If you are anything like me, you are not from McKinney.
My family and I moved to McKinney in late 2006. We are from the “Tundra”. I was born and raised in a tiny town called Cedarburg, WI. Cedarburg is the second largest tourist attraction after Wisconsin Dells. Cedarburg is unique as well you could almost call it a little sister to McKinney; just replace “y’all” with something a little more Midwestern. Take a tour of their home page (http//www.cedarburg.org, or http://www.flickr.com/photos/cedarburg/3142148256/in/photostream/), you will see the similarity, to McKinney, it is a historic little hamlet with a population of just over ten thousand. A power magnet for seniors and families who arrive by bus or SUV to stroll Washington Avenue; it is the type of little town where you will get a ticket for not yielding to pedestrians, and it will take you two seconds to realize the downtown streets are all named after past presidents.
You might be asking why the move? How often does someone get to live in a town that Norman Rockwell painted? It was still T minus 9 months before the market crashed; the mortgage on our new home felt like an ATM experience; 24-hour approval and closure within 12 days. To tell you the truth after forty-some years I wanted to ditch the snow shovels, the snow boots and mismatched mittens etc. You reach an age in life when you realize you have choices and ours was to flee the bitter winter that would return by the end of October and whose grip did not cease until some point in May perhaps June.
My husband and I said “Uncle” -it is time to find some place warm where the kids could be outside more than five to six months a year, a place where we could raise our kids and simply thaw out. We just were not into bowling.
If you are like my family, many of you who live McKinney are not from McKinney. In fact, in the time I have been here I have never met anyone who was born in McKinney or raised in McKinney. For the most part, we are all transplants.
In our family, it is back to back birthdays from late September through the end of October and as the kid’s grow up; my husband and I have that conversation (every year) on how fast our children’s independence is speeding at us. It was during one of those recent conversations that my husband was vocally day-dreaming about where we might want to go once the kids are, you know, grown up.
At that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks, a twinge in my upper left chest. I thought to myself -go? I do not want to go. I like it in McKinney. My Gmail contact list has grown exponentially since living here. As a coach for my kid’s teams, I have met so many families and made lasting friendships at point when it matters in my life. As a business owner, I recently joined the McKinney, Chamber of Commerce – I cannot walk through the grocery store (any of them) without seeing a fellow business owner I met through the Chamber. I am at that point in my life where giving is far more fun than getting and McKinney has grown on me – our kids love it here, aside from the seventy days of 100 degrees it is safe to say my husband and I have sufficiently thawed.
My advice to fellow transplants, if you have kids get involved in their activities, I started volunteering at the YMCA it is a great experience and they need parents as coaches. If you own a business, join the Chamber you can meet with 40-50 other business owners every Wednesday morning at Salt Grass of Hwy75 Eldorado. Most importantly and keep in mind most of us have walked a mile in your shoes as it relates to moving. It will not take much time until you feel that tug in heart too – then you will know deep down you are from McKinney
Dorothy Allan, President of 24/7 Family Doctor
Your Life Your Health. (– take care of it)