Quest For The Perfect Location

Nowhere Else That I’d Rather Be

By Jeff Salter

Topic: If I could live anywhere in the world with no limits on expense, where would I live… and why?

First of all – and you’ve heard this from me before – I don’t remember suggesting this topic. To me, it doesn’t even sound like me. Maybe this was from the December haul for the current calendar quarter of topics… in which I’d drawn a blank and asked my wife for some suggestions. Or maybe I truly did suggest this one and then totally forgot.

Anyhow…

So far this week, the Resident Foxes have done an excellent job covering the several aspects of living locations that I’m sure we all find important: access to food, supplies, utilities, transportation, culture, internet, family members, and medical care. [And I’m sure the Friday Fox will have many interesting points.]

In addition to those ingredients, I also need a place with low pollution and low crime — a clean and safe existence. Plus, I need peace and quiet.

So there’s not much left for me to discuss, here on Hound Day.

But let me ramble for a bit.

For most of my formative years, we lived on two large lots with one set of neighbors across the street and another set on the opposite side of our same block. The rest of our immediate area was WOODS — many whole square blocks of woods on all four sides. I loved it. We had privacy without feeling isolated. Schools were between 7 blocks and 14 blocks distant. Church was across the street from one of those schools. Downtown Covington [LA] was about 20 blocks away — an easy bike ride (plus I walked it many times). Whenever we needed access to “city” shopping / features / attractions, downtown New Orleans was just about 40 miles away, across the 24-mile causeway. I cannot imagine any better place to grow up in the late 50s and early 60s … than the sleepy town of Covington.

Overall, I’ve lived in towns as small as Abita Springs LA and as large as Sacramento CA. I’ve lived in apartment buildings, tiny cottages, a shotgun duplex, and barracks. Along the way, there was Chicago IL, Macon GA, Baton Rouge LA, Clovis NM, Hammond LA, Jonesville LA, Mt. Pleasant IA, Starkville MS, and a remote Arctic military radar installation (Thule Air Base, Greenland).

Prior to my arrival here (2006) in the outskirts of Somerset KY, the longest period I’d been anywhere was my 26 years in Bossier City LA, when I worked in the neighboring city, Shreveport.

Having suffered the claustrophobia of that tiny house on a tiny lot with neighbors approximately 10 feet on either side of me… I was totally ready for what Davy Crockett called “elbow room.”

Though I’d never – in 36 years of marriage (to that point, 2006) – spent much time in Somerset, I felt a pull to come here upon my early retirement so my wife could spend some time with her parents in their final years.

Our house is a different color now, but you can see we have a lovely setting

Knowing next to nothing about this place, I had few expectations. Everything was new (to me)… all the faces were strangers (to me). It was truly a place and time to “start over.”

Somerset allows me to check off all the “boxes” listed above – by the Foxes and me – except the one about climate. A few of the summers here have been intolerably hot… and several of the winters have been impossibly cold.

But even with that single demerit – seasonal weather extremes – I love it here. We live on my wife’s ancestral farm, with woods behind us, a field to the north, and we’re up on a hill about 400 feet from the street. I can still hear the rumbling trains (blaring their horns) in the distance, and the dog kennel to our south is sometimes loud… but other than that, this place is remarkably quiet. Peaceful. Just what I wanted / needed for my retirement and my writing.

We have a wonderful church home and our local set of grandkids are in excellent schools. Lexington has all the shops we’ll ever need and it’s only 90 miles north.

So if the Good Lord would see His way clear to lower these summer temperatures by 10 degrees and raise the winter temperatures by 10 degrees — it would be absolutely perfect.

Short answer to this week’s topic: I’m right where I want to be at this point in my life.

Question:

What about YOU? Are you living where you want to be? Or would you rather live somewhere else? Where?

[JLS # 573]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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15 Responses to Quest For The Perfect Location

  1. jbrayweber says:

    You are one lucky dog. I imagine Covington to be a dream and, as you say, you are right where you want to be in your current home. Peaceful, indeed.

    I loved the place I grew up. A place I could ride my horse or 3-wheeler anywhere, explore the woods, play in the creek. Cow pastures surrounded the high school. Yet conveniences were still at the fingertips. I, too, could hear the trains. And the thump-thump of the neasrby oil rig, And the coyotes. At the time, it was considered the country, a good half hour drive outside the outskirts of Houston. But over the years, I’ve watched my little town of Spring, TX get swallowed up by the suburbs and the city of Houston is fast encroaching. And crime is rising apace.

    But that wasn’t the question. I would love to live on the coast. Be like Hemmingway, with a lovely, but spacious, cottage surrounded by lush foliage, a year-around warm sea-breeze, turquoise waters, with an attitude of care-free living. Fresh food would be abundant and I wouldn’t mind a passle of 6-toed cats. (I’d really like to have horses, too.) Internet would be a must. And while I don’t want the city-life, I would still like to have the conveniences and culture accessible nearby. Just not too close. Yup, I want it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      yes! woods and creeks and wandering. My own was by bike and by foot (rather than horse and 3-wheeler), but the sense of freedom is the same.
      And yes, unfortunately, my little hometown of Covington LA has become a bedroom community for people who work in New Orleans… and is nearly unrecognizable to me now.
      Like you, I’m attracted to that Hemmingway-esque setting of his Cuban estate… but I don’t think I’d want to live in Cuba now. He was given a lot of deference because he was already famous internationally. I’m afraid I’d just be another gringo tourist… to be taken advantage of. Ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Your place looks idyllic. It would be a wonderful place to gather with friends and family, but I’m afraid that at this point in my life it would be too remote. But since we’re all spread out, we have an excuse to visit each other and get a taste of different parts of the country!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      We’re fortunate to have my daughter (& family) right here in Somerset… but our son and his family live in the Shreveport area, some 12 hours away. We only get to see them 2 or 3 times a year.
      My siblings live in Maryland and Alabama… and we don’t see them much either.
      Since I have medical issues that make travel very problematic, I’m pretty much a homebody now.

      Like

  3. I’m so happy that you and Denise have found your “almost” idyllic place. As far as being content, I’m content to be in the outskirts of Houston, Texas. We have everything we need around us without the hustle and bustle of the big city on our doorstep.

    However, if I could have the perfect place, with all the elements I wanted, it would be either O’ahu, Hawai’i or Grand Junction, Colorado. From my research and from what Arnie has told me about O’ahu, I’d love the Ko’olau Range and the hidden beaches, the forests, the people, and the water. And I’ve always loved Colorado, ever since we spent two weeks in Grand Junction. What beauty there is to see every which way you turn. That’s why I’m using a small town still in the mountain range for my next story.

    In either place, all one would have to do to be inspired to write would be walk out the door to the lanai in my sparsely populated town. And if I did get homesick for a more urban atmosphere, all I’d need do is visit Honolulu or Waikiki, walk around with the tourists for a while, and then go home to peace and quiet again. Yes, O’ahu or Grand Junction would definitely be my choice.

    Love the picture of your home. It would be a great place to have a writers’ retreat sometime. hint hint. LOLOL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Great choices! I’ve been through Colo. (though I can’t recall which parts because it was so long ago) and recall it as beautifully mountainous. Never made it to Hawaii… but Jack Lord and Thomas Magnum gave me some views that were lovely.
      I love the idea of a writers’ retreat — maybe when/if pandemics cease to be issues…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a beautiful spot and I am happy for you…but you give me too much credit. My points will be purely what I wanted and should have reached for.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your home sounds absolutely lovely! I can imagine how peaceful it must be.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I don’t know how rare it is for people to be content exactly where they are, but you have a beautiful home to spend your retirement in. My husband and I are thinking about moving because our house has lots of steps, but if we do it’ll be in area where we live now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      when we built this place back in mid-2007, I was already concerned about stairs… because my hips were already arthritic at that point. So I made sure all of the facilities I’d need in a typical day were on the same level.

      Like

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