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!

14 comments:

Another Dreamer said...

I've never been to Idaho, but you make it sound absolutely lovely.

(I've never been to California either, lol.)

I'm sorry you had to leave a place you loved so much. That's never easy.

Nikki said...

Idaho sounds lovely! Personally I love the slow and calm lifestyle. I'm a small town girl myself - grew up in a tiny town in India! :-)

But I do believe in adapting to wherever life takes you, and I see you do that so well. Take pieces of every place you've lived in, and help those pieces shape who you are.

Kristin said...

It sounds like you had a lovely 2 yrs there. I hope you find that same contentment elsewhere.

Cara said...

I hear you, but in reverse. I was born in raised in a SMALL town (we don't have stoplights) then spread my wings in college and grad school trying on more populated areas. But, low and behold, here I sit typing this back in my home state only 10 miles from my hometown...go figure!

Lori said...

It's hard these days to find places without light pollution. I love it when I do.

Mrs Woggie said...

Idaho looks like it is a lovely place. I hope one day you can go back and fall in love with being there again. Here from ICLW.

Lost in Space said...

Your description of Idaho sounds alot like where I grew up too. It's slower paced, quieter, and just more peaceful. I miss parts of my old home too.

I'm glad you have such fond memories of your time away from CA. It's so nice to see what else is out there. (:

momofonefornow said...

over from ICLW

Idaho does sound lovely. I have never been there. We bought our home a year ago and I know exactly what you mean about painting and hanging pictures. It is liberating to be able to do those things with no thought as to what the landlord would charge you in the end.

I Believe in Miracles said...

It's often funny where our paths take us where we never expect. If you had told me I'd still be in Boston when I moved here 6 years ago, I would have told you "no way". Thanks for sharing. Idaho looks beautiful!!

courtney said...

You just made me want to move to idaho. Man, that's good stuff. I'm also a california girl, but sometimes snow and seasons look like fun.
But then again, hitting the beach in October is nice too...
And I just read your previous post also, I think you should have a big 30th party even if it happens to be on your 31st party... Just my $.02.

bendingbackwards said...

I loved visiting Idaho, it was so incredibly peaceful before I headed to the hustle and bustle of Seattle. Even though I am a big city person at heart, I love returning to the woods to relax.

Here from ICLW.

Michelle said...

I never thought I would want to go to Idaho but now you've made me really want to go. It looks beautiful and sounds peaceful!

Kristin (kekis) said...

I, too, have never been to Idaho. The pictures you posted don't look anything like what I expected - much prettier! At least you know there is a place that you remember as a perfect escape when life gets too crazy.

Shelby said...

Courtney-I've already set my course for a wild 31st. I have some making up to do!

And as great as Idaho is, California is a pretty sweet back up plan. :) Just wish it didn't cost an arm and a leg to live here!