Publisher’s Note: This article first appeared in the 2008 edition of the Raystown Lake Region/Huntingdon County Visitors Guide.
By Lisa Roth
Webster’s defines the noun lifestyle as a way of life or style of living that reflects the values and attitudes of an individual or group. Prior to 1993, I would have to say my husband’s and my own style of living reflected packrat values coupled with a lazy nomadic attitude. In other words, when it became impossible to ignore the need to spring-clean it became entirely possible to move. So move we did, every two or three years thanks to our educational needs, and we averted many a spring-clean as a result.
Then came our move to Huntingdon with a toddler and dog in tow. That move, coupled with having our first child, was the beginning of a whole new level of “expensive toy buying years.” John and I bought our first car, then another, our first home, then another one, two, three kids arrived, and more pets. One day I looked up and 15 years had passed.
We had been so busy growing a family, a career, a zoo-like atmosphere that we never stopped long enough to realize we had also grown roots. Strong, powerful roots. The years had passed and we hadn’t moved, like clockwork, to another place. Why didn’t we?
Huntingdon had ceased to be our stepping stone and instead became our destination. While it is neither the fastest nor slowest paced place in which I have lived, I love it. In 10 minutes, I can be anywhere downtown on foot and anywhere in town by vehicle. Driving time in this county IS driving time, not sitting in traffic time.
Here I am surrounded by natural beauty; cradled by gently sloping hills, ridges, and Tussey Mountain and lulled to sleep by meandering streams, creeks, and Juniata River. My heart soars with the birds of prey overhead and pounds at the sight of majestic bald eagles nesting at Raystown Dam.
We enjoy good food, good neighbors and friends, in a quiet, small town atmosphere. The county is rich with history, architecture, and wildlife and we enjoy many outdoor activities afforded us by its landscape. It is still a great place in which to raise a family.
Webster’s sociological definition of roots is the condition of being settled and of belonging to a particular place or society. John and I have now lived in Huntingdon longer than anywhere else, over our entire lives. Whatever your reason for visiting Huntingdon, make it a point to look around, try something familiar, and also something new. Breathe, relax, enjoy, maybe you’ll grow roots too.
Lisa Roth is a Development Specialist for College Advancement at Juniata College.
Webster’s is a dictionary.