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Finding One's Home

I read a quote recently that was given as the epitomy of a Western way of being. It went like this:
Find your place. Dig in. Defend it.

I have long been looking for my place, and I have known since I arrived here in Arizona that this is not it. I want to be near water. The dryness of this places unnerves me, and the fires are terrifying.

So I have long thought about what I want in the place that I will call my home....hopefully for the rest of my life.....after I finish this round of schooling. I have a fun email conversation going with a former professor of mine, who recently relocated to Gig Harbor, Washington from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Here are the criteria he listed for finding his home (shared with a wife):
1. major airport nearby
2. major city nearby (plays, art, culture, hospital)
3. temperate climate (no sticky humidity)
4. tolerant citizenry
5. diverse population
6. strong educational system
7. appreciation for the good things that government can do

What are your criteria?



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
But seriously, aside from the humidity, Knoxville has it all!
Jun. 30th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
I like his list. Here's what would be on mine:

1. Water - either a body of water or a river nearby
1a. Close enough to the coast to have availability of fresh seafood
2. Growing season - I want to live someplace where I can grow a garden
3. People - and herein lies my problem... I want to be near friends and family, who are pretty much all in Flagstaff
4. Discernible seasons
5. Bike commuter-friendly community

...and to steal a couple from your professor friend because I like his list...
6. tolerant citizenry
7. diverse population
8. strong educational system
9. appreciation for the good things that government can do
10. major city nearby

Jul. 2nd, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
1. wide open spaces
2. loads of wildlife I can see from the house
3. trees
4. discernable seasons, but no serious winters
5. a place to shop no more than 30 miles away
6. good hiking, climbing, and biking in the area
7. not more than 30 miles from work
8. work that ties in to the land
Jul. 3rd, 2007 04:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for the response. Considering where you are, your priority list is a description of what you don't have there. In a few years, when you are living in a place that satisfies most of all of your current criteria, I'll ask again and see if your wish list has solidified or changed!

I'm still working on my list. Here's tonight's brainstorm:

1. running fresh water at the top of a drainage
2. a viable agrarian community surrounding a centrally located town
3. outside the farms, a wilderness complete with game and a diverse ecosystem
4. clean air
5. seasons including snow and a long enough growing season for me to grow tomatoes
6. at least 100 miles or substantial geographical barriers between home and the nearest metropolitan area
7. public transport to that metro area
8. an active local government
9. an aware populace
Jul. 6th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
Off the top of my head (i.e., I'll probably think of way more later)...here's my list:

1. Several warm weather months, but not overly humid...and not below freezing in the winter.

2. Nice scenery, preferably foothills/hills, some forest areas nearby, hiking trails, etc....as well as a variety of wildlife.

3. If not near the coast, then proximity to some body of water -- either a large lake or river.

4. Within 50 miles of a Trader Joes.

5. Within 50 miles of a hospital/medical center.

6. Until retirement, within 1-1/2 hour drive from a major airport. Only because Peter often has to travel by air for work.

7. Otherwise, off the beaten path is ok...but it must have infrastructure such as electricity, treated water, cell phone towers, etc.

8. Less expensive real estate than one finds in the San Francisco Bay Area!
Jul. 6th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your reply! Your list of criteria sounds suspiciously similar to where you live now! I remember the picture...the river down the valley.....are you happy there? How does your current location not meet these criteria?
Jul. 7th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
I would like to live a little farther out from "civilization" (i.e., the strip malls, chain stores and restaurants, etc.)....but still within a reasonable distance. I stated that I'd like to live within 50 miles of a Trader Joes. Where we are now, it's maybe 6 miles to a TJs.

I'd also like to have a bit more land. Right now, we have 1/4 acre. I'd like to have at least 1 to 2 acres around me. The city I live in has a population of 100,000+. I'd rather be in a smaller town, or even in an unincorporated county area.

So I'm closer to what I ultimately want, but not quite there yet. :)
Jul. 7th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)
I hear you loud and clear. It would be nice to get far far from strip malls etc. Plasticized consumer-oriented development is hard to avoid these days. You can do a lot with 1/4 acre, though. Have you worked with your land, or are you waiting for some other location?
Jul. 7th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
Our backyard is pretty much fully landscaped. We just need to refine it a bit. We also have to make some repairs (to the koi ponds and also the patio cover, stuff like that). And of course, there's a lot of maintenance work.

I would like to completely redo the front yard, as the currently landscaping is ass. I don't get the former owners. They made the backyard look like a cross between a forest, a park, and a Japanese garden -- beautiful and peaceful. But the front yard is just horrid. I wish I could afford to hire a landscape architect right NOW...but I know that eventually we will get the front fixed up. One think I've learned about home ownership is that one must have a lot of PATIENCE. ;)
Jul. 7th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, patience, grasshopper. Perhaps you can little by little make your front yard as enjoyable as the back yard. Plant things that provide food! The day might come when you are very glad to be able to collect fruit or nuts from your own tiny garden.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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