by Guest Blogger Matt Kroschel
“Why would you ever move away from Colorado for Alabama?”
I heard that over and over again last Spring when in the middle of a pandemic, we sold our Colorado mountain cabin, packed up all our belongings, our three pups, three cats, and headed East, back to Madison County, back to the place that had been calling us back since we left last time.
I am a Colorado native. The first time I moved outside of the snowy borders was in 2012-2015. My first dance with Huntsville lasted three years. A local tv station offered me a reporting gig as a reporter. Then, Denver TV execs called me back with a dream job offer. I spent the last five years reporting for CBS News as the mountain bureau reporter, covering all the small towns, ski resorts, and everything in between. But I always had this feeling that Huntsville had more to offer. I was getting called back – an Alabama itch I couldn’t scratch.
Watching from Colorado as the housing market here started catching fire a year or so ago, we leaped faith, purchased a home here in Huntsville, hired a property manager, and waited. We waited for my contract to wrap up in Colorado and for our house there to sell. The timing was perfect. Everything was going to plan. And then COVID-19 happened. We still made it work, the job offers we had lined up went on pause in April, we still moved across the country, back to Huntsville.
As we crossed the Alabama/Tennessee state line up in Ardmore, a big smile spread across our faces and we breathed a sigh of relief on that May morning. I had watched from afar as the incredible growth marched forward. When I left the first time, Madison Square Mall was on the verge of being bulldozed. Campus 805 construction was set to commence. I left as crews worked on finishing up the Parkway. (I’m delighted that project wrapped up when I was away) Now that we are back – this time for good – I hope to rediscover this place. I only felt like a visitor living before, a temporary resident on borrowed time. This time, I am not only reconnecting with folks I had lost contact with from before but also meeting new people. I am finding the same friendly, nerdy folks I left behind and discovering a vibrant Rocket City full of opportunities to get involved, get active, and get lost in the culture and the arts.
Matt Kroschel is a marketing coordinator with Red Sage Communications, and, along with his husband, Chris (a realtor with Exit Reality North, run the Red Door Retreat bed and breakfast in Madison County.