When we moved to Wisconsin a little over a year ago, I had numerous people ask me where we had moved from. When I said Colorado, more than a few of them got a funny look on their face and asked, “why did you move to Wisconsin from there?”
That’s an excellent question, actually. Colorado is seen as a mountain paradise by many, and I freely admit that I was excited to move there back in 1997. The mountains are beautiful, and are absolutely breathtaking when the sun reflects off of them or as the sun sets behind them. There’s also lots of fun to be had in the mountains, whether it be hiking, off roading, or just exploring the quirky communities that are all over up there.
But, my fascination has always been with the water. Big water, specifically. I know that can be traced back to living in North Carolina from the age of 11 months through 7 years and then moving to Michigan after that. The time spent around the ocean and more specifically, the Great Lakes, made me a water creature. Colorado doesn’t really have any of that, so whenever my travels took me back to Michigan or anywhere with big water, I made sure to spend as much time around it as I could. It was the one thing I missed the most about being in Michigan.
I was also living in the Denver metro area, which was by far the largest place I had ever lived. When we arrived in 1997, the metro population was almost 2.3 million people. These days it is close to 2.9 million people. Most of the other places I’ve lived over the years had a metro area population of maybe 400,000 to 500,000. Maybe. Heck, the county in which I went to high school maybe had 10,000 people living there, so it was big city compared to past places I’ve lived.
Not that there is anything wrong with big metro areas. I really enjoyed many of the perks it had to offer. There were major league sports, cultural events, parks, recreation opportunities, plus the mountains within 30 minutes of my front door. I was heavily involved with officiating high school basketball and football. These were things I either might or certainly wouldn’t have had in other places. I’m grateful for my time there.
So, why did I move? Well, my son had moved to Oklahoma with his mom about a year and a half before. He had spent some time living with me, but he did go to be with her. I couldn’t stand the job I was in, and honestly, the opportunity for finding a similar paying job in my field were slim. Basically, I had nothing left there that I really cared about. Ok, that isn’t entirely true. My SO and I had been together for about 6 months at that point, but she was more than willing to move with me (we had known each other for about 6 or 7 years prior to starting to date). Also, my mom and step dad were in the area having moved there barely a year before. But, my mom understands very well the pull of having a wild hair, so after the initial shock of telling her, she was supportive. Plus, it gave them an excuse to move back to Michigan. I was also tired of the growing sprawl. It wasn’t going to get any better. Finally, though, I missed the feel of the Great Lakes region. Even though I had been away from Michigan for longer than I ever lived there, it was still home.
Why Wisconsin, then? Well, I applied for a job with a large software company that has some great benefits and a fun atmosphere. I was lucky enough to get flown out for an interview, and even though it was mid February with freezing cold temperatures, I fell in love with the area instantly. The area was exactly what I had in mind. I left the next day knowing that if I were offered the job, I would take it. I just had to convince my SO, which wasn’t too difficult, although she’s not a big fan of winter.
So, it has been a year now and life is good. I am so much more at home in this part of the country. Even though Lake Michigan is over an hour away, it is great knowing that if I want my big water fix, it isn’t that far of a drive.
Thanks for reading this installment! I hope to have more in a day or two. One housekeeping note. If you are on Facebook, please “like” my page that I’ve created for this blog. The link is http://www.facebook.com/spartaninbadgerland. It’s pretty sparse as far as content goes just yet, but I’m working on it.
Ok, that’s it for now. Take care, and have a wonderful day!!