Most of you know that we picked up and moved our life to a whole new world 5.5 years ago. No one in our whole family (not even ourselves) had ever even seen the place we chose to move to, and it a lot of days, it’s like living in a different country. The people groups here are many and unique. Some are known (as a whole) for being not only unfriendly, but not wanting new folks around. These are the old-timers that have had this place to themselves for the most part and either their parents or grandparents came straight from Finland. This area is so Finnish that it’s been said it’s more Finnish here than Finland. Don’t get me wrong, we have come to love many Finlanders and many have welcomed us with open, well…open handshakes. But, there are some very specific ways we have been hinted to that we don’t belong.
Also, you surely know that we get winters so severe here that not only do we chuckle at anyone who remarks about, or complains about a few inches of snow, but these winters are literally so bad that it allows us to inhabit a sparsely populated land with very few people. Between the storms and the insects that have their own months (more on this later), not many folks decide they could ever hack it and the ridiculous amount of work it takes to live in feet of snow for the majority of the year. Fine by us! We love our elbow room! Someone we know very recently had a doggedly determined visitor who poo-pooed the drive up here through a major storm. “Pshhh…” they said. We shrugged and warned. 8 or so hours into their 10 hour drive, they gave up and turned around and went home. It’s not a joke. It can be deadly-dangerous, and it’s hard to describe unless you’ve seen it with your own eyeballs.
We will never leave. We rarely complain. We do get cabin-fever about mid-February and for half a second, we question our own sanity and life choices. But we all chime in with reminders about pure land, pure water, freshest air, cleanest everything, and the freedom that a lack-of-neighbors brings. And then summer comes, and we revel in every beauty you can possible imagine. And fall brings scents and sights and scintillating views that make us feel like every single day is a miraculous gift. There are days like today when we hike through the feet of snow to choose and cut our own Christmas tree, and we decide the winter is absolutely divine.
Do you love where you live? What makes you stay? Do you live there because everyone you know lives there? What made you choose your place to land and dwell? Would you transplant if you could?
I wonder these things so often when I hear the unhappy-ish sounds of folks who live in cold states, yet hate the snow. Or those who hate the humidity, but live where the air seems to drip. Do we negate our right to complain if we choose it? You know, I kinda think we do.
Life is meant to be lived and risks are meant to be taken and this country is a big place! There’s so much to see and seize!
Could you make some little changes that would make you happier? We all dream of *someday.* For each of you, I wish that your somedays could begin a little closer to now.