Those are my boys at the picturesque Mormon barns near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Can you imagine living there? Well, I lived not too far from there are a child.
Okay, it was actually Idaho Falls, Idaho, about two hours away from this location. Last week, our family took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and on our way, we took a quick stop by my old stomping grounds. I was obsessed with finding my childhood home, remembering the familiar streets and marveling at how the empty fields that used to blend in with our backyard — where I used to wander for hours finding obsidian arrowheads and old horseshoes — had been built over with suburban homes.
You didn’t know that about me, did you?
“You only lived there for two years,” my husband reminded me, as we drove around trying to find the small barley farm my parents once owned as an investment. See, the photo of my boys at the Mormon barns isn’t that much of a stretch! I think he was trying to hint that I was obsessing about something that was a short time, a long time ago.
But I always wonder how much my time in a relatively rural part of the country influenced who I am today. My family moved to the Bay Area at the end of my fourth grade year. Even at nine-years old, I experienced a bit of culture shock. Never had there been more than one or two other Asians at my school. I felt like the country mouse, in my Lee jeans when the other girls (fourth grade, mind you) wore Dolphin shorts with their butt cheeks hanging out. I thought Donny Osmond was a little bit rock and roll, while the other kids were listening to Journey. I sometimes wonder how I would have turned out if my family had stayed in Idaho instead of moving to California.
Are you an Asian American living in a small town? What was it like for your family?