Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 2-20-12 |

Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 2-20-12

After reconnecting with former classmates while planning a class reunion, it has been interesting to find out that though many have lived in other places for over 40 years, they still consider this their home.

Some lived here all during their formative years – at least elementary school through high school graduation – and moved on with their parents. For a few, the parents relocated, the young person went to college and after graduation their jobs took them elsewhere. It surprised me that once their parents had moved, and they no longer had roots here, why the classmates would still call this home. Yet I think of those who have married into this community and when they go to visit their parents, they say they “go home,” though they have established families and homes here. Those formative years apparently leave lasting impressions.

The Census Bureau tell us that one in six people in the US move each year. Maybe I should try it as an incentive to clean my closets. For those of you who have moved around, what do you think of as home? Is it simply where you hang your hat today? Is it where you lived when you were growing up or if you’ve not moved for many years, is it where you live now? Perhaps home is a place, not even a building. You likely know, or even are, the person who drives up to a vacant lot or more commonly a shopping complex and wistfully remarks, “That is where our home stood.”

It’s not difficult for me to try and decide. My great-grandparents emigrated to this county in 1883 from Cambridge, Story County, Iowa and homesteaded. My uncle still owns and lives on the place. Our roots run pretty deep here – six generations so the taproot is long and well established. Military families who move around are incredulous. Neighbors who have been in the area three or more generations are not surprised.

What about you and your family? Do you remain in the same locality because it’s easier than putting the effort into moving? Relocating is a challenge for anyone and someone in production agriculture has particular difficulties. Emotionally as well as financially, farmers and ranchers are tied to the land, but those ties can be broken for good reason or sad ones. Even agricultural producers have wanderlust. They may decide to stay in agriculture but want to go to “greener pastures,” such as moving from a sandy South Dakota farm to the rich black dirt of Iowa. Farm magazines frequently report American farmers and ranchers have taken their businesses to Brazil, often retaining their US land and production. Living with part of the family in another part of the world could make it hard to spoil the grandkids! But where will they call home?

Does your family tree have to a taproot location and if so, how deep does the root grow?

Peggy is tapping her family history as she writes her next book. Her internet latchstring is out at

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