In the spirit of World Gratitude Day this Thursday, I’m listing 10 things about living in Lake Oswego that I’m grateful for. The title of my blog is 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego so of course there are many more than 10 as I have been writing this blog for over seven years, but right now these are my top 10.
1. LAKE GROVE SWIM PARK. This place gave my children so many wonderful childhood memories of afternoons spent swimming in the lake, hanging out with cool lifeguards, buying guilty pleasures at the concession stand and making new friends. I think it was one of the biggest shapers of who they are and what they love. And I’m not alone. My blog posts on the Lake Grove Swim Park are some of the most highly viewed of all my posts.
2. LEADERSHIP LAKE OSWEGO. I was in the inaugural class of this program and it was a wonderful way for me to put my roots down in this place I call home and to get to know some of the integral people here as well as its history and hopes for the future. It was a great launch pad for me both personally and professionally and I recommend it to anyone wanting to get invested in this community.
3. THE LAKE. When my wife and I set out from California in a 1974 Volkswagen Westfalia van over 30 years ago we were in search of a new place on a lake to call home. My brother-in-law told us about Lake Oswego and when we drove through we couldn’t believe that people actually got to call a place as beautiful as this home. We now live on one of the canals and swim in the lake just about every day in the summer. It’s our happy place and we don’t have to go on vacation to enjoy it!
4. THE LAKE OSWEGO LIBRARY. From the James Patterson murder mystery books that I continue to download on to my Kindle to the incredible Lake Oswego Reads program that the library sponsors each year I can honestly say that the library enriches my life as well as the lives of so many other Lake Oswegans on a daily basis. In addition they have agreed to carry my daughter’s recently released book, Waiting at Hayden’s, so be sure to ask for it the next time you’re in. (It’s popular–you’ll have to put it on hold :-))
5. THE LAKE OSWEGO VILLAGE BASKETS. The colorful baskets that line our streets are a visual reminder that “it takes a village.” Sponsored by the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, those baskets are funded by donations and hung by volunteers every year. I’m happy to say I’ve been involved with the program since its inception in one way or another and appreciate not just the aesthetic value it adds to our streets but also the message the baskets convey about the pride that the people who live here take in their city.
6. SUMMER NIGHTS. The other night my wife and I and a couple of friends headed back home on our boat from an event at the Lakewood Center. It was about 9:00 p.m. and a comfortable 78° under a half-moon lit sky. It doesn’t get much better than that! We take in the abundance of summer nights every evening out on our patio where we read, happy hour and dine until 9-10 o’clock at night, all without need for bug spray. Where else in the country can you do that!?
7. FOURTH OF JULY TRADITIONS. My Fourth of July posts are my most popular, garnering upwards of 700 views a day when the festivities hit. And that’s because there is so much going on in our small town to celebrate the occasion. It’s enough to make it a standing engagement for my 30-year-old San Francisco Bay Area son and 15-20 of his friends to descend on our town and do it up big in a small town way!
8. LAKE OSWEGO SCHOOL DISTRICT. The Lake Oswego School District has done it again—just been named the best school district in Oregon by Niche, an organization that rates schools based on data from the U.S. Department of Education that includes test scores, safety, and surveys from students, parents, and community members. Here’s what one had to say: “Lake Oswego brings on a rigorous curriculum for its students. The experience of being at this school is an unforgettable one between the amazing teachers, competitive athletics, outstanding theater productions, and much more.” My kids have benefited personally from the schools’ excellence and I have professionally as our school district’s reputation is one of the biggest reasons people move to Lake Oswego. Read one of my previous posts for more insight.
9. OPPORTUNITY TO GET INVOLVED. Lake Oswego is a manageable city. It’s close enough to Portland to get a bigger city jolt but small enough to feel like you can make a difference. I’ve been involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Lake Oswego Rotary, as well as school parent clubs and neighborhood associations. My wife and I spearheaded a successful campaign to bring back the fireworks on the lake after they were stopped one year. My kids had tremendous opportunities to be involved in sports and extra-curricular activities while in school because of the size of the schools and the resources available. Once you move to Lake Oswego, you can get your feet wet right away because other involved citizens are ready to welcome you and harness your energy and enthusiasm.
10. DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT. When my wife and I first moved to Lake Oswego over 30 years ago, there wasn’t a “there” here. Now, thanks to the vision of city and civic leaders there is. Millennium Plaza Park has become our outdoor living room and a place for the community to gather whether it’s for the Farmers’ Market or the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. No longer is that space dominated by apartments that benefited only a few but has been opened up for all of us to enjoy. With that base has come more commerce and reason to be downtown (Salt & Straw anyone?) The area continues to be up for discussion which means Lake Oswego continues to grow and not remain static. Keeps things interesting and thriving!
What are you most grateful for? Feel free to chime in.
And if you’d like to move to Lake Oswego, or move around within Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I’d love to help!