After years of living with acreage “out of town,” always in a two story home, we finally faced the necessity of moving into a single story home a little closer to the amenities of town. We chose the town of Redmond, Oregon. (I probably should say “City of Redmond”or risk offending the people who bring all the energy to this part of the world, but it still feels like a small town in spite of a population pushing thirty-thousand souls.)
The neighborhood we found is unique in terms of city living. For starters, everyone lives on a half acre of ground, give or take a smidgen, streets without sidewalks meander a bit without the grid pattern common to most neighborhoods in America, the yards have matured and carry a lot of big trees…juniper (native), cedar, lilac trees, Irish Yews twenty feet tall, Hawthorne trees, cottonwoods, lodge pole and ponderosa pines. And some of us have chosen to plant native red-bark manzanita. I never would have thought of doing that, but the red bark adds to the appeal of the yards. I’ve come to think of this place as a “walking” neighborhood, because a lot of us do walk the streets.
We are comfortable living here. What we didn’t expect was watching mule deer does and fawns get fat feeding on front lawns, shrubbery and trees (including my big apple tree), or the multitude of Mexican doves, blue birds, robins, and a ton of songbirds (who clean out the bird feeder every two days). And I would never have guessed wild mallard ducks would fly in to eat the tender spring grass on our front lawn. We even have a resident family of silver gray squirrels.
I’ve said it before, so maybe it is worth repeating: It is the small things which enrich our lives, at least mine… like birds coming to the feeder, a silver-gray squirrel running the power lines, a first-thing-in-the-morning cup of coffee, and conversations with my good wife and my good friends.
So much for the “wild times” in town.