Warning – this post is fraught with run-on sentences and overt sentimentality. If you have an aversion to either of those things, you may want to find a blog to read where the writer is not suffering from a minor emotional breakdown.

I often complain about living in North Idaho. The winters are too long, the fall is too long, the spring is too short and the summer is often non-existent. I complain about the location (too far from my family), the strange people with strange ideas (I don’t believe you should have a shotgun with you when you go to the grocery store unless the butcher hasn’t gotten around to putting down your dinner yet), the ridiculous weather changes (yesterday it snowed, was sunny and rained all in the same 2-hour period and the wind almost blew our roof off last night), and the belief that a community is diverse because there is one kid in your child’s elementary class whose mother is half-Chinese (no explanation needed on this one).

Now that we are facing the very real prospect of leaving the Pacific Northwest, I see things I love about it all around me. Where else would a teenager, with no political interests, look forward to meeting an actual presidential hopeful (even if that hopeful is only Ron Paul)? In what other region do you find a hipster drinking coffee in a swanky café one minute and then turned out in camouflage to kill turkeys or deer or some other innocent creature the next? Where else would the following product sell big? (With the exception of Portland, OR, I am sure Moscow, ID has more than its fair share. I might have been tempted if I rode a bike, but alas, I do not.)

Everywhere I look these days I see things I am convinced I won’t find anywhere else (I’m sure this is not entirely true, but it feels that way sometimes). The Bagel Shop that claims to have invented the steaming process of heating their very delicious sandwiches, the sound of University of Idaho’s carillon chiming on the hour or playing different tunes for the seasons, the abundance of dogs walking with their owners or sitting at outdoor tables sharing scraps of their masters’ lunches, the feeling of safety when I send my kids to trick-or-treat on their own after dark, with little concern for their safety in our friendly community, the Moscow Co-op’s delicious vegan cupcakes and how I see someone I know everywhere I go. These are just a few of the things I will miss if we leave.

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