My previous comments about Utah and my vacation were a bit jumbled. Visiting my family in Utah does make me feel conflicted, though I think I came across in a couple of ways that weren't intended. I will try to clarify here a bit, though without specifics, it may be hard.
First of all, we have no current intention to move. My thoughts are for the long term. In a year I have an adjustable rate mortgage that will need attention; in two years I will have a variety of employment options and all of my kids in school all day; I will also have a child entering middle school. In the current economy it is hard to say if thinking ahead is helpful . . . or just frusturating. If we want to make life changes then two years from now is a great time to do it. The question is whether or not that move will be to a house down the street with a laundry room that doesn't double as a garage, or if that move will be a major life change.
Mike's late comments on the post were well-taken. Of course making a decision to stay or go doesn't mean more or different revelation won't come later. However, as I have gotten more settled in our current community, and ponder on my own growing up, I have begun to feel strongly that there are very real merits to putting down roots. And yes, the blog is still going to be titled "Nomad." A person might relieve restlessness in a lot of ways that don't involve renting a moving van. I finished Little Women; Jo ultimately started a school. Hm . . . .
Mike's comments were further noted: I agree absolutely that a righteous family can be raised anywhere. And so can an unrighteous family. I also recognize that even doing your best and being very committed as parents still won't take away kids' choices. I was misunderstood in my previous post if I seemed to be saying that all Utah Mormons are a certain way. I certainly don't believe that, and I willingly admit that I am largely a product of a small-town Utah background. I do think, however, compared to where I have been living, and feel very comfortable living, the outward trappings of success and properity in Utah are so apparent. Coming from a state with some deep economic depression to a place that changes dramatically every time I come (more businesses, homes creeping further and further up the hills . . .) is, quite truthfully, overwhelming.
And there are some very good-looking people in my parents' ward. And my parents live in an affluent area. And there are some incredibly righteous people in my parents' ward. Many of them are the same people. Many of them have had deep and difficult trials--they just don't happen to be things that show up when you are looking at their lovely faces and homes. Based on the friends I have had over the years, I can't really have any other opinion. I do apologize if I came across otherwise.
I know that if we stay in Oregon we will sacrifice some of of the loveliest things about my own childhood, but we will have other opportunities. I guess. Those things are unknown. I am not sure if it takes courage to strike out on a new path, or if I'm just avoiding the going back to Utah thing because being there makes me remember things that I have long tried to put behind me. Maybe staying away is just running.
So here is my short list of things I do really love/like about Utah. I can be reasonable.
1. The view from my mother's deck. When the air quality is good (half the time?) you can see 20 miles.
2. The radio station 101.9 The End. Nobody else has one like it. I heard new songs from bands I didn't think existed any longer.
3. The accent. It is just so funny. When I miss it I can just tune into RS or Young Women's General Conference.
4. A church on ever corner. My kids get a kick out of counting them.
5. There are just so many temples. *sigh*
6. Logan. I could do a whole post on what I love about Logan. Oh, wait, I have. What a glorious couple of days of true homecoming I had there.
7. The local high school and its unchanging rhythms--two a day football practice, early morning range, the teacher parking lot filling up before school begins next week, the red and black tee-shirts in the local grocery store.
8. Seeing people I know almost every where I go.
9. Wards and primaries chock-a-block full of people.
10. Aggie Ice Cream, turkey steaks, Creamies . . . you know, the food you can only get in Utah. Don't miss the Jell-o so much. (My sister brought "Y" shaped jigglers to the family party.)
11. Family parties following a day on Dad's boat.
All wasn't well this time. There was a degree of drama that threatened to overwhelm everyone. I was glad to be able to walk away, but feel guilty for not being there at the same time. Conflict, conflict, conflict. . . . maybe it isn't Utah. Maybe it is family. Maybe it is me.