Editor’s note: Carol Foht of Providence offers some of her personal history and ideas in today’s edition of “My Way,” a new regular feature where readers share something about themselves and offer ideas about what they would do to improve Cache Valley and the world. To participate and learn the guidelines, contact managing editor Charles McCollum at email@example.com.
What would I change in Cache Valley? Let’s start with what I wouldn’t change.
My husband and I moved here five years ago from Dubuque, Iowa. We were pushing 70 (boy, that’s hard to believe!), and decided “on the spot” to move here. After living within 13 miles of the Dubuque area all our lives, we pulled up stakes and headed west.
OK, so I should explain there were a couple of reasons we picked Cache Valley. Our daughter Holly Conger and her family live here. (Ah, now you get it!) But we wouldn’t follow them if this was just “anyplace.” And year after year, we found this wasn’t “just any place!” The beautiful mountains, valleys, the hiking and ATV trails, many community activities — not to mention being able to listen to the “quiet.” The mountains seem to buffer sounds of everyday living. It all pulled at our heartstrings.
Let’s not forget the weather … we love it! If you’ve ever spent a winter in the Midwest, you’ll understand. Here there’s no high humidity that can take your breath away in the summer heat. Winters are not bone-chilling cold with, snow, ice, wind, subzero temperatures for days and days in a row. And there are way more sunny days here. Don’t get me wrong, we loved living in Iowa. So our decision was not about being unhappy. It was more about writing a new chapter in our lives. Iowa was not going to be our last rodeo!
During visits to Cache Valley over the years, we enjoyed hikes in the mountains, trips to Bear Lake for a raspberry shake, going to Great Harvest for good bread and the biggest samples you could imagine. (Now we take our Iowa friends there!), and a cup coffee and music at Caffe Ibis. Did I mention the friendly people here? The whole area touched our hearts. It was as if there was an invisible sign out there that said “YOU are welcome to Cache Valley!”
Several years ago Holly introduced me to Sue Fuhriman. Learning I loved horses, Sue invited me to go riding with her. I swear that day I died and went to heaven. With miles of trail hours under their saddles (and Sue’s tutelage), those horses knew exactly what was expected of them when they were ready to hit the trail. Talk about experiencing the West! I had never ridden in the mountains before, and here I was. The wildflowers, the open space views, and miles of mountain tops and azure blue skies — it was like being in a scene from “The Sound of Music.” I told Sue, “We have to live here.” But, was it an elusive dream? In 2014 we proved it wasn’t!
We love the slower pace here. Please don’t be in a hurry to change that. I know progress is banging on the door, but don’t be in too big of a hurry to be BIG in a hurry!
We love our church community … St. Thomas Aquinas. We have such great diversity there, and it has opened our eyes to so much about people of all different cultures. It’s a blessing.
I know USU is huge for bringing in cultures from all over the world, having highly skilled people and world-class research projects. What a treasure trove!
The arts in the valley are provided with creative ways to expose them to the public. The gallery walks, the theaters and the many events offered at USU to name a few. And those daily summer events at the Tabernacle provided by local as well as “visiting” talent are fantastic. A special thanks to those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring things together day after day all summer long. You’re efforts are so appreciated!
OK, no place is PERFECT. What would I change? Just to name a few things:
How in the world did you miss not having more directional arrow lights on Main Street in order to make a left-hand turn? No wonder people run red lights after the lights change to avoid sitting through another whole long string of cars and possibly missing another chance to cross!
People need to learn what S-T-O-P means. I am amazed at how many people sail through stop signs all over town. The signs don’t mean “speed through” or “pause.” They do mean STOP right there!
Never consider Cache Valley too good to welcome the less fortunate. Those who are physically handicapped and who are not “strong” or those who may not measure high on the IQ scale can offer much to communities. We should be grateful for them. Oftentimes, less than perfect makes for a more-than-perfect community.
It has been commented that we don’t want people on welfare to live here. I agree the system doesn’t work well when it encourages some who choose not to work even if they are able. However, there are some who are unfortunate and don’t have a choice. We should look for ways to help them get back on their feet.
Recycling — here’s a wild idea. I’d have all residents visit the landfill and see how much trash we generate day after day. Then I’d have them go through a class for a better understanding. Once they’ve done that, they’d get a mark on their forehead that says, “I’ve recycled my thinking!” OK, maybe that’s extreme, but we do need to be more diligent on how we take care of our environment. Speaking of environment, here’s one that causes me to gag — people leaving the car running while in the store buying groceries. Inexcusable!
Don’t know how to address this other than to mention it: Learning what “respect” means. Seems a behavior that has been tossed aside, and it’s a bigger problem than most will admit. Unfortunately, it covers all ages. How sad. With electronic devices taking the place of person-to-person and eye-to-eye contact, we lose sight of people and who they are. Maybe a start would be to not allow cellphones to be turned on during class time. Period. If parents need to contact their kids, do it the old way — call the office and have them contact the student!
With the good and the not so good, we are blessed to be writing this chapter of our lives in the valley and we’ve certainly added a pot of gold to our golden years! Thank you, Cache Valley!