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.
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.
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.
What about YOU? Are you living where you want to be? Or would you rather live somewhere else? Where?
[JLS # 573]