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By Mike Hazlip—
After nearly 40 years living in the Sacramento area, Barry and Anita Jackier say God is leading them to Idaho.
The Sentinel reported earlier this month that the Jackier’s home recently sold after receiving 122 offers over the first weekend, a story which has since gained national attention in Yahoo News and Business Insider. Now the family is preparing to leave the place they have called home for decades.
The Jackier’s said they began considering a move out of state after some close friends moved to Idaho about seven years ago. The couple took a few trips to see their friends and stayed with them.
Barry and Anita had originally considered settling in Montana just after getting married 33 years ago, but decided on the Sacramento area. Barry said he moved to California in 1985 and said the state has changed for the worse over the years.
“I’ve seen California change from a fairly moderate state, to one that I have no desire to live in,” he told The Sentinel in an interview earlier this month.
Anita said she was reluctant about the idea of moving at first, but eventually went from “never” to “maybe.” Still, the husband and wife thought the move wouldn’t happen for another few years. That’s when Anita said God gave her a dream.
“God gives her a word: ‘Let go,’” Barry said. “When God gave her that word, she saw herself opening her hand and dropping whatever was in her hands.”
Anita recalled the dream, where she had the reigns of a horse in her hands and clearly heard God tell her to let them go.
“What we thought was going to be two or three years down the road became a matter of months,” she said.
The couple said they have been blessed during the process and know the time is right for them to move. Barry, originally from New York, is an Air Force veteran who spent time as a police officer and eventually retired as an insurance adjuster. He said he plans to “putz around the shop,” while Anita plans to continue working part-time from their new home as a bookkeeper.
Anita said moving to Sacramento from Milpitas was a big change in her life, and the couple always thought of living outside of California: “We’ve been wandering in the wilderness here for almost 40 years,” she said.
A bittersweet move
Despite their optimistic tone about settling in Idaho, the Jackier’s say the move is a bittersweet time for their family, after decades living in Citrus Heights. The couple said they were active in the movement to make Citrus Heights a city during the late 90s and have closely followed local politics.
“Citrus Heights has been a great city,” Barry said. “In the early days there was a sense of excitement, of newness. When we had the old Christmas tree lighting at the old city hall, I mean the place would be packed with adults, kids, seniors. The sense of community in Citrus Heights is amazing.”
The transition is especially hard for their 22-year-old daughter Joanna. The family home is the only one she has ever known. With a job and friends in Citrus Heights, she has decided to stay in California while her brother makes the move to Idaho with her parents.
“One of the things she’s struggling with is the fact that all of her memories are here,” Anita said. “It was really challenging for her to let go of those memories. The place where those memories were all tied to.”
Joanna recalled her old bedroom, painted teal and aqua, pool parties, the tire swing, and the clubhouse her brother built for her in the backyard. Anita Jackier remembered they called it “Wonder World.”
“When I walk in certain rooms of the house, I can see those memories happening again,” Joanna said.
Barry hopes his daughter will hold onto those memories as she makes a life for herself in the area.
“As she grows older, gets married, has kids, she’s going to go from place to place,” Barry said. “And you keep those memories as something special, but you make new memories where you are.”
Barry says he will miss the times the family shared together in their home.
“My growing up, family was not very close; so having a close-knit family has been to me a great blessing,” he said. “It’s right that they go their own ways, but it’s bitter sweet. I enjoyed those mealtime moments, those times at the table when they ask questions that give a window into their soul, and you can speak into their soul and plant something that’s going to grow.”
Barry and Anita will also be leaving behind their church family, where they were involved in children’s and couples’ ministries. The pastor who married them is still their pastor today.
“That’s probably the hardest part of our leaving,” Anita said. “Our pastors have been our pastors for 35 years.”
Also on The Sentinel: Proposed future church site in Citrus Heights has not-so-holy past
The Jackier’s aren’t alone in their move. Idaho is currently the fastest growing state in the nation, according to a report by KTVB in Boise. The report cited a population increase of more than 2% between 2019 and 2020, and said Californians have made up 46% of the people migrating to Idaho’s Treasure Valley over the last five years.
Reasons for Idaho as a popular pick for residents leaving California include its relatively close proximity with just an 8.5-hour drive from Sacramento to Boise, its lower housing costs, and its more conservative political climate. In the last presidential election, Idahoans voted solidly Republican with 63.9% voting for Donald Trump, while only 34.3% of voters in California favored Trump.
“I’m not sad about leaving California,” Anita Jackier said, summing up her thoughts. “I am kind of sad about leaving Citrus Heights.”
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