The adventure has started! A week ago the movers packed almost all of our worldly possessions into the back of a truck, bound for goodness knows where. Everything else has been crammed into the one car that we are holding onto. We’re living out of suitcases, on the road for our nation’s capital.
We are tremendously excited about what lies ahead. I have been working and studying for this job for most of my adult life. As a couple we have loved exploring new places and building relationships with people of other nations and cultures. We are excited and ready for this next stage.
It’s important, though, to look back at what we are leaving. You have to think about where you’ve been before you can go where you’re going.
We never expected to land in Rhinelander, WI. We both grew up in big cities and spent our early adulthoods having adventures abroad. Moving to a small town near the top of Wisconsin was the last thing we had in mind… but it seems that the Divine (as He often does) was arranging His own plans. Two years after arriving we left, shedding so many tears. We came to love this place where we never expected to be, and there is much that we will miss that we just don’t expect to find in DC. What follows is a list of the things we will miss…it doesn’t include everything, and it’s in no particular order.
- We’ll miss bumping into people we know everywhere we go. Grocery store, farmers’ market, library, movie theater, you name it. We love the sense of community we get just by being out and about.
- We’ll miss the Hodags, Hodags, everywhere! I don’t know if we will ever again live in a community that has its own mythical beast.
- We will miss polka on the radio every Saturday morning! There’s nothing like trying to dance a polka while you flip your Saturday morning pancakes. Thanks, WXPR! Especially Polka Don and Polka Ken…
- We’ll miss the Northwoods media in general. I love turning on the TV or radio, or opening the paper, and hearing/seeing/reading the work of talented and energetic journalists who are almost exclusively focused on what is happening in our community. The media tends to get picked on in this day and age…for good reason much of the time… but I have to say I’ve been impressed with how many of these local reporters do their jobs
- We’ll miss the Friday Night Fish Fries in every restaurant. Crispy golden goodness…enough said!
- We’ll miss the Oneida County Fair. Definitely the best Fair in the State, if not the country…it’s one of the best parts of the summer.
- We’ll miss the peaceful beauty of the Northwoods. The lakes, trees, animals, and skies are a rare treasure. I’m sure that for many years as I close my eyes to sleep at night I will find calm by imagining myself snowshoeing past white pine covered in thick blankets of fresh powder, or encountering a doe while biking through a landscape of the best fall colors anywhere.
- We’ll miss working at UW Extension. This organization has been a wonderful place for both of us. It’s mission is incredible, and it’s staff (locally and around the state) are incredibly passionate, dedicated and capable people who are working hard to tackle so many of the struggles faced by the people of the state. We’ll always have a special place in our hearts for Extension.
- And we will miss more individual people than we can count or list. Friends and colleagues, all of whom have become like family to us during the ups and downs of the last few years. You know who you are. We already miss you.
Goodbye, Rhinelander. It’s been good, and we will be back someday.