Listen to this post
“We are living our dream,” the woman said when asked what brought her and her husband to this area a year earlier. She went on to explain that they had always wanted to live in a little town like Meeker but could not even consider it until her husband lost his long-time job on the Front Range and found a job here. The transition seemed to be easier because not long after moving here, she found a job, as well.
The most surprising thing about her response was that she had already spent a year or so here and still maintained that the move from the Front Range was a good thing. While local business folks have been trying to get the word out about the appeal of the area, it seemed odd to stumble upon someone who purposely set their mind to moving here. The woman listed complaints about life on the Front Range of Colorado and then added that the biggest draw for the couple was that they both have jobs.
Tourists and hunters are the two groups one might expect to have such a response. It was a surprising reminder that many things about this community do continue to have appeal. Before being accused of being a person who views everything from the cup-is-half-full perspective rather than half-empty, I once again have to admit that there are many things about living here that get old really fast — the gossip, the negative response to change, the feeling of being watched. Yet, those are not endemic to this community. Every small town (that description is relative) has those flaws.
Put the word “dream” after the name of any community and it sounds unbelievable. Years ago, I first saw this done as a caption under a photograph of a ski mountain wreathed in freshly fallen snow. Of course the town was Telluride and the photo, taken by a new resident to the community, seemed to sum up the appeal of life in a ski town. The jaw-dropping scenery linked with such a light and airy and hopeful word as “dream” helped encourage others to throw off the chains of their everyday lives and move there to live their dreams.
She was the second new resident to whom I spoke about choosing to live here and their subsequent plan to stay. It wasn’t that the jobs were secondary, both realized the importance of steady employment, but they reflected the thoughtfulness that was required to try and make this place their home. Knowing that this columnist spends a lot of time thinking about life in this small town, as well as the western traditions that continue to provide the community with its unique appeal, one of the women mentioned something that she found very different from living anywhere else.
“Cans of spray paint are still on the shelves here.”
It might not something noticeable to most residents, but to those who were used to getting them from locked counter cabinets, it was one small detail that made life just a little better.