Only recently, my home town of Carnation put in its first stoplight.
My mom grew up in the tiny farming community and after my dad retired from the Marines, we came to the Pacific Northwest from Marietta, Georgia, to be closer to family and help take care of my great grandmother.
I was eight years old and I hated it (the move, not my great grandmother).
When my parents told me we were relocating to the opposite corner of the country, I knew it meant leaving all the friends I had made and the only life I had known. The reality of the situation didn’t truly hit me until our route through the South and up the Left Coast materialized.
Eventually, the memories of the Peach State faded and at some point, my identity became about where I was instead of where I used to be.
But when high school finished, I still wanted to get out of the small town I felt I had outgrown. After all, how could I possibly live my dreams from within the clamped reaches of the Snoqualmie Valley? What was left for me in a town without a stoplight?
College took me to Oregon and provided an amazing experience in another of our region’s diverse and eclectic cities. But after four years of long drives home for holidays and only seeing my parents a few times a year, the allure of the Puget Sound beckoned.
After living in Everett for the past two years, the beckoning became an outright order. And this time, it was coming from even closer to home.
In a little under six weeks, my fiancee and I will move into our new home on a piece of land that has everything we have longed for, for longer than we even knew.
It has a mammoth fenced yard for our two Jack Russell Terriers to run out any hint of the “cabin fever” that has dogged them during apartment life, enough bedrooms to host out-of-town guests and all the prospects of a shimmering future.
And to think, I found it all in a town with only a single stoplight.