In Love with a Place

Pine Lake Campground
Bishop, Georgia

In my life, I’ve often heard or read about people falling in love with a place.

“Oh, I just looooove Florence!”

or

“Our special place is Disneyworld!”

I have to admit, I’ve always felt some envy of these folks. It reminds me of the people who collect stamps, civil war memorabilia or baseball cards. They have a passion for something. I don’t.

Surprisingly , I’m not passionate about guitars as you might expect being a player for over fifty years. What makes me hold onto an instrument is its usefulness (playability, sound, electronics, beauty) to my profession as a songwriter or performer. But I’m getting off track, here.

Beth said to me this morning, “Do we love this place because its been a month on the road and we’re relaxed, now? Or is it something specific about this place?” Good questions.

Our friends, Sandi and Paul (you’ve read about them before if you are a regular reader), suggested that we each make a list of the 25 things we want in a new community. So, here’s mine…

1. A rural location, but close to a mid-sized city

2. Trees, Trees and did I mention Trees? Walking trails for us and the dog and places to bike, too!

3. Water – the kind you look at and can walk around. Water makes me feel tranquil

4. Friendly – I like people

5. Vibe or Energy – a place has to be conducive to creating and what makes it so is an intangible feeling that I can feel in my heart. This is my body liking a place (as opposed to my mind).

6. Great Internet – yeah, this is a factor when you spend time online and have to upload, download and teach. It’s also important for staying in-touch with friends and family.

7. Temperate – My ideal climate is 65-72 degrees. I can handle a lot colder, but I don’t like it when it’s over 85 and humid.

8. Healthy Food – I couldn’t give a hoot about restaurants because we cook most of our meals. So, we need access to local and/or organic produce, bread, sweets and meat (farmer’s market would be the best). When we eat well, we feel, create, and enjoy life more.

9. Access to an airport within one hour. My parents are getting older and our businesses might require it.

10. Low to moderate home or rental costs. I’m no longer interested in spending $2500 or more per month on a place to live. I no longer have to worry about putting my kids into a public school.

11. Hospitals. We’re getting older. Gotta have good doctors and access to a hospital.

12. Minimal Traffic.

13. Wide Open Vistas. I’m a sucker for land, lots of land. Ever since I was a kid looking out onto a backyard that seemed to go on forever, I’ve been attracted to a great vista. I loved living on the Hudson facing the Palisades in Yonkers!

14. Dogs. I love dogs and love people who love dogs. I think that dogs are the ambassadors between strangers. But…I hate little dogs that yap and yip and think that they own the world. Give me a mutt or a lab any day!

15. Musical Venues. I like the theatre, but I’m much more moved by a great singer-songwriter or band. I also want to have places where we can get gigs. From coffee houses on up – it’s all good.

16. Community. Whether it’s music, a book club or a picnic – I like to be able to have places to go and hang out with people.

17. Library. Books matter.

18. Car Mechanic. Gotta have a good one.

19. Men Friends. I need guys who talk about something other than cars, computers and sports. I like rich discussion. If I can’t find it in a place, I have lots of guy (and woman) friends online. But I’d like to be near to at least a couple of evolved guys!

20. Diversity. I want to be in a place that respects women’s rights as well as every race, religion and sexual preference.

21. University town. I like the energy of a college town, though it can be a little raucus. I also like the option of being able to take classes and/or teach them.

22. Artist Community. Lots of cities have areas where there are potters, galleries and other places where the artist can create, learn, teach, display or find collaborators. I like the energy of these places.

23. Social Services. A community that takes care of its elders, poor and mentally disturbed is important. I like it when diversity includes respect for people with physical differences and when these people’s needs are taken care of. It’s a mark of a healthy, mature place.

24. Parks. Big and small. I love ’em

25. As important as any of the things above, I want my wife to be happy and fulfilled. Call me co-dependent, but when I look at her and she’s smiling or she says she’s had a great day, I am halfway to happy, too. So – if she wants yoga place, I’m in. If she wants a lake or a mountain or a place where she can find good shoes, I’m in.

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