Last year, my family and I left the beautiful Del Norte coast for parts east, driving out 199 the day before all the Food Day festivities started at the fairgrounds. After participating in many weeks of planning, I missed all those events as we drove through Great Basin National Park, traveled the "Loneliest Highway", visited old friends in St. Louis, and finally arrived in our new home state just as Hurricane Sandy smacked the whole region with devastating winds and flooding.
It was not the welcome to your new home we were anticipating.
Things didn't work out as planned, despite the wonderful proximity to parts of my extended family and my hometown. When I was offered the blandly-titled, but absolutely wonderful Food Systems Analyst position and my husband was told he'd be welcomed back to the parks here, the decision to come back wasn't all that tough. We will miss friends and family in the east, but I think we learned that we are all Westerners now.
I'm in my third week on the job now and in the midst of planning 2013's Food Day celebrations (see our dedicated Food Day posts here). There have been good and bad changes since we left town. Wild Rivers Market opened in their expanded space shortly after we left, but Ray's closed their stores in Crescent City and Smith River.
Everywhere I've gone over the past three weeks, I've been welcomed back with open arms. It's hard to move a family across the country, but much easier when you're coming back to friends and the Redwood Coast.
We're going to be bringing the Growing Tables blog and our Community Food Council Facebook page back to life over the next several weeks. We want to be a place everyone can come to learn about food events, resources, and people. Keep checking back!