Late at night when I should be sleeping but instead I am obsessing about all the things there are yet to do, I sometimes suffer a fit of uncertainty and I ask myself “Why Wyoming?”
Because, in the dead of the night, I can’t seem to answer that question with any kind of logic or sensible reasons, it often leads to a moment of panic. The question of “Why Wyoming?” often becomes a statement, “What the heck do we think we are doing?” I might actually be a little more profane than that.
I’d like to say the choice of Wyoming as our new home state was totally rational. I’d like to say that we weighed all our options and listed the pros and cons. I’d like to say that we set up a scale of one through ten and assigned appropriate numbers to each item and then mathematically determined where it would be most logical to move.
But I can’t really say that. I can, however, honestly say that although certain factors caused us to decide, somewhat precipitously, to sell our house and move, the reality is that we had been considering moving for probably the last seven years. We don’t generally jump into things.
We considered a lot of different states. We had our list of requirements and we looked at how well each state might fit those requirements.
The first state we considered some seven years ago was South Dakota. I know what you are thinking. We get some of the same looks when we tell people we are moving to Wyoming. Oh, and by the way, not everyone who lives in Wyoming lives on a ranch. They do have cities in Wyoming. Not just towns. Actual cities.
We also looked at Montana and North Dakota. While we like our weather cooler than what it is here in the higher elevations of central Arizona, we don’t actually like it to be arctic for quite that much of the year. Or actually, quite that arctic. Period. I don’t know how the Canadians do it.
Colorado is pretty darn nice. Great scenery. But pretty much out of our price range for the most part. Same goes for New Mexico. Although there were a couple enticing homes near Taos that we considered for a while. But they were a little too remote. At our age, living off the grid might be just a little too rugged for us. Although, it does have its appeal.
I think Idaho was always going to be too expensive for us. We felt the same way about Utah.
I kept coming back to Wyoming in my mind. And then I discovered the author, C. J. Box, and his Joe Pickett novels a year or two ago.
Box writes about his home state with such love and compassion that I couldn’t help but begin to love the state as well. He writes about the people who live there, their passions, their outlook, and their way of life in such a way that it seemed to me that was just what Bernd and I were looking for in a new home state.
So we got serious about Wyoming. From there it was a matter of settling on a city. Riverton won out for a number of reasons: low population, elevation similar to where we are currently living, cooler than here but not arctic, clean air, enough infrastructure so that we would not have to drive a hundred miles to get what we need, and housing prices that would fit in our budget.
We went there. Liked what we saw. Decided to make it our new home.
Even so, I do still sometimes wonder why I chose Wyoming. And I say “I” because Bernd pretty much just decided to go along with whatever I decided. He does that a lot. It’s kind of maddening sometimes and can put a lot of pressure on me. At any rate, I’m not wholly sure there wasn’t a little romanticism in my decision. Bernd did ask me once if it was the Joe Pickett novels that convinced me about Wyoming. My answer was something like, “No!” Big thoughtful pause. “Maybe. I don’t know. Yeah, maybe a little but only a little.”
Every now and then I have a moment of panic, even when I am wide awake. But I imagine that once we are in our new home in our new city in our new state, that all the worry will just melt away. We’ll fit ourselves into our new community and get on with the getting on of life.
So why Wyoming? Why not?
[Note: Because we are moving in a few days, this will probably be my last post for a while. At least until we get the computer set up in our new house. Thanks so much for reading. I’ll be back soon.]