Why I live where I live

I like this Q and A thing. It gives me some good blog fodder. I’m looking for more. I got about 6 posts worth from the last time I solicited questions but hey – if they wanted to hear less from me hey should have made NaBloPoMo February. So if you have more questions, ask away, ‘k?

Anyway, Laura asked:

Do you think you’ll live where you are for the rest of your life? If not, what other states are appealing to you and your family?

Today seems like a good day to ask that question because this week’s hometown politics freakin’ ROCKED.  We elected a democratic governor – and (at least from what we can see) a progressive. When I went to vote on Tuesday I looked at the ballot and realized I could safely vote for green party candidates for practically every statewide office to prove a point without worrying about being a spoiler.

Yesterday I wrote to my rep and senator about opposing the proposed ban on same-sex marriage and realized that BOTH of them already do – no convincing necessary.

Blah, blah, blah. After growing up among the Dixiecrats, it’s hard for me to resist this kind of political atmosphere. Dude. We have RIGHTS.

I’m 1100 miles from my family. That sucks. But that’s what airplanes and Amtrak are for. And I married a woman whose family is all within an hour of us, and there are compelling reasons to stay close – potential nieces and nephews, a degenerative illness, etc.

The better things get for us here the less we can see ourselves leaving.

There are only two other places that have felt like home to me – meaning that they have what I need, not that they feel like here – Vancouver and Seattle.  I need good politics. I need high standards for food. I need water, preferably an ocean. I need people who care about things like sustainable living and kayaking and locally owned bookstores and public transportation and making eye contact with strangers on the street (okay that last one is missing here at home but you can’t have everything). Vancouver and Seattle both could fit the bill well, I think. We even have rights in Vancouver. But it’s a fantasy only for now.

Okay, here’s a story about how strangers treat each other: After we got married we took ourselves off to Newfoundland for two weeks, which was phenomenal and amazing and stunning. We went white water rafting one day and had a great conversation with our guide, a native Newfie, about how nice people are there. She told us first about a conversation she’d had with someone in town about locking their doors, and how her neighbor had been concerned that if he locked his door and someone got stranded in a snowstorm they wouldn’t be able to get into his house.  Then she went on to tell us that she had liked Toronto when she was there visiting a friend, but that people didn’t say hi on the streets. I guess, she concluded, there are too many people there for that – you’d have to go around all day saying hi! hi! hi! hi! hi! and you could never have an uninterrupted thought.

Yeah, New Englanders are friendly like that too.

What about you? Where would you live if you packed up and went?

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4 Responses to Why I live where I live

  1. DS-L says:

    I love my state with a new black governor, a woman AG, gay marriage rights, a beautiful ocean, great architecture, history galore, great activities for kids north and south east and west!!
    DS-L

  2. Melissa says:

    If I had to live elsewhere, it would probably be Madison, WI, which is as close to not moving as possible. I live in Columbia, MO, a mid-western college town with liberal politics. I grew up in Wisconsin, so I would be closer to my family and I wouldn’t have to leave the atmosphere I’m comfortable with. Not very adventerous, but the truth.

  3. Jenn says:

    Funny, I always thought Seattle too, though I also think I could do Chicago. Notice I’m not picking any non-cities, which is funny to me in a way given that I grew up in small towns. I guess I learned what I don’t like about them. 🙂

    I think Seattle because I like the whole feel of the city and the coast, but would never want to live in CA really. I also like being on the ocean though again, growing up in the midwest and midatlantic I don’t really know why – I guess because I never had it before and now I like it. I also like the variety of Washington State – did you know that there are not only mountains and beaches but deserts and rainforests and prairies there? That’s really awesome to me.

    And finally, Chicago has this good feel for me, I don’t know exactly why. Maybe because it’s the midwest and there’s a little pull for me there. Maybe because I know lots of nice people from Chicago or who live there now. I’d have built in friends if I moved there, so that’s always a bonus.

    I don’t really know where we might end up but for now I definitely appreciate all the good stuff about where I am as well!

  4. Susan says:

    I’d move somewhere that would protect my family–Vermont (where our civil union would mean something), Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey. Any of those states would be fine with me.

    I’m out here in the midwest b/c it’s where my job is, and it’s such a hassle trying to find two academic jobs in the same place that I’m not sure we’ll move anytime soon. (We did try last year, applying for a pair of jobs in Vermont, but they didn’t come through in a matched set and we decided to stay with two secure jobs rather than having one of us move to a smallish town with little hope of employment in our fields).

    It sure is nice to dream about moving–I wish I lived in Massachusetts right now!

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