Sunday, September 21, 2008
Show and Tell, Potato State Style.
In early 2004, Mr. S. mentioned a job opportunity in Idaho to me in passing, to which I replied, "Idaho? Yeah, I don't think so." Being the liberal, Bay-Area living San Francisco girl at the time, I was completely uninterested in being thrust into a red state right at the height of the 2004 elections. Better yet, Idaho? Did they even have stop lights? Did their fare completely consist of potatoes? Was it a law that every vehicle come equipped with a gun rack? The most I knew of Idaho came from the days of Ted Kazinski, when the militia men hiding up in the hills gained national spotlight. But then I decided to 'just visit' that spring, and immediately, I fell in love.
(At our friend's house in the mountains, hanging with their critters)
A few of our close friends were already there and brought us to their newly purchased home, which sat on almost an acre of plush, bright green grass. We spent that evening on their back porch beneath a clear black sky of stars, some of which I had never seen in the light pollution of the Bay Area skies. Idaho was warm summer evenings strolling past corn fields and horses, unfenced backyards, winters being shadowed by the blanket of snow covering the foothills of the Rockies. And most of all, for me, Idaho was home ownership. Every wall I had ever hung a picture on was never my own, but in Idaho, with the thought that we would likely never leave, we bought a home and painted it in a rainbow of colors, made holes without remorse, and cultivated our land with new plant life thinking that my efforts would not eventually be wasted as with all of my rentals.
But after all, we did leave it behind. Ironically, our stay in that house was shorter than any time we had ever spent in a rental. Exactly two years to the day we arrived, I loaded all 5 of my animals in my SUV and began the trek back to California with a U-Haul trailer in tow. I never thought I would. Idaho was my own, a quiet place I had made and here I was, watching it in my rear view mirror. After the original company that brought Mr. S. to Idaho was sold (this was announced a week after we closed on our house), he was offered yet another job opportunity, but this time, it was back home in California. We made the decision to turn back, though in many ways I feel as if I betrayed my heart in doing so. I did what everyone else wanted me to do and made the decision in less than 3 weeks. If it were just me, I suspect I would still be at home in Idaho:
I've been back in California for two years now and I do miss Idaho often, or at least what it represented-a simpler, quieter life. But as with most things that have been left behind, the feeling begins to fade. The friends who had originally 'brought' us there are now moved away and we have lost touch with most others. However, I won't forget the two years I spent in that place and what it once gave to me.
*If you'd like to join in on the show and tell fun, see Mel's blog for the good times!