Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Home. Part 1

*Warning: this is a  Super long post written for my posterity. You are welcome to read it, but my feelings will not be hurt if you skip this one.*

This month marks the five year anniversary of moving into our home.
I don't remember the exact day that we moved in. I just know it was before Valentines day. (Adam had promised me that we'd be out of the barn by Valentines day and we were!) In the twelve and a half years that we've been married, we've had  three houses. This one...is home.

Adam and I were both born and raised in the valley, most of our extended family members lived within a short driving distance of us and we loved being surrounded by family.  We went to great schools, had awesome friends, and lots of great opportunities and experiences there. So, when we married, we both just sort of assumed that that's where we'd live out our lives and raise our children. We were happy there.

Then, A strange thing happened  several months after our wedding day. It's a little hard to describe... I was standing in front of my classroom of first graders, teaching a lesson, when out of nowhere, the thought came into my mind "Someday you will live in a small town." And in that brief moment, I saw myself, or rather felt myself in a rural, quiet, place with cool, clean air. The moment was gone as soon as it had begun, but I couldn't deny what I'd heard and felt.
I told Adam about it after work that evening. He just grinned and said  "Cool, I like small towns". He asked if I recognized the area and I told him  that it reminded me of Taylor, a small town next to Snowflake where my grandparents lived when I was younger.

Well, life went on as usual. Work was going great for Adam, and we found some awesome physicians, who we knew could help us get our family started. The Trio eventually came along and boy, were we grateful to have family close by. We began building our second home on a street where Adam's  sister, brother and parents were also building. When we moved in, it seemed as though we had our own little utopia going on. We took turns making meals for each other, watching each-others kids,  and gathering outside every evening to visit and watch the cousins play together.  Weekends were spent taking our boats out to the lake for picnics,  and wake boarding.  It seemed as though there wasn't a care in the world for us beyond potty training, and trying to get a garden to grow.

It was during this blissful time, that a nagging feeling kept telling me not to put down roots. I loved the house we built, but I just never felt like it was mine. Our ward was filled with good people, but I never felt connected to any of them.  I was feeling restless, and the warm (HOT) weather, the traffic and crowded shopping centers suddenly started bothering me when they never had before.  I knew Adam was feeling the same way, it just didn't make sense though, when everything was going so great.

Ultimately, it was Adam who pulled out a sheet of paper one night and said "let's make a list of all the places where we could live".  
Rexburg, Heber, Pendleton, Snowflake/Taylor, Springerville, Durango......
The list went on and on. It included towns we'd visited, and driven through, Towns where Adam served on his mission, and went to collage.  Towns where friends lived, and Temples were close by. This was fun! Suddenly, it felt like someone had left the gate open and we were simply free to go. We could Go anywhere! Adam had the skills and equipment to build and work anywhere. Our kids weren't in school yet. 
Why couldn't we go? 
Eventually, we narrowed the list down to towns in northern AZ. We wanted to enjoy a cooler climate but still be close enough to our families to attend mission farewells, weddings, baptisms and enjoy holidays together.

We really liked the idea of moving to Heber. It was just 2 hours from Mesa, and had lots of beautiful pine trees. We took a day trip up there one day, and spent some time getting a feel for the economy, and looking at building lots. We found a few lots that we liked, A couple of them even had lots of big trees. (Something that I'd always dreamed of..) But after spending the day in Heber, we knew that Heber wasn't home.

Oneday a short time later, my grandma had asked if anyone in the family would be willing to help her pick up some beef that she'd had processed by a butcher in Taylor. Since I had a big vehicle, and a flexible schedule, I volunteered. I packed up the kids and a picnic and made the 3 hour drive up the mountain.  
Once I got to Taylor, I had a little time before I planned on meeting my grandma so I picked up some real estate brochures and drove around town for a bit. 
Now, for those of you who have never been to Taylor, it's not exactly the Garden of Eden. It's lush and green in the summer, but there are also a lot of weeds and aside from the cottonwoods that grow along the banks of the creeks and washes, shade trees don't usually grow on their own. There are a lot of cedar trees, and shrubs, dirt, tumbleweeds and cows. To me, it was beautiful!  I felt happy, and peaceful. I couldn't wait to get home and tell Adam about it.

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