Let it rain

On my first visit to Chico, it rained.

“It’s never like this,” promised one person after another, some anxiously, some laughingly.

My husband had been offered a job. Before moving across country, we wanted to try Chico on for size. Touring the city, we imagined ourselves living here—buying our first home, shopping the Farmers’ Market, swimming in the creek with our son. After dinner downtown, we walked the wet streets back to our hotel, holding hands and contemplating possibilities.

At Sunday brunch, my husband’s future colleagues welcomed us, many with apologetic glances out the window, and talked openly about what drew them here. I absorbed everything that might help our decision, while outside the rain fell steadily.

Afterwards, with bags packed, we toured the city again, looking for clues to our future. We drove to Upper Park and sat in the car listening to the rain, memorizing the green waves of the foothills.

Back home, I remembered the stories I’d heard, the warmth I’d felt despite the rain and chill in the air, from the town that invited and welcomed us. We moved to Chico.

It was the people we met that drew us here. And I believe they will keep us here, come rain or shine.