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How I ended up here

Creston is the smallest town I’ve ever lived in, but it hasn’t felt small in the two months I’ve been here.

I’ve met plenty of good people, people who seem to genuinely care about me and my well being. That is extremely comforting. It feels like home and that is something I wasn’t sure I was going to feel this early on.

After going 2,500 miles away from home for college, I got more accustomed to being away from family for extended periods of time. I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest thing to do, but I don’t feel homesick as often as some people might in a similar situation.

The amusing part about this move is now I’m finding a home. Who is to say where my home is now?

After growing up for 18 years in the Bay Area, both my parents decided to move to the east coast and head back to their roots while I was still in school in Ohio. I dealt with a lot of change while in college and that change took quite a while to get used to.

For my mom that meant North Carolina, moving back to the town she grew up in. My dad, it meant Virginia and soon after that Tennessee, where he went to high school.

Summers were long and filled with loads of free time due to the fact I didn’t know anyone outside of the family members I had in the area.

Which, in some aspects, is similar to my transition into Creston.

I will say the move has been made incredibly easier with the help of my close comrade Kaleb Carter.

Kaleb and I went to Ohio University together and he was one of the first people I met when I stepped on the gorgeous Athens campus.

If you haven’t met me yet, I hold that school as dear to me as almost anything else.

Kaleb had called me many times to try to convince me to come work in Creston, but I didn’t know the first thing about the town other than what I could picture in my head during our phone calls.

One week in March, while visiting my sister, who attends the University of Missouri, I decided I was going to make the 4 1/2 hour trek north to see my pal whom I hadn’t seen in almost a year.

It was dark, gloomy and rain hovered over Creston the entire extent of my stay. It wasn’t warm or green or anything like my first experience in Ohio. That, was my first thought.

Not long after I arrived in my soon-to-be new home, I met Scott Vicker and the three of us went out to dinner.

Scott joked that he should have put the meal on his business card writing off as a business expense and essentially an interview.

I laughed thinking to myself, sure, I would have taken a free meal. Not really convinced that this was going to be my new residence a little less than two months from then.

The two of them spent the rest of the night chauffeuring me around the city before we stopped at some of the local watering holes. It didn't take long for them to put on their recruiting hats and proceed to make me ask every question I could possibly think of.

What I didn’t know at the time was, it worked.

After returning to North Carolina, I did a lot of thinking. Of course, Kaleb and Scott were making sure they had a voice in my ear for a good chunk of that.

After a 90-minute “round table discussion” one random Wednesday night, I had a pretty good idea that I was going to end up in Creston.

I wasn’t necessarily looking for another big change, but I knew it would be a lot easier with one of my best friends there with me (Scott was pretty convincing too).

So, two months later, here I sit in rural Iowa, just enjoying the first town I’ve lived in on my own, in my first professional job.

Everyone always asks me, Why Creston? or Why Ohio? and one of these days I’m going to have a good answer for you. Until then, I am just going to continue to enjoy the adventure I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to experience.


Contact the writer:

Twitter – @CarterEckl

Email –

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