Reasons for optimism in Olalla

The wave that swept me from Toronto has landed me in what I happily consider to be the most beautiful place on the planet - Olalla

To the Editor:

Positive Alchemy

The wave that swept me from Toronto has landed me in what I happily consider to be the most beautiful place on the planet – Olalla!  The sweeping vista of rugged mountains etched with the signature Z trails, bluer than blue skies,  fabulous greenery energized  by the ubiquitous sage, is paradisiacal to this city born and bred girl. I adore the unique quail chatter and chortle as herds of these weird but cute little bundles of feathers endlessly hunt, peck, and suddenly disperse with a jarring flurry of wings; and I love falling asleep at night to the forlorn but somehow alluring howl of coyotes. And how utterly delighted I am to find that the snow brings the most amazing creatures of all down from the mountaintops to the highway – mountain goats! I recently saw seventeen of them at the north end of Olalla, some had stopped motorists as if asking for toll money!

In Olalla I have met some of the most beautiful people on this planet, who will actually stop, say hello and ask how you are today. A few will even give you a heartfelt hug. And some who I would call interesting characters, have teddy-bear hearts hidden under an apparent brusqueness – all it takes is showing them some positive attitude and kindness.

A coalescing of positive attitude and kindness in this gruff but amazing community has attracted the Friends of Olalla. A group of characters that all have in common their care and concern for this beautiful town in the Similkameen Valley. In the few short months that this group of landscaping and history chasing troubadours has been meeting, an alchemy of sorts has been transforming the people of this community. Random acts of beauty are occurring alongside acts of kindness. Order is being restored to previously cluttered areas along Highway 3A and on Main Street. Landscaping efforts are clearly underway at both ends of Olalla. And some have found a new home in more comfortable and healthier conditions.

It takes courage to face an ornery mountain goat. It takes greater courage to change. Kudos to all the people of Olalla who are stepping up to the plate of positive change! Just keep smiling and moving forward bit by bit, and soon you’ll be sailing along those beautiful mountain highways.

Phyllis Straub, Olalla, resident and Friend of Olalla


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