2.15.2009

ISOLATION

When I was 10 years old my parents moved our family from beautiful Oregon to the middle of the desert. It was devastating. Not only was it 116 degrees in the summer, but there was nothing to do. For entertainment, my friends and I would walk a mile through the open desert to a gas station. We would sit, eat ho ho's, and analyze the strange highway travelers stopping through for gas.

Every so often my mother would load up the ice chest and we would drive over 170 miles each way to the nearest real mall and Costco (at that time it was called Price Club) located in a suburb of San Diego. We'd do the long drive, complete our shopping, and turn around that evening to go home. It was insane.

One of the first things I made Erik promise me when we got married is that we would never live in the desert. Looking back, I don't think I feared the desert as much as the overwhelming isolation I experienced as a teenager living in the middle of nowhere.

Flash forward to now and we live... in the middle of nowhere! (It's debatable whether or not this is considered the desert.) Once a month I drive 45 minutes down the mountain to shop at Costco and run other important errands. I take an ice chest with me. I load the cart up so much that I can hardly push it down the aisles.

On Friday I had to head down the mountain because Charlie was sick and we don't have a pediatrician in our little town. (He has an ear infection.) The appointment wasn't till the afternoon, so I took advantage of my time and went grocery shopping. In any normal circumstance I would not be able to justify taking a sick baby shopping, but since I live so far away from everything, this was the only chance I had.

After Charlie's appointment, I learned that the only road home was closed due to snow. After waiting for three hours, they opened the road and I was able to go home.

My Scenic Drive to Costco

I hate that performing simple errands like going to Costco and taking my child to the pediatrician are huge all day events. When people complain that they have to drive ten minutes to the store, I want to hit them over the head. If you only knew what I go through to buy my pizza crust from Trader Joe's!

As a kid, I swore I would never live so far away from things that I would have to make grocery shopping an all day event. Then I grew up and realized that my husband's job was more important than where we lived and that I could choose to be happy regardless of my circumstances. I also learned that there are more important things than living close to Target and a really good outlet mall.

See, I'm not as shallow as I look.

18 comments:

  1. I always told myself when I was little that I would live on the beach...my senior year of high school my fathers job moved us to Barrow Alaska.....oh joy! Not the beach I was expecting! Its funny how perspective can change things...

    And like your mom LOVED making a day trip out of grocery shopping any more than you did right? lol

    Tell Eric to find a job closer to us......I think our babies would like eachother.

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  2. This might make me sound like a serious old timer/fuddy duddy, but I can't believe how quickly they she down the road nowadays. It is almost a joke.

    Honestly, it feels far less isolated than when I was growing up. Going to Bakes hardly seems like a big deal. I do have to laugh when people complain about driving an hour somewhere.

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  3. um...did you take that picture?? while driving? in the snow? down a hill???

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  4. Oh blessed Santa Clarita Valley where everything is soooo close by! I love it! I don't really miss Tehach (just (some) of the people). It is nice to have doctors, dentists, stores, the Temple everything so close by!

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  5. Wow. I'm glad you were only snowed out for 3 hours! I hope that your little guy is feeling better.

    We use Mullein Garlic ear drops for ear infections. (Available at health food stores, or online.) My pediatrician recommended antibiotics, but I said only as a last resort. TWO DAYS later we saw the doc again and he was astonished that there was no sign of infections. He said usually it takes 2 weeks to see healing like that... Just a few drops 2x a day kept the doc away! :)

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  6. I agree with your shopping/doctor ordeals. haha... It's crazy wondering if you are going to get stuck and not be able to get home or do you take the chance and see what happens. haha... Hope Charlie is feeling better.

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  7. At least living in the middle of nowhere really makes you appreciate things other people take for granted, like being able to get to the store/doctor in 10 minutes! I definitely give you props for being so positive about it, I don't know that I could if I was in that situation :)

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  8. 45 minutes to Costco?! I don't think I could survive! I guess I should stop complaining that we don't have all the stores and restaurants nearby that I'd like. We were just so spoiled when we lived in Sacramento. Every store and restaurant imaginable was within a 15 minute drive.

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  9. Isn't it interesting how your perspective changes? And, like Amber said, living in isolation sure does make you appreciate those little things!

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  10. I live a country away from the nearest Target. How's that for isolation? Although, my drive to Costco is 15 minutes less than yours, and there IS a mercantile in town if I'm desperate.

    Still, I miss the city.

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  11. I feel so bad about complaining about my 5 block drive to Trader Joe's because it was raining today and my kids got wet. Thanks for putting it in perspective.

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  12. Cristin, Oh how things could of been so different. I'm sorry I ruined your life.

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  13. Cristin, I'm so glad you were able to get home safely. Thanks for letting Ditte and her kids and Hans come to play in the snow with Luke today. Hans could hardly wait to go there. There's some advantages to where you live.
    Love you and glad you are only 2 hours from us. See you later this week!
    Love, mom lassen

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  14. I didn't realize you were so isolated! Eric's brother is about 2 hours from a Wal-Mart but at least there's a doctor in town. His other brother is about 1-1/2 hours from Wal-Mart (not sure about Costco) and no regular doctor that I know of (no town marshall at this point either). Of course, both of the men wanted to live in these out of the way places and I don't think my sister-in-laws mind too much. It's such a different way of life. I've never had to live where I'd have to plan about going shopping--I imagine it makes you more prepared and self-sufficient. Good for you for sticking it out!

    Do you think you'd be as diligent with your blog if you lived somewhere less isolated?

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  15. As long as you link to my blog I don't mind you kvetching about your miserable childhood. I do think that Tehachapi makes Yuma look like a mini NYC.

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  16. At least Tehachapi is prettier than Yuma!

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  17. Amen.
    And it is SO ridiculous they don't have a pediatrician there. I never got that either.

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  18. My husband always has big dreams of moving to teeny towns in the middle of no where. For a long time he wanted to move to Minot, ND. Our family would actually have to fly into Canada to visit us. I think I've gotten him off of that kick. I've decided that if you are in a small town, but it's the biggest town around, you have more big town stuff (like a Target, or more likely, a Walmart). Or if you have a college, it's not bad. I'm more of a mid sized town kind of girl.

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