Fitting in or kicking pricks?

Clarice McKenneyI appreciate that as of now we have the right to speak our mind. But I truly believe we do not have an “inalienable” right to our own “facts.”

The man who wrote the letter to the editor, “Reasonable people have had enough,” and the two men who replied to it all said they lived in California for over a decade. That means something to me.

My husband’s and my family members have lived in the Bay Area 50-plus years, in the case of my brother’s family, and in the LA area 90-plus years in the case of my husband’s stepfather’s family.

Both Dad’s family and my brother’s continue to live in Southern California, my brother having moved close to their daughter’s family just north of San Diego a few years ago.

My sister-in-law told me that she truthfully hates her new area, but the rest of the family love it. When we visited there this spring, she explained that she mourns the loss of her friends, activities and surroundings of a lifetime. But, true to her loving spirit, she recently threw herself into dedicated work in their new church near Wildomar.

Each of us chooses whether to fit ourselves into new surroundings or “kick at the pricks” there. If bad-mouthing where you came from helps you adjust to far-north Idaho life, so be it.

All of Dad’s three sons continue to love where they are, and Dad and Rob’s three stepbrothers all consider themselves Christian Nationalists.

But maybe the three men writing LTE here do not consider themselves in the same camp as Rob’s family.

Clarice McKenney
Bonners Ferry

4 thoughts on “Fitting in or kicking pricks?

  1. It’s probably a consequence of me spending too much time online, but I’ve come across an awful lot of others online who purportedly have lived in Idaho their whole lives, and who write something along the lines of, “Don’t move here to Idaho from California and bring your stinking liberal ideas with you. Besides, Idaho is already full!” I have never, in the nearly six years I’ve lived here, encountered anyone in person from north Idaho who has told me that.

    For every individual who thinks I’ve relocated from California to transform every Idaho city and town into Newsomville, there’s someone from Boundary and Bonner Counties who is convinced I’m trying to do the exact opposite, with a nearly-identical degree of indignation. Caught somewhere in the middle! I can’t win! Actually, that’s usually not true on a day-to-day basis; my wife and I have generally felt welcomed here, and have made friends.

    People make choices. I think those made by the California state government are extremely harmful, corrode our societal fabric, and make individuals more unhappy than need be. As is pretty much always the case, follow the money. I and most other West Coast transplants here don’t want to see Idaho’s government resemble California’s in any way. Why would anyone? Full stop.

  2. I don’t think I’ve met Eric Lindenbusch yet, but I hope I do.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to add something to this ongoing dialogue that others started.

    Interestingly enough, when I moved here in ’97 and first tried to fit into the community, I had been on the board of Cathedral Park Neighborhood and very much an activist for community betterment. I was told to my face that ideas brought from Portland, Oregon were not welcome.

    The man renting at the bottom of my new home’s hill saw me working on the hill and told me to get away because the place had just been bought by a “Californicator.” I told him right then that I had just bought my new home and was actually from Portland. “Same thing,” he said.

    It’s true that I also did not feel welcome to bring in “new” ideas for a couple of decades after moving here.
    But eventually I settled in to see and hear from locals who were proud of being part of three or four generations of Boundary County residents.

    Ironically, I understood their perspective. My mother was the first member of her family to leave Maine a few years after my birth there since her ancestor founded the state’s 10th Congregational Church about 1720. That made me the 8th generation living in that part of Downeast Maine before we left. We left because my father entered the Air Force as a Chaplain.

    Before I graduated from high school at Mead in Spokane, I had attended schools in Alaska, Florida, three different towns in upstate New York and Spokane, Washington.

    My brother and I spoke recently about being grateful we had moved to so many far-flung places. It helped him stay in one town (San Jose) for over 50 years until he finally moved closer to their daughter and grandkids. In my case, I’m grateful to have lived in very gorgeous locations with good jobs and good friends I met along the way.

    I’ve lived in Bonners Ferry 27 years now, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere.

    As a relative newcomer, I pray daily that God will help us restore this community to the “Mayberry” it was when I moved here.

    1. Clarice, I think I hear what you are trying to say… This “Mayberry” thing you keep referencing is a fictional town based on Andy Griffiths hometown. There inlies the problem…Bonners Ferry is not an idea, it is our home, our lifestyle, where we work, raise our kids. Day in and day out. We welcome all who come to better our community, but contribute they must….

  3. Thank you very much for sharing all of this with me and with other readers here! I am sorry to learn of the negative experiences you endured when you first moved here. It sounds a bit like an incident I had in 1986, only a few weeks after my mom and I moved to the north SF Bay Area from Missouri, and she was trying to make a left turn at a busy intersection that had (and still has, to this day) double left turn lanes in both directions. When the light turned green, my mom started forward, saw the opposite direction left turn traffic approaching, was certain we were going to end up in a head-on collision in the middle of the intersection, she hit the brakes, and some guy behind us, noticing our Missouri license plates, screamed, Why don’t ya go back to Missouri??!!” That was a pretty dubious introduction to our new place…not a good omen!

    Oh, I remember what else I wanted to write: In 1997, when you moved here, the population of Portland was right about 500,000. Seems like the renter at the bottom of the hill was painting with an awfully broad brush, going on a totally wild assumption when he told you to “go away” for no valid reason whatsoever. If anyone can help us to restore this community to a “Mayberry,” it’s definitely God. I’ll try my best to cooperate with Him! I hope you and other readers here have a good Memorial Day holiday. 🙂

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