Some of you may remember when, I closed down my blogs at the end of 2013 because I was at the end of post-grad and we had a new foster daughter. And then I started teaching and just never got back into writing. Recently we moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Cheyenne, Wyoming – in December…and it seems appropriate to start writing again. Maybe I can answer a few questions for those of you who were a bit surprised.
You moved where?! Where is THAT??
Why the heck would we move to Wyoming?? Well, it really started as a tiny seed in undergrad (2009), Rich and I have this seemingly harmless way of kicking around entertaining ideas. One of those has always been, “Hey, why don’t we move someplace with seasons and small towns.” So not long after we said this out loud, he had a work associate that transferred to Torrington, Wyoming and we thought for a fleeting moment…where is Wyoming anyway? Be honest, at least 5 of you had to look on the map. No, we have no major airports. There are two Walmart’s, one Target, three Starbucks (although I have only verified that two really exist) and a Barnes and Noble. And I can’t really tell you what else is missing….because I don’t miss it!
Oh yeah, what made us move and why, Wyoming? So, it really started with some personal transitions, a death in the family, our foster journey and a lot of little changes in our family. We also went through some huge big city problems…burglary, random gun shots, another burglary and we realized we didn’t want to raise our children in a city of 1.6 million people. Having grown up in a smaller town in Indiana, I had some idea of what we were missing, but we still didn’t know where we wanted to go. So at this point we were sure about seasons and less people, that was about it.
And then Rich got a job offer, in Portland. Mm, Portland, Oregon. We looked at the city, the cost of living, the clouds, the beach….but it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t that much smaller than Phoenix and every time he was ready to go, I wasn’t and every time I was ready to go, he wasn’t…This job offer came in three times, making us think about moving each time.
Nothing felt right in Phoenix anymore, but we didn’t feel right about where to go either…and then God brought new people into our lives. Encouraging, supportive people. Some were friends for our kids, some were support for us, some were just passing through, but they all had a positive, sunny attitude in common and little did we know, an area of the country.
So finally, I Facebooked a friend of mine who had made a similar decision to move her family across the country from Arizona to North Carolina. I told her how we had been feeling and asked what possessed her to move her family of 6 to a strange new place. The details of her decision made perfect sense, she simply chose a state that had what they loved and needed. So, I made a list of what we all loved and needed and when the research was complete, I came back with a list that had strange and amazing similarities.
The list was South Western South Dakota, Western Nebraska, Western Iowa, and Eastern Wyoming. What was so amazing about the list? Out of all 50 States, it was one area and ALL of those new encouraging people were from this area. So, I started applying for jobs and most of those job interviews came from Cheyenne. That is when I flew out to Cheyenne and fell in love with her.