I’m 30 years old. I’m single. And I’m Canadian. Well, I’m half Canadian, half American. But I can say hands down I am one hundred percent the only person in Sisters that can fit that description. Probably even just two of the three. My dad moved to Sisters after living in Cincinnati for 35 years to be closer to his brother and wife — my aunt and uncle.

I never thought I would be spending the summer after my 30th birthday living with him in a subdivision where deer are basically our backyard dogs. I never thought I would be here, and I certainly didn’t plan on falling in love with it.

I was laid off due to COVID in March. I work as a set decorator for TV shows in Toronto. My life is a constant hustle and I am never not moving. After a devastating breakup, losing my job and a global pandemic all wrapped up in one month, my aunt and dad suggested I come to Sisters for the summer. (I made sure I did not bring COVID to your community by being tested — don’t worry). After spending four days as a line cook at Suttle Lake (another “what was I thinking?” moment in my life — I clearly couldn’t hack that) I realized the summer was going to go by slow. Or, at least, so I thought.

Meeting new friends has never been hard for me, and Central Oregon held true to its friendly reputation. The people here are truly amazing. I have met so many wonderful people from all walks of life. I am constantly impressed by the stories and histories of the folks who live around here. You all are so tough, even if it takes a bit to see through your soft and gentle exteriors. Everyone has such richness to them — it’s truly something else.

I had the pleasure/luck to meet a friend who loves adventures and, lucky for me, is keen to having a sidekick. I have spent hours floating the Metolius, Deschutes, and McKenzie. Camped in the valleys of Maupin and the McKenzie River Trails — or what I like to call “Jurassic Park.” I have explored Portland, Bend, Ashland and Sisters (all the while safely masked and socially distancing of course). I have spent countless evenings walking the neighborhood with my dad, listening to the cows happily bellow in the fields, taking in the sunsets that light the sky and mountains aflame.

In this quiet little mountain town, where I never thought I would find myself, I found happiness.

It has been such a long time since I have stopped to breathe and taken time to actually enjoy peace. To take space. To be still. I know it’s super sappy and probably trite, but I’ve worked on enough Hallmark TV movies that I’m OK with it. I have started to see the beauty Sisters and Central Oregon has to offer. It’s magic. And I really did need to be reminded of the importance of this. So this is my manifesto to your Tiny Community of Wonder.

Even if it took a breakup, a layoff and a global pandemic, I am so thankful you gave refuge to Canadian city-slicker like me. Thank you.