Monday, July 14, 2014

It takes a Village.....

In May of 1994, I was a 20 year old college student. I had two friends getting married and was asked to be a Brides Maid. I hopped in the car with a friend and headed into the unknown town of St. Johns for the reception. Honestly I don't remember much about that trip, other than it looked REALLY small and I said I was never coming back. That night after the reception I do remember going to Circle K.  Upon exiting the store a good looking boy held the door for me. Once outside the store I ran into an old college friend who was a policeman in town. We talked for a few minutes and then I was on my way. I left town the next day and never looked back. UNTIL 15 months later in August of 1995, I met that good looking boy who held that door for me at Circle K the previous year and my life was forever changed. 7 months later in March of 1996 we were married.  

We spent the first few months of our marriage in Pima.  We then chose to move to St. Johns just for the summer. After our short summer here we moved on to Mesa, where we spent 3 LONG years while my husband went to school and we started our family. Our first born came into this world two months early and was so TINY.  However with lots of prayers, he made a go at living in this world. 16 months after his entrance into this world, his sister joined our family. A year later we made the move back to the Gila Valley where my husband would do his student teaching and have his first teaching job. We lived there for a year and a half when we had the strong urge to get back up to the White Mountains. Applications to teach were put in all over the mountain. We came up to some surrounding towns of St. Johns for interviews. There were offers from various districts in the area but, nothing felt right. Shortly thereafter my husband received an offer from St. Johns. We immediately knew it was right and in 2001 we made the move.  I can't say I loved it here right away, but I knew it's where we needed to be. However less than a year later, I came to love this sleepy little town. 9 months after moving here, another girl joined our family. 

We've lived in three different houses since making the move. With every house and neighborhood we have lived in, we have had great neighbors. All willing to help out whenever was needed. Our kids participate in many church and school activities. We are blessed with wonderful leaders in both church, school and sports. I know that my kids are in great hands no matter if it's a church or school activity. The leaders love not only my kids, but ALL the kids in this community. They are also not afraid to "smack" them into shape if they are misbehaving. But regardless of their behavior they are loved by other people in this town besides us. The proverb "It takes a village to raise a child", took on a new meaning when we chose to raise our kids here.  I am so blessed to live here and I am forever grateful for all the people in this beautiful town who help us pick up the slack where we fall short.

Michelle Ashton

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