There are three reasons men live in The Valley (not the one you may be thinking of, but the fully enclosed farm land surrounded by mountains thousands of feet high, that I call home). First there are the locals, men born and raised here. Next, those who move here for work. Considering our limited occupational opportunities they consist of mostly railroaders and foresters. Lastly there is the largest group who move here because of their passion for the outdoors and all it offers. Hunting, hiking, fishing and camping draw many men who give up good paying jobs and the conveniences of the city for a chance to live "the simple life".
On the other hand most of the women who live here have one simple thing in common. They choose to love one of those men listed above. Yes, there are the few who are local to The Valley, but unless they marry another local, they leave. It could be the cold harsh winters, the lack of retail options, the fact that a simple trip to Costco would take 2 1/2 hours (each way) or the inability to make a decent living that keeps them from home. But the facts are that most of the women I have come in contact with are from another part of the state, or even another part of the country. This uniting fact makes us proud members of a very exclusive group, the MOB, Mail Order Brides. No, our husbands did not pick us out of a catalog and send us a plane ticket. Instead we all meet and married men from this unique area, who eventually brought us "home".
My personal journey to The Valley began 15 years ago when I met and married a former grass seed farmer. Yes, that is a real thing, somebody has to harvest that stuff you spread on your lawns. But I digress. At the time I believed that his past was just that, his past. After all he was living in LA, studying to be a pastor. I could never imagine him returning to his roots (pardon the pun). But eight years later, he received a phone call that would change everything. He was offered a job at a church with fifteen minutes of the town of 200 where he grew up. And so, here we are, living in that same Valley where he learned to hunt, fish, backpack and yes farm.
Like myself, many of my girlfriends never visualised themselves living in an area where deer season is considered a national holiday. But, they fell in love and gave up good jobs, cushy lives and family to move to a place where is is not uncommon to see camo in Wal-Mart, at a wedding or even the prom. These women include a former successful sales woman who now raises a garden and "puts up" more produce than most large grocery stores. A gifted translator who now spends her extra time motivating other ladies to run marathons and attempt triathlons. And a brilliant curriculum developer who is now fully devoted to homeschooling her three children. These members of the MOB, along with many others I have met and developed lasting friendships with, awe and inspire me. The drive and determination that made them so successful in their previous lives has never left. They still push themselves and those around them to reach higher, when what most would have do is sat down and ate a box of Bon Bons.
So, this winter, when all of the passes out of The Valley are snowed shut, I think I will call up a former exec. from Nike and see if she wants to tackle a new project. After all, members of the MOB stick together.
Corn Sqush Soup (perfect for fall days)
12 strips bacon,diced
1 med. onion diced
1 celery rib chopped
2 tbls. flour
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
6 cups cooked and mashed Butternut squash
2 cans cream corn
2 cups Half and Half
1 tbls. parsley chopped
salt and pepper
In large stock pot cook bacon, remove, drain. Reserve 2 tbls drippings and saute onions and celery in it untill tender. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in broth, cooking and stiring for 2 min.
Stir in squash, corn, half and half, parsley, bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Cook untill heated through.
Garnish with sour cream and cheese.