We moved last month from Mapleton to Salt Lake City. It was a difficult but logical choice. But sometimes a sensible, practical choice is a hard and painful one as well.
Here is the practical side.
First of all, I have, for almost two years, spent 60 to 80 hours commuting to work each month. I needed to convert that time into family time and a bit of it to work time. (My current job is the most demanding of my career.) My commute is now all of seven minutes, on foot—sometimes five minutes, when I hit the crosswalk right.
Secondly, my health is not all that great, still. It is a great comfort, and convenience, to be close to our domicile and my wife. Sometimes the pain comes on suddenly, and it is much better to be a few minutes from home rather than 60 miles away.
Lastly, simplification. Our lives, now on a smaller scale, are much simpler. We are living in an apartment for the first time since 1983. We have only one car. We have no yard. I won’t be shoveling any snow this winter. We live four minutes away from a grocery store. In fact, we can get to most of the places we need to go by foot or rail.
But I miss our old ward and the people I love there. I miss our kind neighbors. I miss seeing our horses out the front window. I miss our chickens. I miss our dog that we had to put down last winter. I miss my old, rattle-trap pickup. I miss the quiet of the country. I miss Maple Mountain.
If we were financially and physically able, I would move back. That is at the heart of this. We tried for many months to figure out a way to buy a house. Nothing worked. Finally, the idea of a practical move dawned on us and it has worked out well, except for the heartbreak.
My dream is to own a home on land. To own horses and cattle and chickens again. To have a barn and a shop and a pickup and a four-horse trailer. To live in a wide, open space.
My life is not my own any longer. It doesn’t feel like it, anyway. It seems like it belongs to a different purpose. As much as I feel like I’ve lost control, I also feel a need to consecrate everything I have. I don’t know where it will take me.
But I want to go home.