4 years ago as we drove through the middle of nowhere to arrive to our little middle of nowhere town…i turned to jake and said “really? can we really do this?” i was born in L.A. and moved to San Diego in 7th grade…to which then i moved to a “small town” of (back in the day) 30 thousand called San Luis Obispo. i fell in love with a local that had lived there all his life. we made a few moves in between california and utah for grad school, and for the national guard.
then we took a job in a little town that not many know.
our little town in the middle of nowhere has a whopping total of 500 people (give or take a few births and passing aways) with a 45 minute drive “over the mountain” to the “big town” that has 12 thousand humans or so. so when i turned to jake and said “…can we really do this?” i definitely was thinking about shopping, about recreational things (we have one movie theater that carries two movies a week on thursday through saturday), no fast food, and did i mention shopping? (not to sound redundant but the nearest target is 3 hours away.)
yeah i was scared, and missing the life we were leaving behind…but, had i known at that moment the people i would meet and the great/life enhancing memories that we would create here through the trials and peaceful times we were about to encounter…i would of done it with the knowledge that things would be okay, and that we would come out the other end a much stronger, and (i think) better family because we moved to this little middle of nowhere town, and because of the trials we would endure as a family while here.
we moved here after jake was released from a 6 month military training. (that he had to be in a different state and away from us) …that was the end of april, three months later (in july) we found out jake was going to be deployed for a year over seas in afghanistan, my eldest son started his long road of ups and downs, including emotionally stressed induced complex tics. they got so bad that he had to concentrate to lift a glass of water to his mouth, he would have to put down the glass a handful of times before he could reach his mouth without spilling. he was drained physically from his tics… and we started our series of tests that would last almost 2 years to try to figure out what we could do for him…8 months after moving here jake left us on a year long deployment, my son and my children and i had a very long year, he came back, and then two years later (6 months after selling our first house here to upgrade to our second house here) the corporation that owned my husband’s company decided to close it’s doors along with the two other company’s owned by them… all in my little town.
we have been (i think) through some of our hardest trials as a family here.
so middle of nowhere people, this is for you.
thank you for lending us animals to put in our pastures after someone saw us mowing them. thank you for teaching these two city kids how to plant, grow, and can from their garden. thank you for teaching me how to make bread. thank you for showing us the importance of rocking on rocking chairs on your front porch on friday AND saturday night and well why the heck not on sunday night too. thank you for teaching me that you don’t need the city except maybe for christmas to get a few little something specials under the tree. thank you for really teaching us the “make it do or do without” way of living. thank you for after only a day or two of moving here: knowing all of our names, and our children’s names, where we came from, and if we were related to anyone here (nope!), thank you for understanding that even to this day it boggles my mind who’s related to whom and giving me the constant reply of: “oh i’m from here and even i get confused!”
thank you for raising some wonderful children, thank you for giving my children best friends, thank you for not letting us not be related to you matter one bit, thank you for taking turns adopting my boys while jake was gone for father son’s campouts, and for making derby racing cars.
thank you for nominating me into community council and thank you for making the grants finally happen to get a playground for those wonderful elementary kids, thank you for making sure we were okay and taking care of my family while jake was deployed, thank you for shoveling my driveway with a big yellow tractor thingy while jake was deployed, thank you for understanding my frantic calls of “have you seen nathan?” when he would run away while jake was deployed, thank you for crying with me when nate started to show hints of healing. thank you for taking me in your arms when i didn’t think i could take it any more watching my child suffer, thank you for laughing at my stupid jokes,
and the tears that were shared as we talk about all the improvement and healing that said oldest child has made since the first day we found out jake was getting deployed, thank you for all the best friends i’ve made here, thank you thank you thank you for understanding my tears and joining with me in tears as we talk about moving away, but mainly…thank you for somehow becoming as close as family.
as we find ourselves getting in the car and driving on main street leaving behind our little town we’ve called home through all of this, i find myself strangely in the same place i was 4 years ago…turning to jake and saying “really? can we really do this?”
and, again i find myself scared, and missing the life i’m leaving behind.
i love you.
and thank you.