I just returned from vacation. Greg and I went to the OR coast with a friends, (the coast is WAY more fun when you have someone to build sand castles with) and upon returning home I headed further east for a wedding. Being close enough to spit, I couldn’t resist traveling a couple of hours further to spend a day on the water with my daughter. On the long drive home, on what would have been my 30th wedding anniversary with Jim, I hiked in and had a glorious solo half hour soak in Jerry Johnson Hot Springs. It was bittersweet, as grief filled memories always are. A longing for the past, that can never be again. And gratitude for who and where I am now.
In the course of less than ten years, I’ve lost my husband to brain cancer, my two children have been launched into independent adulthood, my dog died of old age, and I sold the home that we all lived in together as a family. I dated a bit, I met a man. We bought land, built a house, and got married. Yes, in that order. We now have a barn cat that adopted us, 9 chickens, and two horses. I am tapering down from a 35 year career as a physical therapist and I am running for Latah County Commissioner.
When I am out talking to folks at senior meals and standing on their doorsteps, I hear a lot about wanting all the advantages that economic growth will bring to the area. Better infrastructure, increased tax base for education, and new opportunities for employment. I also hear a longing to maintain our rural quality of life, our rich agriculture, and our public lands. Many families have lived here for generations, and there is nostalgia for their childhood memories. Change is bittersweet.
My opponent in this race is of the same gender and political party as the fine gentleman who will be entering a well deserved retirement from the board of county commissioners. From reading his platform, he is running on “keeping the balance” of the current board, a “no change” ideal. In my last few months of sitting in on commissioner meetings, there is much to be said for “no change.” The current board gets along well, they respect and have the respect of all the county departments, and they genuinely seem to like each other. I certainly don’t want to change this aspect of the role. It is an ideal to strive for.
There is a saying that there is nothing in this life that is assured with the exception of death and taxes. I venture that we should add “change” to that list. Whether incremental or sudden, we all experience change in our lives, in our community, and in our world. I will make a great County Commissioner. I can do change. I’ve had a lot of practice in the last decade.