I was born and raised in Germany. At age 14, my aunt and uncle invited me on a trip to Bavaria. That opened up for me the love of travel and seeing new places. Travel became an inner urge and I was lucky my career, as a model first and then as a fashion designer, allowed me to pursue this passion.
I moved to the United States in 1981 and eventually met my future husband in an airport. An airport - how fitting! He is a corporate law attorney and his type of work allows him the flexibility to live anywhere he pleases, as long as he can get to an airport easily.
Three years ago, while I was pregnant with our second child, we decided it was time to find a community to settle in. We had lived in Nevada, California and Montana, and none of those states felt like our permanent home.
We compiled a list of 10 cities where we might settle. Spokane was on the list because my husband had traveled here on business and liked it. So our family flew to Spokane in February. We purposely came in the winter because we didn’t want to see the city during its finest season. We stayed at a downtown hotel and our children played in Riverfront Park. By the end of the week, we knew we’d found our home.
We moved here June 1 and every day, we like it better. When I hear people complain about Spokane, or when I read about comparisons with Seattle in the recent “Great Divide” series, I wonder what people have to complain about. Take it from an outsider who has traveled all over the world, you have everything in Spokane.
You have a beautiful downtown with tremendous architecture, unique cafes, restaurants and entertainment. And great shopping! A park in the middle of downtown and a river running through the park. Lakes and mountains are less than an hour away. And you have so many beautiful parks and golf courses everywhere in Spokane. My children and I hop on our bicycles and ride to Manito Park, bread in our bike baskets. We feed the ducks and swans, then ride home.
When I hear people complain about Spokane, I want to tell them that the power to change the city lies inside them. First, they need to quit whining. Then, they need to make a difference for the better in their neighborhood and their city.
Spokane is now my home. I have chosen it and I will do my very best to help this town sparkle even more.
MEMO: Your Turn is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a Your Turn column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write Your Turn, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615.
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