Back Home

After a much longer trip than we expected, with 5 days added on for not the happiest of reasons.

The funeral was simple, and we saw family we haven’t seen in years. Also on the way back, we got to see friends we normally see at Liberty con, so that was good.

And at home we found Havey has made himself hoarse from crying while we were gone.  At last I assume this was so, since my going to the bathroom upon coming home occasioned a bizarre fit of crying outside the door…

We rolled into Colorado this evening, with smoke in the air and a blood red moon.

It’s a bitter-sweet homecoming, filled with the knowledge our time in this, my beloved state, is coming to an end.  Not today, not tomorrow, not this year and possibly not the next, but almost for sure 2022 will see us packing up and leaving the mile hi city, something I’d never thought I’d do.

No, it’s not the politics, though that’s not helping, as it’s already changed the texture of life in Denver beyond recognition, particularly in this fucked up year of our Lord, the year when the mask mandate dropped the remaining masks.

It’s not even the persistent back of the head niggling fear that we’re going to get stuck behind the lines.  (And being by heritage Portuguese I’m assured by friends who scarpered from various places that when the Portuguese leave it’s already too late [seems to bear out by the number of relatives who came crashing into our lives with only the clothes on their backs and their lives all through the seventies.])

It’s the undeniable effect of high altitude and low oxygen on our systems as we age.  So, that’s about it.  Against biology, even Odds strive in vain.

This trip — the longest we’ve been away and not flying — just made it very clear.  There is no way to wind up our affairs and appurtenances here in under one and a half and likely two years.  But after that, barring death, the death of the republic, open war, or other disaster, we’ll be on the move.

Where, only G-d knows, since this is the only place I’ve ever wanted to live since I was eight.

I’d say — having sang with Kansas all across Kansas — it was apropos that as I drove us — I drove more highways this trip than I’ve ever done prior to that.  Enough to break the fear? probably not.  But it’s not a panic fear anymore at least — into Denver we were singing along with the Eagles “After the thrill is gone.”

But it’s not.  Every time I roll into Denver, there’s that closing of the throat, that prickling of the eyes, that certainty that I am home in the place that’s been part of who I am — if only in dreams — as long as I can remember.

So, tomorrow I clean and unpack.  And then it’s back into our routine, (and regular posting, though I’ll use guest posts a lot the rest of this week,) but now with the long term plan of consolidating, fixing, getting rid of excess stuff, and planning an eventual move.

Into whatever adventure comes next.

150 thoughts on “Back Home

  1. I have the feeling we’ll be moving soon, too. And it makes me cry. Denver is my home, it’s the place of my heart, and it’s been changed beyond repair. It hurts my heart. And poor Havey. He needs the loves and pets.

      1. I know the feeling of missing someplace that isn’t anymore. I grew up spending summers near the old whaling town of New Bedford. The summer home was shared with two other families, and over time the money just wasn’t there to both pay the taxes and do the needed upkeep. On top of that, Massachusetts was being dragged down by the People’s Republic of Boston, and New Bedford, old and ill already from two industries dying (whaling and then cotton mills), was decaying beyond hope.

        That is the true legacy of the Kennedy Clan, a bunch of bog-Irish mammy-jammers with the ethics of a pack of weasels. John, Robert, Teddy…two out of three. Pity. And don’t start me on old Joe, the pro-Nazi ambassador to the Court of St. James. Gods, what a pity nobody thought to shoot the bastard before he foisted his revolting sons on the Nation.

        I will never again sit on the porch at Mishaum, watching the sun set across the bay. Too much fell by the wayside. The Lincoln Park amusement park closed and then burned. The businesses in New Bedford dying. The town of Padanaram (closest town) morphing into God knows what.

        If for no other reason (and there are certainly plenty) I would loathe the Left for what they have done to the summer landscape of my childhood.

        1. The important thing is keeping the focus on it no longer being what it was. We do not owe towns the fealty due a lord or a spouse or a dependent (w’er human or animal.) When they change for the worse there’s no bitter clinging to be done; move on and remember that which was.

          For all things living Time is a river which is ever changing; that was then, this is now and tomorrow is another day. To grow older is to mourn the losses to Time, but hold in mind that you cannot lose what was never had, so treasure the memories of having had, however briefly, that to which you aspired.

          Some folk never do, and far more do not get to relinquish their grasp willingly or timely.

          1. What we had is gone.
            Create anew with the best of before,
            and the dreams of tomorrow.
            Hard work indeed,
            but leaves you with pride in workmanship.

          2. Entropy is everywhere. Fleeing may be necessary, but won’t escape the underlying soulrot.
            .
            Four years ago, I moved away from the town my ancestors helped found, and held together during the Great Depression, WWII, and the counter-culture. For good, this time. My efforts to hold things together, at best, kept one local instruction going for three months longer than it otherwise would have.
            I couldn’t believe it when I tried to get the local churches to get together and do a community event to celebrate Christmas, and the city wouldn’t approve the permits. (Not outright refusals at first. They just kept “losing the paperwork”, or “were out of that form”, or “couldn’t look at the calendar right then”. They were terrified of getting sued by deep-pocketted atheist groups, and of “offending” the muslims who had been dumped into the community.)
            .
            The Idaho I grew up in exists only in memories. It was overwhelmed by fleeing Californians, illegal aliens, unassimilated immigrants, antagonistic federal policies , the deliberate obscuration of culture and history, individual ambition, and general apathy.

        2. Tell us what you really think

          In Ireland, when I was a boy, every house had three pictures: the Sacred Heart, the pope, and JFK. My father hated the whole damn clan, my mother held on until fat ted became the great abortion champion and all the good Catholics in Southie kept voting for him. family gatherings became much more entertaining when I realized I only had to say “how bout those Kennedy’s” and duck. The fights were epic

          I miss the NYC of my boyhood every day. My wife mourns for it. It’s gone now.

          1. every house had three pictures: the Sacred Heart, the pope, and JFK

            To quote my mother:
            “We had a picture of Jesus, the Pope and JFK on the wall. I can’t remember who was at Jesus’ right hand.”

            1. I can’t remember who was at Jesus’ right hand.

              I’d think that depends on the pope. The last couple would assuredly be at Jesus’ right hand; the current one would probably sit at the Left.

        3. Have you been back? New Bedford is doing quite well right now. The long-term investment into arts and culture have paid off. There is a vibrant foodie scene. Padanarum was voted “America’s best Harbor” in 2019. It’s a lovely place to visit. https://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20190822/rebuilt-padanaram-named-americas-best-harbor

          Commuter rail train service to Boston is due in Fall River and New Bedford in 2023.

          I do miss Lincoln Park. But places don’t remain static. Massachusetts has become a vibrant hub for the medical sciences. The end of rent control in 1994 (through a referendum on the ballot) had a lot to do with improving the scene in Massachusetts. (There are people who want to bring rent control back, which would be a disaster.) And the state is now #22 in tax burden nationally, which is much better than the days it was known correctly as “Taxachusetts.:”

          1. Sadly, the money situation means no going back. It was only a semi-vacation when taking care of my Lady’s medical problems away from home anyway. But the real pinch was that the house and land had been left in a generational trust, and the trust principal could JUST ABOUT pay for the taxes. Nobody in my generation really made a fortune (not that I’m in any position to criticize) so the house had to go.

            I’m glad to hear about New Bedford and Padanaram, though. How are the Cape Verdians doing? They aren’t being priced out of their homes, are they? Really salt of the earth people. I remember a street-wise elder cousin advising me as I entered my teens (‘the years of indiscretion’) that if I got into the bad parts of New Bedford, as a White Boy I COULD get knifed…if I worked at it.

            1. The Cape Verdians are still here. There’s a thriving community. I really appreciate their grounded approach to life. Farming, fishing, making lives in their towns, often marrying other Cape Verdians, creates a virtuous cycle. We moved from a more uptight region of the state; it’s good to be somewhere where family matters.

              I think the real estate market is heating up, not necessarily due to the commuter rail, but because of the flight from New York. There’s also a growing group of people who commute to Boston from the South Coast, which is really brutal, day after day. I gather rush hour could start around 5 am? There are, however, reasonably priced houses on the market, but I gather they go quickly.

              As to the Cape Verdians, they’ve been in these parts for long enough that many are solidly middle class or even more prosperous. Some of the traditional vegetable stands have closed, due to property taxes and/or the younger generation is more interested in office work than farming.

              Not to paint too rosy a picture, though. If you search for “Codfather,” you’ll find the story of a fishing kingpin. And there is the drug trade, as documented by the documentary “Heroin: Cape Cod USA.”

              1. My Father would occasionally need to commute to Widener Library, for one research project or another, and LOATHED the drive. Often at great and eloquent length.

                I’ll believe In he efficacy of the Light Rail project when it is completed, open, and running for five years and not before. I’m a veteran of the Cleveland Rapid, the DC Metro, and assorted other scaled up toy train sets.

                1. I used to drive a truck, delivering in Boston. I’ve been down in Florida now for fifteen years, and still get a literal nightmare of driving there, waking up sweating, about every six months. Don’t miss those roads a bit.

                  1. One of the Destroyer books has Remo stationed in Boston, and he gets so fed up with the Boston drivers that he demands an APC for personal transport, and the Boston Drivers STILL run him off the road.

                    1. Some years ago, I was at the gas station when somebody pulled in with a bright yellow half-track. Not sure, now, if it was an M3 or an M5.

                      I said to myself, “Wow, bet nobody cuts him off. Definitely not twice!”

          2. Not wanting to cast shade, but my observations have been that a conservative and a vibrant “arts and culture” mix about as well as Potassium and Water.

            1. I still maintain the belief that, mostly depending on the “culture” and a little bit on the “art,” conservatives can coexist quite well.

              It is just that the current “culture” has more in common with the plague than with civility, grace, and decorum and the “art” has less in common with Handel, Michaelangelo, and Tolkein and more with the atonal clamor of a skull bouncing off a bar table.

              For myself, a culture of good taste in books, appreciation for classical music (and heavy metal on occasion), and at least a common man’s eye for art, while somewhat rare these frought days, is a fine thing indeed. While you can call a midden heap “art” and like as not get some fop to write a fawning review of it replete with the buzzwords of the day- is intersectional old hat yet, or is it hanging on? I’ve not been paying attention- then it may well enter the knowledge of the cultured for a moment or two. It’s a much harder thing to create a piece of art or craft that has broad appeal and sufficient connection to the deep rivers of human nature to last a while.

              1. I concur, and confess to casually careless composition. I was too distracted by trying to recall just which element it is which combusts explosively in water that I neglected the duty to carefully convey my considered conviction that much of what pisses for Art these days (and especially in “Artistic Communities” — not to be confused with “Autistic Communities” where better behaviour is generally required) is not so much Art as it is pornoganda (or ought that be propagraphy?) produced more for the propagation of grant money than out of any artistic impulse to convey insights of the sublime.

                1. The ‘Art’ life of the Fascist Left hit rock bottom a while back, and started digging. Unable to stir the finer emotions in most people, the Modern Artist usually aims to titillate or annoy, and the result is usually vulgar if not outright revolting. Needless to say, any attempt to get this kind of Art off the Government Gravy Train by defunding the National Endowment for Irritating People With Taste is met with creams of outrage.

        4. I feel the same about where I grew up – in a blue-collar semi-rural suburb on the far edge of the San Fernando Valley; rather isolated, on the whole – but oh, to ride the family horse around the various dirt roads and tracks. Go hunting for minnows in the streams threading Big Tujunga Wash. Picking oranges and lemons fresh from the trees in the back yard. And now it seems that the whole damn state has gone mad or burned down.

        5. Well, after 30+ years in Yonkers, the place hasn’t changed that much, at least not in any way that has affected me greatly … but I’ve thoroughly had it with the whole miserable Empire State, especially under the second Emperor Cuomo, and the weremate wants to go home to southeast Florida. So ASAP, we’re heading to southeast Florida. Bought a little condo and everything. I just hope that Kurt Schlichter’s novels don’t come true in the meantime….

          1. Yeah, staying ahead of the Schlichter Propecies is an ongoing concern of mine here in The Glorious Masked Bear Flag Peoples Republic – though in the most recent revelation we got liberated first just before the PLA landed, so there’s that.

  2. Glad to see you made it all right.

    We took about two years from my layoff at Paleo-HP til we put the vehicles in gear to leave California. It’s a pain to do so, but sometimes you have to leave, and the trick is to take what you need and leave the flotsam and jetsam behind. Figuring out which is which can be the challenge.

  3. It’s hard to leave, and almost impossible to plan, when you don’t know where your kids will wind up. I keep thinking about moving closer to mine, but . . . Seattle and Taipei? Umm, I think I’ll be staying in Texas for a long time.

      1. Rend somewhere? The CommieCrats are already tearing the country apart; they don’t need any help.

        Why, just today I saw that the government schools are spending our tax money teaching children that their parents are racists, as early as second grade.
        ———————————
        If you use violence and brutality to bring about social change, your cause will be taken over by violent brutes.

        1. “ If you use violence and brutality to bring about social change, your cause will be taken over by violent brutes.”

          Also, you might want to make SURE that your side is better at violence than the other.

            1. Sigh – I was going to assert they’d provide a very dim light but you beat me to it with better.

              (Shakes fist BGEward) Fie, fie unto thee, BGE. I shall have my vengeance!

              Excuse me: “wreak my vengeance.” I forgot: vengeance is always wreaked. Does anyone know of anything else that is wreaked or is it only vengeance?

              1. Havoc. And the correct tense is ‘wrought’.

                One can wreak vengeance, or havoc, but the vengeance itself is always wrought.
                ———————————
                Wing: ”Have you ever heard the phrase, Living well is the best revenge?”

                Miles: “Where I come from, someone’s head in a bag is generally considered the best revenge.”

      2. Might I suggest you look at some of the smaller towns here in north-central Florida. No income-tax state, reasonably priced housing with really BIG yards, and small town atmosphere. Where I’m at, all three of the restaurants close at 8’oclock , heh, heh, heh; ‘course this doesn’t include the micky-dees and such, and the wally-world is open pretty late.
        But seriously there was a time when there was a pretty solid bunch of F/Sci-fi writers that hung out around this state.
        The only down side s that the &%4&$^#&#$ yankee keep coming down and staying…

        1. Sounds a bit like my neck of the woods. Shh. Don’t tell ’em where we are, and we get to keep our yards and acres. *grin* Or do, and let em know it’s pure awfulness down here, smelly swamps, gators, and no coffee shops anywhere except the truck stop.

        2. The only down side s that the &%4&$^#&#$ yankee keep coming down and staying…


          Point of order. Florida. #1 retirement suggestion for full time RV’ers. They buy their RV in Oregon or one of the other 4 no sales tax. Or one of the ones with little to no sales tax. Drive/tow it for 6 months. Then establish residency in Florida. They’ll still pay a Use Tax when first registering it; at a steep discount from original vehicle purchase price. But spend little to no time in Florida. Of coarse Florida becomes their voting state of record, which you have to contend with. But you won’t see them.

          1. But the Yankees do move down to Florida, too. My parents’ new development is full of them. Not all of them are Leftists, though, and some are quite a bit happier with the Florida political environment, not just the warmer weather.

  4. Maine or New Hampshire are decent states for lower altitude and short distances to great mountains, lakes, and forests. NH also boasts zero income tax (property taxes suck though); and we have way to many foolish progressive-socialists in the state. Maine has some moderately high taxes.

    1. Maine is a great place to visit but I’m not sure I’d want to live there. Like Vermont it got a huge infusion of the hippy types in the 70’s and early 80’s. Their politics have really mangled Maine so it does NOT look anything like the one I used to visit 40+ years ago the last bastion of Yankeedom. It has a pretty ugly tax structure and seems to be getting more and more lay abouts. New Hampshire hangs in there although Nashua, Salem and Durham keep making it go back and forth from old school Yankee to modern Liberal idiots. Honestly I’d pretty much avoid New England as it will definitely be on the wrong side of things if the feces hit the rotary device and has gone deep blue in the last 60+ years.

      1. Sarah-glad you made it back home safely.

        Have you considered Wyoming? Not to far away as other options are, has similar terrain in many areas but seems to have a lot less presence of the toxic commies.

        Also, South Dakota appears to be the best run state in the country right now with a governor who if she runs for President in 2024 will have my vote.

        1. If Sarah’s problem is the altitude, Wyoming is probably worse than Colorado. Colorado is higher at the highest points, but in terms of “major” cities, both Laramie and Cheyenne are higher than Denver or Colorado Springs.

  5. When I met my now-wife, she told me “Come to California. You’ll love it!” I did, and I did, and we married, and raised our family, mostly in a suburb of Sacramento. But when I decided to retire, she said “We need to leave, and move to Texas.” It was a tough sell; for the last 30 years, I’d been saying “My next move is to the cemetery!” But she made the case that California was unsalvageable and that we needed to get out, and that Texas was the logical choice.

    So over the course of the last 11 months, we “planned” our move – but forgot to include “Plague Year”. But she managed to find and buy a new house near San Antonio, TX, which we bought sight-unseen. It’s amazing how much can be done with Zillow and Google Earth and a GOOD real estate agent. We still need to sell the house near Sacramento, but our real estate agent there is confident that it’ll be a quick sale at $400K. If it sells at that price, we’ll break even with the new house plus moving expenses, with a little left over for some upgrades here.

    And this time, I’m SERIOUS; My NEXT move is REALLY to the cemetery!

      1. I had a prof who bought a 1950s house with the cemetery on one side and the small local zoo on the other. She and her husband loved the place – very quiet.

        1. Other than the spooky music added, didn’t hear anything.

          Nothing to see here. You’re not suppose to be wandering the cemetery after dark, after all. What are you doing auditioning for a horror film victim?

          🙂

    1. You paid over 300K for a house near San Antonio? Did you get a McMansion? I hope you got some land with that. I San Antonio that should be some house. I assume north side or Hill Country. I bought out in the boonies south around Poteet. Much Much cheaper. 2500 sq ft and 10 acres for 150k.

      1. An acre in Hill Country. Prices here in San Antonio have been increasing rapidly; I could have bought this place for half this much five years ago. Of course, 5 years ago I wasn’t able – or ready – to leave California. It’s been the havoc of Navin Gruesome who has made the difference.

        I’ve ridden out hurricanes before; my USAF father was in Florida for a couple of them, and I was in flight training in Pensacola for Hurricane Frederic in 1979. So I told my wife, as one of the criteria of the house hunt, “Nothing east of I-35”. A sub-reason was to be in the zone of totality for the 2024 eclipse. 🙂

        1. Hill Country is a good place to be. Downtown Boerne is about as close to the town I grew up in minus the hills as you’re like to get in the modern age… Though a sight more expensive.

          Still and all, Texans are good people. If ever I couldn’t live in Appalachia, I’d be in Texas before you could blink.

        2. East of I-35 covers most of the USA, and thousands of towns nowhere near hurricane zones, considering that I-35 runs North to South. (This covers a good chunk of NE Texas, which is sometimes grouped with Eastern Oklahoma as “Meth” Texas. Just don’t expect Parisian delights in Paris, Texas.)

          Be nice to us native Texans and don’t mention “How nice California is/was.” It gets annoying and prompts rude responses.

          1. My daughter and I like to say that San Antonio and the Hill Country is – too far north for hurricanes to really hit with any ooopmp. Too far south for tornadoes. And as near as we can see, no serious earthquake faultlines.
            So – Hill Country. Good choice. And if you want to read up on local history, and figure out why there are so darned many Germans there – my very own Adelsverein Trilogy, and the handful of associated HF novels!

            I did a couple of book club and library events in the years following release of those books. All the librarians said that – they referred readers to them for a short yet enjoyable course in local history.

  6. Welcome home!!! I’m sooo glad you and Dan have made it home safe. And now you know that if/when you have to do long-distance driving again, you can handle it, perhaps even with aplomb? 😉

  7. When you decide when and where* to go, downsize, downsize downsize. Downsize stuff. Books are a necessity, but get rid of everything you can. Speaking from experience. i thought I got rid of stuff when I moved, and after almost a year in new quarters, I am STILL donating and throwing out stuff I brought with me. Of necessity I am in a large development (totally new, never lived in one before) but am finding good to be close (5-10 minutes) to doctors and new hospital. Thanks to wuflu haven’t met any neighbors other than casual wave. Miss so much my late spouse and good friends in our country home, but so glad to have wonderful memories.
    *One thing my parents did when they retired (many years ago now) was to tour the US in a small motor home for about a year before they decided where to retire. Wound up back home in Montana after living overseas for 30 plus years. Happily settled in, came to Florida with us for the worst of the winter months. Good memories.
    PS Don’t delay. Get out of the toxic political climate that poor Denver/Colorado has. And for Pete’s sake go somewhere where the air will be better for you to breathe.
    PPS Forgot to say I am really good at telling friends what to do. Forgive, please.

    1. downsize, downsize downsize. Downsize stuff


      We’re doing that now without moving. IF (big IF) we move, it’ll be square footage for square footage. Cost for cost, might sell current home enough to pay to move too. Only differences will be single story (want one), and property taxes, can’t keep the latter from going up. We will stay in Oregon, probably.

      History of “downsizing stuff” at our place.

      * My paternal grandmother passes away & 80. For a small house she had a lot of stuff. Mostly material & yard for her quilt and afghans she made. Stuffed everywhere. Most of her things went to charity (Goodwill, etc.). I kept her odd mismatched platters (needed them).

      Went to our home & purged.

      * Father-in-law passes. Helped MIL go through stuff for her downsizing into assisted, but not assisted living. I swear they had backups for backups. Did not bring much home ourselves (thank you) except the garage. Somehow all the tools that wouldn’t sell, including kids grandparents wood working tools. Somehow they ended up at our house (still here). We can easily create multiple emergency tool boxes for vehicles no one can work on anymore … I get to deal with that mess if kid doesn’t want to when …

      Came home & purged, again … but you’ll notice, nothing out of the garage or shed.

      * Maternal grandparents pass away, at 95. Help mom & siblings clean out house. They are era of depression & WWII, they had nothing. They threw nothing, and I mean nothing, away. Other than couple grandpa’s paintings, & great-grandma’s chalks, took nothing.

      Came home & purged again. We’re still purging occasionally. I need to purge some more. Good news is we aren’t collectors of dust collectors. I collected magnets from National Parks (refrigerator is cluttered, rest of house, not). The kid collects toothpick holders from his scouting days (also known to adults as shot glasses, but scouts …)

      What is keeping us from moving? We know the house plans we’d like. We just don’t know where we want to move. We know where we don’t want to move. But not where. The other factor keeping us from moving? MOVING. There is no way I’d move without using a moving company. Not happening.

      1. When we left Cali, the move was kind of frantic. I was laid off July/August 2001, found a consulting gig that December, and started the house remodel. The client went toes up Sep 2002, taking the consultancy with it, so we remodeled. It was ready to list the end of Aug, ’03.

        While consulting, I checked areas. Wash/Idaho were too high cost, Michigan got “you’d regret it” from Michigan relatives, so S. Central Oregon won. We did a scouting trip late Sept ’02, and $SPOUSE went up a bit later to look at a possible house. Nope; not safe and the area was as bad as the house.

        I checked out real estate listings on offtimes at the client (the consultancy had its own internet connection, and unlimited usage). After the consulting gig ended, we went into full time renovation mode, and were ready to sell at the end of August, ’03. Our agent was going to do an open house, he told us to disappear, so we went up to check the likely prospects. The agent in Oregon had some wildly inappropriate choices (too fancy, land is OK but the house is a wreck, and You Gotta Be Kidding), before we got to the one we’d selected. It was good, we made a contingent offer and returned home.

        Only to have a couple offers waiting. One looked like a Coyote safehouse setup; they wanted us to have the garage and storage shed made “livable”, while the other was from somebody at the new software companies in Silly Valley. She wanted a 2 week close and occupancy. We gulped and accepted.

        Major frantic move. I sold a bunch of metal back to the surplus metals joint, did several dump runs, and we did a long term rental of a Ryder truck to get stuff into storage units (3 in all, two house, one shop stuff). At the end, we had dogs and enough stuff in the truck/tent trailer, with more in the car. Got up to Oregon, closed that sale, and moved in. We had some stuff that needed doing, but in a couple weeks I went down to let the movers into two of the storage units. Mayflower. They were OK, though I could have insisted they used the checklist. I *think* that the Tupperware box went up to Seattle, but it could have been donated in Cali.

        A couple weeks after that, I took the train down to Cali and rented a truck for the shop stuff. Moved all but a lathe, which entailed a final trip.

        We’d eliminated a bunch of redundant stuff (we already had combined households before we got married in ’01), though the library got a lot of surplus fiction. Salvation Army got the original range (low end, really unsuitable for how we cooked), and local people got some appliances we replaced. I wanted to send Mom’s old hope chest to my niece, but shipping was unaffordable, so it got donated. I think that was the biggest item we moved that went away.

        We already had a rough long term plan, so implementing the frantic move was doable, though exhausting.

      2. Band together with some of the Huns, buy some property, and create Fort Hunston. Go gated or set up your own city government. (utterly trivial in some states, virtually impossible in others)

        1. The idea has merit!
          Though, setting up a government with this group would be troublesome at best.
          A lot of Huns were born to fight. (Or at least to be contrary.)

    1. Oh, yes. In the second Thos. Covenant series, Donaldson has Covenant say “How do you hurt someone who has lost everything? Give him back something, broken.

  8. I understand completely, Sarah. I have been wanting to go back to Texas at times over the past couple of years, but I am feeling that way more and more.I hate the political climate here. I wanted to live in Colorado since HS, but what it has become in the 20 yrs that we’ve been here and I really dislike it. Husband doesn’t want to move back because of the heat & he likes the seasons. We both love the seasons and the snow, & it is the only place our youngest knows. BUT, she’s 21 & in college. When she graduates, I’m not sure. And depending on how things work out over the next months,husband is looking seriously at buying. And if we do that, I will feel trapped. We’re 61 & have an artisan cabinet company & moving would entail starting over. Again. And we do NOT want to do that But housing is so expensive up here & I am sill not sure we will be able to do that.
    And, as Sarah mentions, getting older & altitude thing might make things worse. I’ve had a heart attack…at least 5 yrs ago, maybe more. I don’t remember. Maybe I can use that argument!

    1. You couldn’t pay my mom to go back to Colorado or Montana … one word … SNOW. She hasn’t said why. They were in Montana before she was born and moved to Colorado just before WWII. They moved to Oregon after the war, early ’49, when she was 14.

      1. Both $SPOUSE and I have snow in our backgrounds, so no problem (helps to have power equipment to make Cascade Concrete easier to move). We’d *like* to move closer to town, but with the Cali exodus, near-town real estate is at nosebleed prices. So, it’s doing stuff to make it easier to live around here.

        If anybody comes up with a yard-work robot, I’d beta test it in a heartbeat.

        1. I am lucky. The previous owner left the 10 acres as it was, South Texas prairie with lots of Oak trees. I have done the same. Lots of wild flowers at times and no yard work.

          1. We have a lot of pine trees in fire country. Survival says the pine needles, cones and deadfall need to be cleared for the inevitable fire. Two more were set not too far from our local big (12K acres) fire. People are getting pissed.

            OTOH, I made a 9′ rake from hay-rake tines and such. Makes clearing pine needles away from the fence a half-hour’s chore to do a few hundred feet. Picking them up takes longer, but there’s a safe zone I can leave the pile.

            1. We have a lot of pine trees in fire country. Survival says the pine needles, cones and deadfall need to be cleared for the inevitable fire.


              That & the under growth must be kept cleared. Or what will stop/slow the fires. Two ways to do that, mechanically or fire. The latter is frowned on by, well by everyone, to be done on non-commercial private land. “Native” under growth is extremely flammable, fast burning, like grease. Safest type of house? Under ground, like where the smaller animals & reptiles flee when they can’t out run a fire. Doesn’t mean people get to stay in their underground house during fire, just more likely there is something to come back to. Setup continuous sprinklers with uninterruptible power on the house, other critical outbuildings (power/pump houses) immediate surroundings & stand a chance that property is still intact after a wildfire. Not guarantied, but a chance. Also works if buildings getting the water treatment is built of other fire resistant materials. Just that good ole mother earth is the most fire resistant. Either that or make your adobe moveable.

              FYI. On the fires.

              * Neighbor, real estate agent, knows five or 6 people evacuated out of the Holly Farm Fire (hwy 126).

              * Dog training person I use, who also has a rescue, Connecting with K9s, in Creswell, Oregon, has taken in pets (mostly dogs) from clients who were forced to evacuate, including some of her children’s dogs. She is fostering during the emergency, otherwise not taking in board & train clients (except the ones she has). Note, evacuated pets are not allowed at evacuation centers with their people. After Katrina there is a method to have evacuated pets taken care of, but woe are you if your dogs are, varieties like: Pitbull, German Shepard, Doberman, Rottweiler, or even Great Pyrenees, varieties or mixes. These, in general, are.

              * Aunt’s sister evacuated Holly Farm Fire. No notice. They got out with papers, one car & an RV. They are staying at Aunt’s place out of Pleasant Hill Oregon. They have no idea if their place survived. (Aunt in question is only 20 months older than I am. I think sister in question is my husband’s or his brother’s age, which puts them somewhere around 70.)

              * Cousin, at least 3 times removed (son of dad’s cousin). Place is in Stanton Oregon, which so far the fire around Detroit Lake (hwy 22, east of Salem), hasn’t been touched (because the fire hasn’t gotten that far west, but they have been evacuated). His wife had to go to the Oregon coast, she has asthma so bad she can’t tolerate the smoke (he is my age). Oregon coast, even with the smoke being shown in the atmosphere doesn’t hang stagnant like the valley, not with our coastal winds. It can’t.

              * My cousin’s house in Phoenix Oregon he has been informed is one of the few standing. Unknown is the storage facility he owns there if that survived or not.

              I know a lot more people have been affected. Stories like these put faces on those hit by these fires.

              1. Safest house is a monolithic dome. Properly built and sited, it is tornado, hurricane, earthquake, fire, and small arms proof. You can even put them underground or berm them.

            2. I thought after Katrina authorities learned they must allow pets to be evacuated with owners because there are people who will refuse to go if it means leaving pets, and that includes politically incorrect dog breeds. Reports of Florida hurricane evacuations and emergency shelters mentioned that point some years ago and how jurisdictions had changed their policies.

              One of the things I’ve loved most about Colorado is that it’s pretty much disaster free, at least if you aren’t in the mountains amid the pine forests. But I too have been thinking about moving rather than stay while the state becomes a complete California clone. The question is where, and I’m not one who wants to get away from snow. It’s heat I can’t tolerate.

              1. After Katrina, yes, evacuation process includes pets (per FEMA published guidelines). What they don’t tell you is the pets are segregated from their owners … Regarding unpopular breeds? Odds of non-owner taking care of them properly in an unfamiliar stressed environment? Zip to none. In breed discrimination areas, possibility of the animal being summarily seized & put down? To-dang-high. True or not. That is the perception. Perception flies in spite of words, written or not.

                There have been reports (not related to local fires, as far as I know) where Service Dog handlers have been forced to either leave the shelter or put their medical equipment into the animal shelters, often not at the same site. How? Leave or do it? File a complaint. Don’t care. Sure, maybe, could happen that the shelter Volunteer (likely as not), might be chastised, later; sometime, when, if, the complaint reaches the DOJ. Much, Much, Much, later.

                In the case of Connecting w/ K9s taking in former/current clients animals as Fire Evacuation Fosters. Sure most owners are separated from their pets (just guessing, but I presume her kids are staying with her too). BUT the owners KNOW their pets are not only in a safe environment, they are regularly being stimulated & not just warehoused in kennels. She posts FB videos & pictures.

  9. Glad everyone made it back home safe a sound. My condolences to Dan, you, and the family.

    I understand about Co. In an odd way too. I’ve never lived in the Smokey Mnts, but there is a ache in my heart every time I see them. (Parents were born in raised in East Tn.)

    Your comments about Co reminded of this: https://youtu.be/ITie7FinrPQ

  10. … now with the long term plan of consolidating, fixing, getting rid of excess stuff

    Happily, modern technology means that a great deal of stuff — books, music, eve films and television favorites — is available i digital mode and thus is easily packed.

    Here’s to hopes your next move after this pending one is to the grave and not a holding pen. Although I suppose that this realm in which we abide is already a holding pen and we’re just shifting about in it.

    Glad you’ve made it home safely, Havey’s already suffered more trauma than mortal cat was meant o bear. Enjoy easing back into life’s maintenance mode.

  11. Well, I am glad you made it home safe and sound and hope for some peace of mind, but I think you are right in the foreboding for what is to come. This might be like the films about monks in five hundred years safeguarding the glimmer of civilization and trying to reconstruct what happened. Any advice from you is appreciated.

  12. Just read this over at TAC, and it seemed like something that needs to be heard, here:

    There was a tendency in those hungry for practical results, apart from poetical results, to call upon spirits of terror and compulsion; to move Acheron in despair of bending the Gods. There is always a sort of dim idea that these darker powers will really do things, with no nonsense about it.

    Chesterton, of course, from The Everlasting Man.

    Resonates, doesn’t it?

    Which, on looking for a good link to download– it was written in 1925– I ran into a site called the CS Lewis study group, who have the following quote:
    “Then I read Chesterton’s Everlasting Man and for the first time saw the whole Christian outline of history set out in a form that seemed to me to make sense . . . I already thought Chesterton the most sensible man alive;apart from his Christianity; Now, I veritably believe, I thought that Christianity itself was very sensible;apart from its Christianity.” (Surprised by Joy p.223)

    It’s one of the books that persuaded Lewis.

    1. Yeah, there is a reason why recently my ravings sometimes include mention of the fact that, technically, I do not actually need a theoretical understanding of ‘how’ for something to be fixed.

      I can believe in the Lord, or I can believe in the same superstitions the Left worships. If the latter, why not do so as a leftist?

    2. My bishop, spit, just walked back his endorsement of Biden. I suspect the archdiocesan chancellor just pointed out that there are tax consequences to doing this. Bad enough the clown had a gay Italian model living in the seminary, now we can, in conscience, vote for baby killers, but it’s not an endorsement.

      Look for Frankie the Fool to sign a Concordat of 2021 that leaves the church revenue in place at the cost of the church accepting PP and the gay thing, which will certainly suit the bishops, especially my bishop who’s rather swishy.

      Number 2 son has been quoting Chrysostom on bishop’s skulls lighting the road to hell. Since he’s also the one who opened up Luther reacting to the boy loving bishops in Rome I don’t think I’ll be able to keep him in obedience to our Holy Mother much longer. He goes to Mass out of respect for my wife, but even my wife is starting to waiver. Perhaps the Eastern churches or even Orthodoxy lie in our future.

      1. If he’s expecting elsewhere to not have sinners, he’s going to be in for a nasty shock. We hear about the Catholic examples because that’s the best known group that hasn’t changed their teachings on the binding teachings– because we can’t.
        As well teach a triangle has four sides.

        1. Still and all, believers have found Himself in Catholicism despite all its human flaws. And while there is much and mighty consternation- believe this, if’n thou believest no thing else- there remain men and women of faith who haven’t forgot what the Church has stood for these many long years, and what lives and souls it has touched.

          Men will constantly fail in this life. Fortunate, then, that it is not in men that we are to place our religious faith. *grin*

        2. My son? I think he has quite a realistic expectation regarding sin and sinners, it’s the cumulative effect of it all from people he knows that’s the problem. We know McCarrick, we know several priests and brothers who’ve been defrocked — yet another one from his prep school came to light just last week. He knows several seminarians, they told him about the bishop’s “friend” living in the seminary.

          Further, it is the fact that the church leaders do seem to be waivering on its teaching that’s the problem. We dealt with Vatican 2 changing the Mass since that was a mater of church discipline, not faith or morals. The church telling the faithful they can, in conscience, vote for baby killers … What does one do with that?

          In fairness, it’s not all the bishops, even in the US, but the USCCB.is pushing the socialism thing again and our bishop is one of Francis’s hand picked ones. Once the trust is gone, you have to question If the church has fallen into error and as Flannery O’Conor told Mary McCarthy “if it’s not true, then to hell with it.”

          I wonder if Pius IX understood what the implications of Papal infallibility might be given the performance of our current pontiff.

          1. Look to people whose teaching isn’t known to be bad– that’s part of why EWTN got going. (and still hammering on it–podcast with transcript here)
            They regularly lay out things like that you cannot pretend that abortion is of the same moral consequence as capital punishment, and that you need a truly grave reason to vote for someone who is permissive of denying the humanity of a human being unto the point of death.

            Look, if the Democrat-before-Catholic guys were really as common as they seem, they wouldn’t have to keep doing stupid stuff like hiding then-Cardinal-Ratzinger’s letter about legitimate diversity vs binding teachings. (Short version: legitimate diversity on death penalty; no legitimate diversity on abortion and euthanasia. This from a guy who is very against the death penalty, but honorable in doing his job.)
            They *do* keep having to do stupid stuff that they know will be outed– which means they’re in the same position as the Progs are; they can cheat to “win,” but it only works for the short term. The price keeps going up to get the same effect.

            1. Thank you.

              The trouble with being a Catholic is the bishops come with it. I have the lefty lunatics on one side and the sedes vacante crowd on the other.

              1. *sympathy*

                Given the long standing trouble your area’s had, empty may be the best bet until they can find someone who will be Batman, or at least Commissioner Gordon.

                Sam Vimes is probably a bit much to ask for, though.

        3. While there are other venues no worse than Catholicism, it is a certainty the Church (any Church) will be loaded with hypocrites. It is the people lacking even the grace to by hypocritical you most want to avoid.

          As Professor Lewis points out, accepting salvation does not perfect us, it merely makes us better than we would otherwise be. People who believe they’ve no room for improvement are not the sort with whom the wise wish to associate.

          “… and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me!

          “And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly ‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me and said, ‘Kid, whad’ya get?’ I said, ‘I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage.’ He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?’

          “And I said, ‘Littering.’ And they all moved away from me on the bench.”

          1. And creating a nuisance. And they all came back, shook my hand and we had a great time on the bench talking about crime, mother stabbing, father raping and all kinds of groovy things.

          2. *musing*

            You know, I just had a totally upside down view of that joke come to mind….

            Short version, you know how some really bad guys KNOW they’re bad, and don’t think that’s great, and they’ll keep doing Bad Stuff but won’t try to drag innocent folks down with them?

            Like that…moving away, because they ARE bad, and you’re not.
            Which connects to the point Jesus makes about telling us we can be better, and that even if we’re broken, come to Him.

            If anybody wants to mine that for hints of coherency, go for it.

            1. I think I get you. There are some that are so lost they think they cannot be found, or worse, don’t want to be found, even knowing they are lost. Think of those old tales where a clean cut kid gets lost on the wrong side of town, found by the worst sort, and escorted safely away because they “don’t belong there.” The broken come in infinite packages, but not every single one is a plague on two legs.

              Consider depression. Common enough amongst the high iq, the Odd, and the outcast. *Also* common behavior is to try not to spread it around, to self isolate, to mask while in public.

              There do exist folks who spread misery and pain by accident, and those who do so with malicious glee. Those kinds are rare, thank Himself, and mostly due to the good bits still circulating through the culture from Christianity, nuclear families, and the honest hard work of the folks in the justice system.

              Of the ones that don’t spread the harm if they can help it, these are most likely to warn off an outsider. There are also the ones that don’t want the *attention* that comes with the outsider, the normie. That’s a thought, too. Bring in the kid from the good family, and that means somebody’s going to be looking for him. Means cops. Means trouble.

  13. As a fellow ‘Lunger’ I can appreciate the need to head down hill. The South would welcome a person such as yourself. Texas is always a good choice. save for Austin or Houston and maybe Dallas. Frankly unless it is just your thing big cities have seen their salad days IMO and are on the way out. There is a lot of good in much of the rest of the region as well. We have considered the change ourselves but under current conditions are standing pat here at Gilliland’s Island until the storm passes. I know how tough it is to move, but on top of household we have five horses, ten dogs, six cats -give or take and no fish. add associated equipment such as tractors four wheelers gator, RV’s etc, and I would have to rent a semi-truck with a flat bed to even start.
    Oh, and before I forget, always remember to clean your sword first thing when you get home, just after you pet the cat. Scabbard rot is real!

    1. Plano, where we live, has so far resisted going woke. It’s close enough to DFW that you could drive in if necessary…. but it’s been a year since we found it necessary.

    1. I dread the thought of having to sort, sell, pack the remaining things, and otherwise clean out RedQuarters. I have more books than “stuff.” Stuff seems to be lighter when you move it, tools excepted.

  14. Back home, yay!

    Phoenix is nice. I loved living there. Allergies are bad though, I am told. Maybe take a look at smaller towns north of Phoenix, like Cottonwood or Sedona. Jerome, maybe. Once you get away from the invasive species of palms and all the golf courses, the air cleans right up.

  15. I moved from California to Ohio recently. The move was driven by the needs of my extended family, who fortunately live in the Midwest – the politics, environment, and economics pale in comparison to those personal reasons. Had the situation been reversed in some alternate universe, I would have had to move *to* California against all other sanity, (shudder).

    Coming home to Ohio is wonderful in many ways, and I’m profoundly grateful I could make the move. It was one of the best moves I’ve made.

    You’ll have to figure out where “home” is for you though. Just camping out somewhere, “deployed to a forward location”, is fine when you are younger, but you need roots somewhere where you can live a decent life.

  16. Barr’s speech at Hillsdale. If he is serious about this, then the DoJ lawyers will not be falling over themselves to invent novelties in regards to ‘lock her up’.

    1. Text of the speech:

      https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/remarks-attorney-general-william-p-barr-hillsdale-college-constitution-day-event

      It’s worth it.

      “The rule of law requires that the law be clear, that it be communicated to the public, and that we respect its limits. We are the Department of Justice, not the Department of Prosecution. “

      There are many good things said there that you won’t hear often said anywhere else. Barr is very much the man for the job, in my opinion. He has the experience, the knowledge, and the absolute lack of f*cks to give, if you’ll pardon my language.

  17. Speaking of road trips, Elon Musk’s 2008 Tesla Roadster, now known as “Satellite Catalog Number 43205 TESLA ROADSTER/FALCON 9H”, has clocked over 1,232,000,000 miles and is zipping along at 29,000 MPH on its second solar orbit.

    Voyager I is 43 years and 10 days into its mission, still sending data from 21 light-hours away as it bears the American flag along at 38,000 MPH. Other than some radio signals, it is humanity’s farthest reach off this planet.

    And a thought for you: we know most ancient civilizations by their stonework, and not-so-ancient ones by occasional bits of copper, bronze, or iron.

    America is writing its future in shining stainless steel – Voyager I and II, bridges, office buildings, the Pyramid in Memphis, the Gateway Arch, SpaceX spacecraft, innumerable firearms… we’ve only had commercial quantities of stainless steel for 75 years or so, but it is making its mark.

  18. Let us know if you want opinions of any specific area or region. We obviously have plenty!
    .
    Most of the country is low altitude compared to Colorado, so the larger factor would likely be how your respiratory issues respond to allergens and humidity.

  19. I just got chased out of IL for good last month. I always knew there was no future there, but it was home and there was always things that made the present tolerable. Temporarily staying in Louisiana, but now that California and New York have metastasized throughout the country, who knows where will be a viable place to settle down eventually. Hopefully the dust will settle by the time you need to leave and you’ll find a great new place.

    1. It feels like the whole country is in “local blue blob frauding into state control” surrounded by sane people. But I need to form more in person connections with sane people. One reason I have a strong time to leave feeling is that I don’t know other households to count on, or not enough to make a critical mass.

      Sis-in-law surprised me, said she’s thinking about S. Dakota based on the last year’s craziness and S. Dakota’s response to it.

  20. I understand the pain of leaving, especially when caught on the strange twilight of knowing you’re leaving, while still having lots to do. I still miss Alaska, and it’s still in my bones, in my blood. (And in my frostbitten nerves.)

    Enjoy life – suck the marrow from the bones, and try to squeeze in everything you wanted to do, while also starting to ruthlessly jettison things under “Do I really want to pack, move, and unpack this again?”

    Peter and I had to rent a storage unit at the last small apartment, and it was a great blessing in disguise, because a number of things got winnowed when moving to the storage unit, and a much greater number of things when it came time to start going through things we hadn’t looked at for months on end, and re-evaluate whether they were worth the effort of packing into the U-Haul to haul one more time, and unpack.

    Not saying we were Marie Kondo at the end, by any stretch – let’s not discuss the state of my garage – but it got our two households down to moveable.

    1. While my accountant training says storage spaces are recurring cost best avoided, further analysis suggests that if the alternative to a $50/month environmentally-controlled rental is additional square footage of housing the $600/annum might well be less expensive than the larger house, and more easily shed as you proceed to further downsize.

      1. As a chronic sufferer of flat surface disease, wherein any flat surface inevitably accumulates stuff, I fear a “storage unit” would trigger an escalation to “storage unit disease” where the darn thing just fills up.

        The only treatment I know of aside of periodic arson is a strict “out it goes” regimen, with strict attention to flareups of “hmm, that might be useful”.

        1. I have a chronic case of ‘That could be useful’ exacerbated by recurring fits of ‘The last time I threw something out I needed it two weeks later’. 😀

  21. Sarah’s “We’ll probably rent somewhere for a while”

    Free advice well worth every cent you pay for it: If you plan to be somewhere for even just a year, I’ve always found buying rather renting’s a better bet. Rent, the money is gone, buy, even if you sell at a loss, 50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

    After Denver? Personally I found Wolfe wrong, you can go home again, you just gotta figure where home’s moved to.

    I was raised in south Florida in the forties- fifties. Walked/biked to school, played in the glades and the piney woods, miles and miles of people free miles. When we first moved down there; Fort Lauderdale to Miami, mostly open beaches and the Atlantic visible from the highway. Not too long after nothing visible from the road but hotels and condos.

    When my daughter was born in NYC, I wanted the same childhood I had for her.

    So! Packed up & moved to Alaska! Where, she and my, born in Alaska, son were able to grow up, learn self assurance, in the same environment I enjoyed. Exactly like my home in Florida, OK, not nearly as many snakes and gators around, moose lynx, wolves and bears instead, and occasionally a wee bit cooler, but you know what I mean. 🙂

  22. I’m o sorry for you Mrs. Hoyt.

    I found “…that land where both their hearts may rest” and the thought that I might have to leave it (and most likely as a refugee. Maybe it’s that little bit of Portuguese…) gives me the grue. Before the fires I was spending an hour every day sitting beneath one of the trees I planted over two decades ago, which is now just about big enough to be a “settin’ under” tree trying to fill my eyes and heart.

    Glad you made it home. Still praying for “the almeidas””.

  23. Trump continues to show lack of judgement:

    From MSNBC

    In a recent press conference, President Donald Trump made an off the cuff comment on dietary and health issues which again points out his lack of knowledge.

    “I know it’s getting cooler in some places, but there’s still hot weather, be sure to drink lots of water, stay hydrated.”

    The responses were quick. MSNBC’s own Rachel Maddow took the president to task.

    “This man is not a doctor. He is in no way a health expert. There are conditions where people have to control their liquids. Pericardial issues can lead to heart problems and even deaths. And he didn’t even specify FRESH water. Untreated or salt water can kill. This is just one more dangerous, ill-informed statement by a demagogue who doesn’t care about the American people.”

    From The Atlantic:

    Trump Doesn’t Remember History, How Can He Understand It?

    In a public appearance last week, President Trump casually mentioned “The beginnings of World War II, in 1941…”

    This level of ignorance is unworthy of our Republic and its leader. The true beginnings of the second World War extended well into the mid-thirties (or even earlier in the Asian theater), and the British stood alone in a state of war against the Nazi powers from 1939.

    The troubles of our world NEED a person who can comprehend how history brought us to this position, not someone who only skims the notes he cribbed from someone else.

    From CNN:

    Trump Offers Praise to CNN, What Was He Thinking?

    Reports have surfaced that in a closed-door meeting President Trump offered a quick bit of approval to this network.

    “CNN, you know I call them ‘Fake News’, but the other day, they had a review of the fire crews out west. Very accurate, showed why we need those brave folks. Great reporting, simply inspiring.”

    How could he say this? CNN has shown itself repeatedly to be a network completely lacking in research and accountability.

    “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter was quick to point out the problems with the president’s statement.

    “Great reporting? From this knee-jerk leftist crowd? What could he be thinking? Just lookk at me, my very presence on a news network is a slap in the face to the very words ‘trust’ and ‘journalism’.”

    In a related note, members of the president’s staff continue to spread the foolish notion that media outlets in this country reflexively attack anything said Donald Trump or his administration. This hysterical attack mode shows the desperate state of our current government.

    [Poe Notification:

    None of that happened.

    The media isn’t (quite) that crazy.

    Yet…

    There’s still a month and a half for them to up their game, though.

    Is it cynical in here, or is that just me.

    Welcome back, Sarah. I hope you find a lower altitude haven that joys your heart and soul.

    — CC]

  24. Huntsville, AL has a lot going for it. You can find pretty much anything there, there’s a high tech level thanks to Redstone Arsenal and people are friendly. On the downside, don’t laugh too hard at Monte Sano, all 1200 (I think) feet of it. And it is north Alabama, meaning winter tends to go almost straight to summer and summer hangs on a while. Probably the big disqualification would be the pollen count. The area is well-known for sinus. My old boss claimed the local tribes called the Tennessee Valley, “the valley of sickness,” because a persistent inversion keeps the pollen counts up.

  25. Being a westerner by upbringing and temperament, I don’t think I could ever live east of the Mississippi. (Not least for the humidity.) But there’s a lot of good country between the Big River and the Rockies. If you need lower altitude, consider the Dakotas, Nebraska, or any point south through north Texas, depending on your preferred climate. Lots of medium to smaller towns along the way, any of which would be in friendly territory, in the event.

    I would say “has skyscrapers” is probably a reasonable marker for “will wind up behind enemy lines”. Seems to go along with a different economy and mindset not seen before that level of development, perhaps due to the associated political corruption.

    Billings MT is kinda micro-Denver, and it’s at 3153 feet (plus or minus the rimrocks). I’m good here, no plans to depart. Points east are lower (Miles City 2362′, Glendive 2053′.) Moving downhill and east, Bismarck ND is another wonderful micro-metropolis, with a fine museum.

    So in your shoes, that’s where I’d be looking, but of course where the kids land and all that.

  26. I came to the same sort of conclusion about California, land of my birth, several years ago. I could see the trends and the weaknesses and know the long litany of man-made disasters that were inevitable. We got Global Pandemic in 2020 while I was thinking food riots, but….

    So, I went to figure out a place to go. And, being a CPA, I built spreadsheets.

    I built one for states to refine my focus, then I shifted to census-designated metropolitan areas (I want to live near one or more, but not in one). I looked for a bunch of metrics — did you know there are only 155 med schools in the entire country? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_medical_schools_in_the_United_States .

    What metropolitan areas have a Whole Foods? I don’t shop in them very often (and refer to them as “Whole Paycheck”), but rival food stores in the area have had to expand past beef and potatoes in order to keep competitive.

    When you build a spreadsheet like that, you can start to organize the clamor and move your attention towards places where you might actually want to live. Every person is different — build your own spreadsheet and decide what you might want to consider and how strongly it should be weighted.

    I should point out one syndrome that essentially poisons a state. If one city dominates a state, the rural (and most suburban) parts of the state will be repeatedly raped by the city’s influence. This is true with Chicago/Illinois, Portland/Oregon, Boston/MA, Atlanta/GA, Vegas/NV, NYC/NY…..

    Build a spreadsheet. It’ll help you focus.

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