Ten on Tuesday
Ten Things I Like about Where I Live
I'm taking "where I live" as meaning my house, my neighborhood, or my town, and I have some of each.
- We have a big flat back yard, great for running around and playing frisbee and practicing soccer in. We don't actually do any of these things all that often, but it's a great thing to have.
- Privacy. We can see one other house from our back deck, and even that's a blank wall through trees. I can wander out there for breakfast in my pj's if I so choose.
- We have a big oak tree next to our front walk. When we moved in I suggested having it taken out because it would block all the sun from the front yard; Grant vehemently opposed the idea, and I'm glad he did, because it's great to sit out there in the shade and watch the world go by. Speaking of which...
- We have great neighbors. We know some of them better than others, and some not at all, but we exchange waves with everyone walking by, and we look out for each other's kids.
- Conservation land borders our neighborhood on three sides. It's great for walking and contemplation and photography of any wildlife that will hold still long enough (this explains why most of my nature pix involve plants).
- We live within walking distance of a town park with a swimming pond. It's a small one, created basically by digging a big hole in the path of a brook and waiting for it to fill up, but when it's absurdly hot out one can go over there and fling oneself into it and be back home in half an hour.
- Our town is fairly small; after a while everyone starts to look familiar. I say hi to everyone I see at the store if I have the slightest suspicion that I might know them from somewhere, because I usually do. (Once in a while I end up in one of those conversations where I'm trying hard to conceal my failure to remember the other person's name; often it turns out that she can't remember mine either.)
- One place where people get to know each other is Town Meeting. Our town is just a little too big for TM to work comfortably, but it's still nice that everyone can talk about the issues and anyone can give a presentation as long as it's relevant and they get permission ahead of time. We also have local-access TV, so if during a routine meeting that we've decided not to attend a town crank (every town has at least one; we are blessed with several) proposes a spectacularly crackpot idea, we can get there in time to vote. Everyone's being aware of this cuts down on the crackpot ideas.
- Our town is pretty safe. People tend to know each other (see above) and look out for each other's kids. I don't push this too far, since predators are everywhere, but it's still a nice feeling.
- We have a great school system, to the point where as high school began to loom larger on the horizon I briefly flirted with the idea of sending Miss B to prep school, where the environment would be less competitive. The high school is a little bigger than I would like — I went to a four-year prep school with a total of about 275 kids — on the other hand, there's a lot going on, and no matter what her interests there will be other kids who share them.
Of course there are things I don't like too — there would be no matter where I lived — but they're far outweighed by the good things.