While I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, a process still under way, our son had little choice but to come along on the trip. It was quite a journey. We lived in eight different cities while Lee was growing up.
Lee proved there may be truth to the currently overused pronouncement: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
No doubt it was difficult for Lee to periodically leave good friends and adjust to a new community and school. I've often regretted causing those problems for him. But I think he became a man of integrity and honor who has been able to adapt to difficult situations partly because of his diverse experiences. The nature of two communities we lived in may have contributed positively to his development.
Forbes latest list of the top 10 best places to raise a family in the
includes two cities where we have lived. Forbes ranked metro areas based on
household incomes, costs of living, housing affordability, home ownership,
commuting times, crime rates, and local school quality. Lee attended school and
participated in organized sports in two of the top 10-- Boise,
Idaho, and . Ogden, Utah
Lee, Sandy, and I conferred today about characteristics of the places we've lived. We agreed the Forbes people got it right with
Ogden and Boise.
But, because it would be almost impossible to quantify, the raters didn't
consider the factor we believe was most important. We all thought the people in
those two cities generally were pleasant, thoughtful, and helpful. For us, good
people made Ogden and Boise good places to live.
This might lead you to think I was pretty smart about picking places to apply for jobs. Not so.
We had never set foot in
before moving to Boise.
The only individual consulted was my sister, who knew a little about the city
because her husband worked for Boise-Cascade and they had visited company
headquarters a few times. The endorsement was lukewarm at best. Jane's final
statement was, "I suppose its OK if you like sagebrush." We made the
change simply because it was time for me to move on.
We moved to
strictly to get a Forest Service promotion and the improved income that came
with it. Most of the comments I heard before the move were negative, but that
was because my boss (who had lived in Ogden
earlier) mounted a campaign to convince me not to leave Idaho. Some of it was absurd.
The most imaginative, and least convincing, statement by
Boise National Forest
Supervisor Ed Maw was, "Those Mormons will steal your horse; then they'll
steal your wife."
Well, I didn't own a horse, and
Sandy has stayed on as my beautiful wife to
this day. We didn't find a lot of bad guys in Utah. What we did find in Ogden,
just as we did in Boise,
were good neighbors and friends.