Saturday, June 21, 2008


(This and the next half dozen or so posts are being written after the fact in an effort to start this blog and bring it up to the present. Although this first post was written in late June, it records things that occurred in early May. As a result the writing is hurried and details have been left out.)

We're moving to Bend, Oregon, in August.
I've lived in SoCal most of my life, and Mrs Elliott for all of hers. The first 28 years of my life were in Santa Barbara - which some consider to be the southernmost part of NoCal - but since then, I've lived in what is distinctively "Southern California" -- Calabasas, San Diego, Vista, Carlsbad. And never cared for it. Boring weather, tedious traffic, crowded, too many strip malls, minimalls, seas of pink stucco houses, dust and heat.

Mrs Elliott, on the other hand, likes SoCal very much. She hails from a long line of Mediterranian people, tracing their roots back to Rhodes and Spain. She, apparently, cannot have enough sun. I, on the other hand, feel affinity to shaded, greener areas, which tend to be wetter, with fewer sunny days. Mindful of the adage that a happy wife contributes to a happy life, I felt I could compromise some in the green/shade department; and Mrs Elliott is a sweet and optimistic woman, so she allowed that as long as she has sufficient sun, she'd likely be happy.

Also on my shortlist of requirements: little or no stucco, a college or university because youth adds vibrance to a town, places where bicycling is common, and an interesting downtown. We explored places in the southwest, and while Flagstaff seems pretty okay, it just didn't feel right, and the rest of the southwest is dry and has far too much stucco. San Luis Obispo? Nice, but too pricey.

We decided to check out Oregon. I knew that the Rogue River valley would be too gray for Mrs Elliott, so in May we flew to Portland, rented a car, and cruised down the east side of the Cascades. Climatically drier over there, but maybe green and cool and picturesque enough for me? We looked at listings in Sisters, which I found too rustic. It has a nice small town feel, but I'm not much for towns that small. Other nearby towns were similarly uninteresting to me for that reason.

When we got to Bend, though, I felt I had found a town that was "just right." Though we had originally planned to continue down to Klamath Lake, over to Medford, and back up the 5 to Portland, I felt it would be waste of time. The remainder of the towns were smaller than Bend, or too rainy for Mrs Elliott. Bend felt like it had all the right characteristics: a small but diverse downtown, musical events, farmer's market, a Buddhist group that meets at the church twice a week, reasonably good shopping, natural beauty, and as we found when we began to look at houses, prices we could afford.


  1. Well, the more accepted term is "sangha." According to Wikipedia, sangha "is a word in Pali or Sanskrit that can be translated roughly as "association" or "assembly," "company" or "community" with common goal, vision or purpose."


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