (cough) addicted.

3. Downtown Bend.  If I was film scouting for small town America, I would choose Downtown Bend.  It is equal parts charming and sophisticated.


4.  Crystal Peaks Ranch.  A non-profit that rescues horses AND mentors kids?  Yes, please.  This place makes my heart happy.


5.  Paulina Lake.  It’s hard to choose just one favorite summer spot, but Paulina Lake is at the top of my list.  Serenity found.  Sigh…


6.  The top of Pilot Butte.  With 360 degree views of the city, you can’t visit Bend without visiting this landmark.  Just remember to share the road… and a sense of humor.


7.  Artwork around town.  With art hanging in alleys and sculptures standing in roundabouts, Bend knows how to marry city with creativity.  Happily ever after.


8.  Drake Park.  Snuggling up to Mirror Pond, Drake Park is an oasis among, well, paradise.  It makes you want to whistle.  Or sing.  And when the leaves change in the fall, everyone stops to take notice.


9.  Old Mill.  The Cascade Mountains create a dramatic backdrop to the smokestacks that once belonged to rival lumber mills.  It’s a nod to the past and a reminder of our history.


10.  ________________________.  To be determined.  And because I always want to leave room for one more.

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