We were ready to start a family, ready to exchange the damp bustle and crowds of Seattle for the peace and community of a small town. I looked around, ticking off items on my dream-town checklist: good food, sunshine, a day’s drive from my parents. I convinced my husband to abandon friends we’d spent the last decade making and the house we’d restored room by room. I had, I assured him, found the perfect place to spend the next chapter of our lives.
Jobs were applied for and miraculously acquired. I took a pregnancy test confirming that, yes, the hoped-for family would be arriving soon. Only as the move drew closer did we began to wonder: Is there enough water to support life there?
We rented a house while ogling For Sale signs, thinking about school districts and fenced backyards for the first time. Realtors urged us to buy something soon, because homes were selling for more than they had ever seen. Outsiders were falling in love with the area for the same reasons we had, snatching up every cottage and starter home that came on the market. Yet when the woman from the water company came to read the meter on our rental, we got to talking about all the newcomers. “We keep telling people to get out of town,” she sighed, shaking her head. “But they just keep buying houses.” Read More