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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From My Window

Issue Date: June 14, 2018

What Would You Miss the Most?



By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



In just a few days I will leave Oklahoma, where I have lived for more than 18 years, and become a Wisconsin resident again. I have been looking forward to this move for a long time, and just to convince me I am making the right decision we had the hottest May on record in Oklahoma. The heat just melts me and makes me miserable " and trends show our planet continues to set records for warming year after year. I can't imagine what Oklahoma will be like in 30 years. So the weather is NOT something I will miss.

But there are many, many things I will miss about Oklahoma, most importantly, the wonderful people who live here. Beyond our "extended family," there are kind and interesting people who I worked with for so many years; our church family; and neighbors.

But I am not going to share a list of what I will miss most about Oklahoma with you.

What I am more curious about is what people who have lived for a long time in the Marinette County area would miss most if THEY were moving away.

First of all, most of us move around a lot in our lifetimes. My move of nearly 900 miles is a relatively big one, but when the census bureau counts moves, even a short swap from one apartment to another on the next block is considered a move. Data shows the average citizen in the U.S. will move 11.4 times during their lifespan. That may seem high; but it really isn't " this considers every single place you resided from birth to death.

The census bureau data in 2015 said 14.2% of Americans moved in that year, a total of 40 million people on the move.

On the other hand, my father-in-law lived in the farmhouse he was born in until he had two short stays at the end of his life in extended care facilities. So he only moved three times that I am aware of.

I know lots of people who have lived within a short distance of their birthplace for their entire lives. I assume they like where they live or they'd make a change " but it can be easy to lose sight of the good things about your home, and fail to recognize or appreciate little things.

When I was away from Wisconsin, I missed all kinds of things. Specific foods or restaurants. The fascinating changes of season. The wildlife and beautiful rivers and lakes. The sounds of the native birds. The excitement and fun of Packer Fever. The friendly little places I fondly call "dumpy bars." Spontaneous get-together with our extended families. Our home church in Marinette, where we were married and our kids were baptized.

I can list things I still miss about previous places I lived. Two are unique sounds of my little bedroom in my parents house " summertime Whip-Poor-Wills (a bird I unfortunately have not heard in many years,) and the wintertime "hum" of the cable running past my window up to a TV antenna on the roof. It would cause a "harmonic" noise that is unique " for some reason I never heard it in the summer, only in the winter. It was a sound that would probably drive a lot of people crazy but for me, it was a familiar friend.

I still miss the view from my second floor apartment bedroom at the "Rio Vista" in Menominee " the sparkling Menominee River and the backdrop of the hustle and bustle of the interstate bridge.

And I especially miss our house on Highway 180 in Marinette, with its beautiful river view and excellent fishing, just off the bank.

I have a friend who is preparing to sell her home and, with her husband, go "full-timing" in their RV for an indefinite period of time. I know her well enough to be able to identify at least two things she will greatly miss about the place she calls home now " her comfortable and beautiful porch, and her favorite local restaurant. Another friend is from the area I live now, but he currently lives in Wisconsin. It is fun for me to hear about the things he misses about the place I currently call home, especially good Tex-Mex and BBQ food and the mild winters Oklahoma normally enjoys.

There are probably things you wouldn't even realize you'd miss about your home until you moved somewhere else. Absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder.

So take a few minutes sometime and think about what you would miss the most if you moved. And then be grateful, and appreciate the good things about that special place that you call "home."

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


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