One of Cindy’s favorite channels is HGTV (Home and Garden Television). Until we downgraded our package, Food Network was a close second. I like some HGTV shows too, like House Hunters, a reality show about a couple or individual weighing three options for a new home, what they like or don’t like.
We also like the spin off, House Hunters International. Sometimes we imagine ourselves searching for a flat in Europe or a bungalow in South America. If even for a half hour, we consider moving to some exotic place. We don’t consider how we would do this. Maybe after that book I’ve written and the publishing deal it accompanies.
It’s ironic that we would dream of moving out of the country when for the past decade or so we’ve pondered little else than moving back closer to family in Arizona. (I suppose we could move to Mexico.) In case you weren’t aware, we moved here to Ohio in 2001. We’d only been married a few years; Lindsay was 2 and Jacque not even 1. We thought we’d live here for a few years, as I got some needed experience in my field, and then move back. Obviously, God’s plans were different than ours.
Lately we’ve been thinking more pragmatically about a move, though the least pragmatic reasoning involves a contest we entered online daily for more than a month. HGTV gives away their “Dream Home” every year. They build a $1 million-plus home somewhere in the United States and furnish it and people enter a drawing to win it. Years back Cindy entered the contest for a house in Oregon, as she’s always wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest, where she was born. This year’s home is in Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City.
Infatuated with the Landscape and Clime
Why would we consider Utah? Because last summer we visited Cindy’s father who lives there. I’d never been to Utah, despite that it’s Arizona’s neighbor to the north. It’s where my dad lived before and where his estranged sons still live, one of whom we visited.
If I didn’t fall in love with Utah then, I was at least instantly infatuated with the landscape and climate. In our past considerations of relocating back to Arizona we’ve often wondered: Could we live back in the desert? With the heat and absence of seasons? The lack of color? And did I mention the heat?! Utah was a bit toasty when we went in June, but the humidity was minimal. And the mountains were gorgeous. It reminded me of a weekend trip to Colorado years ago.
Last June we’d stayed in Utah for about three days before driving the rest of our journey to Yuma, a mere 11- 12-hour drive. We imagined living only a day’s drive from the rest of our family. We could be there for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Birthdays would be plausible. We could host family escaping the July heat. Or those interested in playing in the cold white stuff.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
Speaking of which, we’ve grown to love seasonal changes. There’s something about enduring a 5-month winter that causes you to appreciate spring and summer. And autumn is gorgeous if not for the impending winter. This winter in Ohio has been a bit discouraging. Although we’ve loved the higher temperatures, the lack of snow has been disheartening. We haven’t gotten nearly enough to play in. I hear Utah gets a lot of snow. I might have to learn to ski.
It’s doubtful we’ll be awarded the Dream Home this year, but it has caused us to focus more intently on our goals. We like where we live now. (I’ve grown more comfortable with the rural environment.) And we love our church. It would be hard to leave, as it always is. But a day’s drive to home and a breathtaking landscape and Grandpa Jensen nearby would make the move easier.
Speaking of grandparents, the last time I spoke to my grandma (whose first question, even before a hello, whenever I see or talk to her is, “When are you moving back to Yuma?”) I told her about our thoughts concerning Utah, and she seemed pleased. Perhaps she’d long resigned that we’d never return and Utah was a welcome surprise.
When will we move? Not anytime soon. We still need to sell our house in Toledo. Will we move at all? That’s entirely up to God. We present to him our request, but he has the final say. And he is the one who would make provision. We make plans, and he guides our steps.
Until then (if there is a then), we will continue to serve faithfully here and enjoy small town life.