By Kayleigh Rahn
The good news is the Rahns are not moving to Missouri.
Yes, just after the new year, William was presented with a potential for promotion that would have meant a move just across the state line to the west suburbs of St. Louis.
The promotion would have given William new responsibilities–the next step up the ladder–in a new shop, and initially we agreed there was no way we could pass on the opportunity. A promotion for William meant higher pay and the option for me to continue to write from home, albeit a Missouri home.
However, as we considered not just moving but actually leaving our community our emotions shifted.
In this season of life, it’s not just about us; it’s about our village as well.
We are building our home with our perfectly wild toddler who is the center of her grandparents’ worlds. We have friends who are not just friends but family. And, of course, William’s greatest concern was the thought of having to make new friends. He’d have to speak to humans he hasn’t known since the fifth grade. Blasphemy!
We began to plot how’d we make the move. Would we place most of our household items in storage so we could initially rent a place? At least until we sold our house.
Yes, sell our Yellow Farmhouse. Gasp.
How could we sell this place? We’ve only just started building our home here. We haven’t replaced the floors yet, and there is still no garage.
I was on assignment at the Saturday morning Tuscola Biddy Ball games when my heart officially changed. I was watching the grade schoolers learn to dribble, pass, and shoot but, more importantly, learn about teamwork, perseverance, and self-awareness when I caught myself with a smile. In that moment I couldn’t wait for Nora’s first ball game at North Ward. I remember Biddy Ball well. We played at the high school at that time, and basketball was my favorite sport, as least during those months. Biddy Ball, in many ways, becomes a right of passage for Tuscola elementary kids.
But, if we moved Nora wouldn’t be a part of this. I had a gut check moment.
I know most communities have wonderful youth sports programs but no other program is mere miles from our parents in a gym full of familiar faces and people I’ve known most of my life.
Communities take all kinds of kinds.
Natives and transplants. The left and the right. The young, young at heart, and old souls. A community cannot thrive without both fresh ideas and a sense of tradition.
It was the late Doug McCumber who once told me that all small communities need passionate people to leave town and talk fondly about where they started, but it also needs passionate people to move home to build it to its fullest potential.
That night we decided to pass on the opportunity and stay. A salary can’t replace our tribe. Ultimately the life we’re building has little to do with dollar signs.
William and I have made plans and goals– both personal and professional–that revolve around that notion and calling Douglas County home.
There is still work to be done, and that work is in this community. Nothing is more important than our village, and our village is here.