We haven’t stayed an entire month in very many places. We spent one winter in Arkansas with my family, and one in Arizona with Brad’s family. Besides that we have only done the “month stay” in 3 locations…Wenatchee, WA, Pahrump, NV, and now Kanab, UT. Since we usually stay a week or less, it’s no surprise that after spending all of June in this small Southern Utah town, it had begun to feel a little bit like home.
If I’m totally honest, feeling “at home” in a place is now defined for me very differently than it once was. Basically, if I can run into a grocery store and know where to find what I need, then I basically feel like I own the place. Unfamiliarity is our new normal, and I’m grateful for how it has stretched all of us. But its also really nice to settle into one location for an extended stay, and we hope to be able to do these month-long stays more often. I even got to join a gym for the month!
Brad and I had originally come to Kanab, Utah in 2008 so that I could volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Kanab’s proximity to Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon, and a host of other less-known-but-just-as-amazing geographical features makes it an ideal spot from which to explore.
For that reason, we made it a point to return, and we were able to spend a couple of weeks here in 2016, just a few months into this grand adventure. And just as we’d hoped, we were able to return again this year to the very same campground for an even MORE extended visit.
One of the highlights of this stay was celebrating Coral’s 6th birthday. Six is the minimum age to volunteer at many of the Best Friends Animal Areas, so when we visited Kanab in 2018 she was too young, and sadly wasn’t able to participate when Sunny and I volunteered at the sanctuary. This year we were delighted to claim several volunteer shifts for all 3 of us!
Sitting in one place for a whole month made time speed up again – just like it had for us last in Yuma. We settle into what could almost be construed as a routine, we don’t rush around to see all the sights in a limited number of hours, and days begin to come and go like mist. Days pass without anything noteworthy; no pictures taken, time slipping through our fingers. After 31 days in this location, it feels like a month has passed in the blink of an eye. But it also feels like the locations we visited right before coming here were a lifetime ago.
When it was time to say goodbye to our site in Kanab, I found myself saying some difficult goodbyes…to our animal friends at Best Friends, to the circuit training room at my gym with free wifi, to our campground friends & neighbors, and my little hummers. It’s amazing how quickly my heart wants to make a place feel like home.