When I first moved to where our family now lives, I was 21, fresh out of college and ready to start my career in broadcast news as a reporter for our local NBC station. I envisioned moving on after my first job, climbing the ladder to better and better news markets until eventually I wanted to end up working for a major network, such as FOX in New York. I wanted to be a wife and mother someday, too, and I never could quite figure out how these different tracts would merge.
Before I moved, an older friend asked what I'd do if I met my husband in my new city. I just laughed at the idea, because I thought every guy here would be a cowboy, and that really wasn't my big-city type. Yet, a few weeks after attending one of the churches here, I met the man who is now my husband.
After a few months of spending time in groups with friends, we started dating. After about six months of dating, we were engaged. After six more months, we were married. Although he no longer rodeos or works on a ranch, I ended up marrying a cowboy after all. It turned out alright. Going on nine years and soon-to-be four kids later, here we are--in the same small town I had such a hard time adjusting to.
When you move from a city of over a million to a city of about 50,000, it's a huge adjustment. No more Pier 1 Imports, or Cost-Plus World Market, or Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks in it. None of the places I loved to go just to browse were anywhere within a half day's drive. Plus, the landscape here was so different than where I was raised in the Midwest, with hills and hills of green grass and more trees and lakes than you can count.
After living here for about six months, I flew home for a week. When the plane touched down here again, I really didn't want to be here. If it weren't for my husband (at the time, my boyfriend), I would have taken another job offer I had received and high-tailed it out of here. But I stayed. And I'm glad I did.
This small town grew on me. Now I love it. There's that saying that with God, there are no coincidences. I love that no matter where I go, it seems like I always bump into someone I know. These spontaneous visits are always fun and encouraging.
I love the family-feel our city offers. Today was our local parade day to kick off the county fair. Most all of the businesses close for the morning, if not for the day. Families, children, and senior citizens line both sides of the main downtown streets to watch the parade floats pass by and catch candy.
Our city is growing. We now have not one, but two Starbucks; we recently got an Olive Garden; and a Kohl's department store is on the way. We have beautiful mountain views and plenty of outdoor activities. It's just a good place to raise a family. I'm glad my friend turned out to be right: I met my husband after all, and this city has become my home.