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Mysterious Ways: The Big Move

I was a city girl. Would I ever feel at home in this small town?

City girl, that’s me. I grew up in rural Atlantic, Iowa, and dreamed of living somewhere bigger, more exciting. So after high school I moved to bustling Des Moines. That’s where I met and married my husband, Earl. I loved having everything at my fingertips—museums, specialty shops, fantastic restaurants. In our time there we’d made plenty of close friends. I never imagined living anywhere else. Des Moines was home.

Until one night over dinner, Earl turned to me. “A job opportunity has come up in Sac City—it’s a small town about 100 miles away. I think we should move.”

My jaw dropped. Sac where? How would we ever feel at home so far away from the people and city I loved?

Later I logged onto the Sac City website. Population: 2,300. Great, I thought. It’s even smaller than Atlantic! Then I noticed a link to a message board for people new to the area. I figured posting might be a way to connect with some residents—maybe make a friend. “Relocating to Sac City,” I wrote. “Looking to meet other crafters.”

A few weeks later, Earl and I moved into a temporary rental house. Each night I prayed, Lord, help me to feel at home in this new town.

One afternoon I received a response to my post. “Hi! My name’s Barb and I enjoy crafting. I live in Missouri now but called Sac City home for 18 years. You’ll love it.”

I replied right away. Barb and I had so much in common. We were both empty nesters and her husband was a lawyer just like my Earl. Even though she no longer lived there, Barb’s enthusiasm for Sac City made me see it in a new light. Soon I was strolling Main Street and had found some wonderful antique and gift stores.

A couple months later Earl and I finally found a house in Sac City. I emailed Barb right away.

“Bought a house on Oak Street. Moving in next week,” I wrote.

“Oak Street? That’s where I lived!” Barb said. “Number 607. It’s a great neighborhood.”

607 Oak Street. My new address. Suddenly Sac City felt just like home.  

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