Fighting the Good Fight

13 09 2011

I was raised in a small town in Northern Wisconsin. When you left and turned right, you found yourself in the middle of nowhere. It was the styx, the end of the earth, the place where nothing happened. And I was raised to believe that I would leave it. I did, immediately after high school, and it was never really home again. Oh sure, it was home base – a place to do laundry, visit friends, celebrate holidays. But my heart went on the road for adventure and never really looked back.

Until now.

Perhaps it’s the social media that does it. In the midst of seeing friends and family who have made a life in that small town in the middle of nowhere, and now living in the middle of somewhere. I want it back. Not just for me mind you, but for my children.

What’s so bad about life here, in the middle of somewhere? Who wouldn’t like the warm winter weather, the history at our finger tips, the upscale atmosphere, the friendliness of the south? Well, I’m with you on some of it. Surely, living here in the middle of where our country started has been good for our family. Our kids feel a connection with American History that I never had growing up in the Midwest. They love being outside all winter long (but being inside during hot summer months). The sun shines a lot. The community is upscale, and although we live in a modest area, it is void of much more than petty crime. There are a lot of nice amenities in the community because it is upscale. So what’s the problem?

I want the simplicity of small town life. And realistically, the middle of nowhere has moved further out with the advent of the computer age. I love the idea of life in a small town. Walking places instead of driving, and if you’re driving, it’s not far. I have never thought the south was any more friendly than the people of the Midwest. There is something about Wisconsin that is so a part of me, that has never left me. I want that something to be a part of my children, too.

While people tote the ocean vacations, Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes, and what you can do with a lake or stream can be a lot more interesting than the ocean. The great outdoors is equally spectacular in both places, but I miss my streams and waterfalls, my Lake Superior and just the general change of the seasons. I will say, I don’t miss the snow. But certainly, my two little boys would covet the chance to spend a few winters in the north.

And truly, I want to share this with them. I want them to live in an area where life is slower paced, and where material possessions and amenities don’t matter, but values do. I have shown them Virginia, and now I want to show them Wisconsin and the U.P.

I want to raise them to leave, but I want them to know they can always come back.

Just like me.

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