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Enjoy Magazine

My Town - Tess Woodford

06/25/2019 11:00AM ● By Enjoy Magazine

Tess Woodford, Redding VP Sales, Walkgreen Certified Decking

July 2019
Photo by M.C Hunter Photography

How do I see my town: Resilient

As a child, I remember when my parents drove our family through Red Bluff and into Anderson to our new home. Having been raised in mostly big cities, I thought it a strange place to relocate. Our house was in the country with very few homes in sight, cows and goats wandering up to our fence, and the scent of pasture land was not all that inviting. Everything seemed isolated with nothing but dirt roads, and everyone drove a pickup. Of course, that was not the case, but from my young vantage point, I just couldn’t envision getting comfortable where I was being planted. But I soon realized that it wasn’t isolated at all. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and there were lots of outdoor activities that I hadn’t been exposed to before. As a young adult, Redding suddenly seemed too small and I made the decision to relocate to explore new areas. When my last child went off to college, life events opened the door to relocate and I realized that I really missed that small-town community feeling.  Suddenly, my childhood town didn’t seem all that small after all. It felt like coming home to a loving family that was full of support and opportunity. 

When I think of my town, I think of a supportive and generous community whose best assets are each other. It is still small enough where community involvement and working toward mitigating social problems is within everyone’s reach. There are hundreds of examples of citizens taking an idea that calls to their heart and effecting positive change. I think that’s because we all want to see our community thrive and to contribute to that end in a positive way – and we all
have gifts to offer that can heal another.

But the real glue, and what keeps us connected, is our resilience during trying times.
That was never so evident as this past year, when the wildfires came at us. Help was immediate and the love and care was unconditional. So many organizations, businesses and individuals stepped up and leaned in to support our survivors. I was never so proud of my town.  And our concern for our community has served us well – our recovery has been steady and, in many cases, better than most areas that have encountered the same type of disaster. Although we are still in recovery mode from our own fire, I see our town, and our survivors, now assisting those who have lost their community in the Camp Fire. They will now become part of our community and it is apparent that they are being embraced in the same loving way as our own. After all, “a community cannot flourish unless its citizens feel safe and hopeful for the future.” Resilience is necessary and the common thread in which we can all connect.

This past year, our town has shown us what we are capable of as individuals
and as a community. Our best assets really are each other!