Sunday, June 22, 2014

Our Town.

Dear Redding,

Thanks for a fantastic evening.  The Bandaloop group doing vertical dancing on the Sundail Bridge last night was pretty fantastic.  It was so cool, I kept my 5-year old out until 10pm.  That never happens.  NEVER.  And after our day of tear-filled hissy fits today, I am again reminded why we have a 7pm bedtime around here.  Anyway, thanks for bringing Bandaloop to town.  We loved them. 

And while we're at it, thanks for being a pretty cool place to live.  I know you've gotten a bad rap lately.  That "list" you were on a few months ago claiming that you are "Miserable" was a hard hit.  I'm not going to argue that you're perfect, but Miserable seems like a pretty extreme label.  Shake it off, Redding.  Move on.  There are always going to be haters. 

Truth be told, there was a time in my life when I cursed you.  If you go into my closet at the house I lived in during high school, you will find a heart sticker that is personalized with the inscription, "I hate Redding."  Teen angst.  I'm sorry.  I hope you can forgive me.  Because you're not all bad. 

I met my husband here, my parents and in-laws (aka free babysitters) live here, and somehow, this once-hated, small-ish town has evolved into MY town.  That I actually kind of like. I love snow on the foothills in the winter.  I love that it's pretty much always hot enough to swim (without goose bumps) in the summer.  I love your quirky side, like the Asphalt Cowboys.  I love your serious side, like the spectacular Northern CA Veterans Cemetery. I appreciate your parks that are pretty much everywhere so that I can take my kids to a new one each week and stay busy for months.  I like the fact that we wave to our neighbors around here, and that the best steak in town is at a seedy, dive of a restaurant that once housed a brothel.  Thanks for Lema Ranch walking trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Farmer's Markets, the Deistlehorst Bridge the Sacramento River, the Cascade Theater and a 15-minute commute to work.  You've been developing into a fine little city.  Don't listen to those nay-sayers. 

I enjoy the debate between the old timers that think you're getting too big, and the big-city transplants that think you're too small.  Don't be afraid of this debate because it's all about YOU.  And nobody would be working so hard on either side of that fence if they didn't really care about you.  Just know that we've all got your best interests at heart.  Our ideas might be different about how, when or where to grow.  But ultimately everyone just wants a great Redding.  Or at least that's what I choose to believe.  Because I'm a Joy-finder.  It's what I do.  And you, my friend, have gone unnoticed for far too long.  Hats off to you, Redding!


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