I have had a fortunate life. I have never had to experience the death of an immediate family member, or any violence to deal with. Whenever someone asks me What event has changed your life? I reply, The only event that I can truly say has changed my life is when my family moved to Sioux City, Iowa.
In 1992, when I was eight-years-old, my family lived in Des Moines, Iowa. I was a lonely little boy, not having any friends to play with. I spent most of my time playing Nintendo, and taking my short-legged brown dog for walks. My dad sometimes found time in his busy schedule to take me to Sailorville Lake, about twenty minutes from our house, where we would spend hours fishing.
My dad s work had transferred him from Sioux City to Des Moines to manage a men’s retail store. Although we had only been living in Des Moines for a couple of years, it felt like eternity for a boy of eight. I hated Des Moines with its noisy streets and crowded back yards.
One night in late September while we were eating dinner my dad announced to my sister and I, Kids, I know you two just got settled in to school, but we are not going to be staying here much longer. I have been transferred back to Sioux City.
After about choking on my hot dog I turned to my dad.
Alright! I screamed, You are the best dad in the whole wide world.
I could not believe it, we were moving back to all of my friends and to the place I loved.
Are we leaving tomorrow? I asked.
My dad turned to me and said, No, I must leave tomorrow to find us a place to live. You and your sister are going to stay here and take care of mommy until daddy can find us a house to live in.
After dinner, I went to bed and began dreaming about the fun times I was going to have again with all of my old friends. “Ye Ha! Zoom, down the street on my bike towing my friend behind on his skateboard. It was great; all the other kids were watching and getting ready for their turn to race down the street. After the race down the street, we went into my house and had Kool-Aid and cookies. Waking up the next morning I kissed my dad goodbye and he left for Sioux City.
Two weeks passed and my dad finally returned to Des Moines for a weekend. He brought with him nothing but bad news. The housing market in Sioux City was tight and he searched for a house but was unable to find anything.
There just aren t any houses for sale, he explained. I am going to go back to Sioux City and try to find a houses for one more week, otherwise we are going to have to stay here.
After hearing this I broke into tears, ran into my bedroom and buried my head into the pillows. I thought that I was going to spend the rest of my life playing Nintendo in noisy, crowded, Des Moines.
My sister came into the room and sat on my bed. She stated, “Dad will find us a place to live and everything will be alright as long as we are together.”
She admitted that Des Moines was not her favorite place to live either. I pulled my head out from the pillows. We smiled at each other as our short-legged brown dog struggled to jump on the bed. As I helped him onto the bed, my sister and I started to laugh. We both agreed that as long as we had each other life, in Des Moines would not be unbearable.
After about four days, while my mom was finishing dinner dishes, the phone rang. It was my Dad! He told mom he had found a house in Sioux City and that we would be moving there in a week. The house was on the same street that we had lived on when I was five years old. It was great! I started packing my things that very night. I brought my Nintendo along; you never know when it might come in handy.
A week passed and we were finally back to the town I loved so dearly, Sioux City. It did not take long to get in touch with my old friends. When we pulled up to our driveway, all of my friends were there waiting for me. As soon as I got out of my car my best friend said, Lets play some Nintendo. Although I had played plenty of Nintendo in the past two years, it felt great to have someone ask me if I would like to play with them. At this point I knew that my life would be changed forever.
I have been living in Sioux City for about ten years now, and I still think it is the best town in the world. Even when all of my childhood friends left for college or to earn a living, I have not had any problems becoming friends with other people in Sioux City.
I know that eventually I will have to leave Sioux City to pursue my dream of becoming a computer programmer, but no matter what happens or how much I enjoy a particular town, Sioux City will always be my home.