Live in the Yakima Valley - New Resident Karen Diana


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Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy.  The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.



New Resident Karen Diana

New Resident Karen Diana

May 11, 2015

Our association writes a blog series on people who have relocated to our Valley.  This month it is our pleasure to introduce you to Karen Diana. She recently relocated from Memphis, Tennessee.  Help us welcome Karen, her husband Neil, daughter Katherine to our Valley.

  • Name & Age:  - Karen Diana - 54
  • Profession/Job Title: - Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
  • How long have you been in Yakima (or are you in another city?)? – almost a month
  • Where did you move from? – Memphis, TN
  • Why did you move here? – Location, great weather, natural beauty of the surroundings, smaller community but big city shopping and close proximity to Portland and Seattle, excellent career opportunity for both myself and my husband at Comprehensive Mental Health, better disability services for my daughter who has a genetic disorder (Washington is ranked 21st in the nation for availability of services for the disabled compared to Tennessee which ranks 48th). Lastly, I appreciate that Washington provides the right to die if faced with a grave illness.
  • Who did you move here with? – Husband Neil, Daughter Katherine, two cats and a standard goldendoodle.
  • How do you like to spend your free time? – Singing, listening to music, playing guitar, dancing, bicycling, hiking, painting, drawing, walking my dog and spending time with friends.
  • What’s something you couldn’t wait to try when you moved here?  Did it live up to the hype? – Taste the local wines and cross country skiing. Unfortunately there wasn't enough snow this year to try the skiing, hopefully next year, but the wine has been great and I love the fact that you can purchase alcohol in grocery stores.
  • Can you share your favorite restaurant, shop, bar, or coffee house (why)? – I really like Essentia Bakery because it's local, offers healthy Vegan choices, it's located downtown in a building full of character and has outdoor seating.
  • Anything you’re looking forward to trying that you haven’t done yet? biking around the valley and kayaking.   
  • What’s been the best part of living in Yakima so far? – Going out on my porch in the evening and looking at the sunsets to the west and the city down below.
  • If someone was on the fence about moving to Yakima or the valley what would you tell them? – I would tell them to go for it! Come and see for yourself. People are friendly, if's very easy to get around town, and everyone in Yakima is eager to help out. We moved from Memphis and drove 2,200 miles to get here and so far have not been disappointed. We left behind humidity, sweltering summers, a burdened city economy, high taxes and a conservative state legislature.


Meet our other new residents:

Kiva | Shelly | Kellen l Andy l Emily | Matt

Helpful Links:

Living in the Valley | Things to See & Do | Relocation Packet

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"I'm spoiled - I live five minutes from work. I can concentrate on business then when I want to be off I can take the time and enjoy that for relaxation or being with my family." - Gary Christensen, R.E. Powell Distributing