The weather is cool here in this area (cooler than I remember for the time of year, if I'm honest), but still far warmer than it is presently at home in Colorado, so I can't help but wonder if this is a usual occurrence and I've just not noticed it in the past, or perhaps it's more to do with not being in the area often enough during this time of year.
|I never seemed to have a camera handy when the cyclists went by, but I managed to catch this fellow riding a couple of days ago.|
It's amazing to me how cycling infrastructure has changed in this small community as well. Each time I return, I notice more bicycle lanes or find new paved trails. As is the case in many areas, I did note that several of these paths or trails tend to end abruptly and without warning, causing me to wonder why the municipality didn't continue to pave the path for cyclists. Perhaps it is in the works and if I were to come back in a year's time, things would look different yet again.
|This trail was fantastic, but ends just around the bend at a signal and forces riders out onto the busy road with motorized traffic.|
Between this trip and a recent e-mail conversation with a reader, I've been pondering the things that make a community "right" for an individual. I've always loved this area because of the mild climate, and seeing more cycling infrastructure come alive causes me to appreciate this community all the more. When I was growing up, it was a very small farm community and few people actually lived here, but it has grown and changed, and I appreciate the changes that have taken place. It makes me want to live here.
Of course, there is bad to consider here as well. For instance, this area has been particularly hard hit by the California drought and has seen little in the way of rain, even though both southern and northern California have had a bit of relief with some periodic rain. Additionally, it's an expensive place to live, particularly for a community that has little in the way of providing income. The people who survive seem to be 1) farmers, 2) entrepreneurs, 3) independently wealthy, or 4) retirees who moved to the area before it got outrageously costly. I can't help but wonder what people do to make a living when they don't fit into the above categories (and they do exist). I suppose living anywhere is possible, and there is always give and take.
If I were to pick out my ideal community to live in, I think about the qualities I would want it to possess. Things like cycling infrastructure/bicycle friendly businesses and access are high on the list, as is the ability to earn a living, cost of housing and cost of living in general, temperate climate, friendly and open residents, dog friendliness (I take my pooches just about everywhere with me), and the list could go on.
As each year passes, I also realize that I likely have limited time to share with older family members, and a part of me always wants to be closer so that visiting isn't so infrequent. So, I begin to ponder the idea of following those that leave and wonder if there is a happy point that meets somewhere between my idealized mental list and absolutely none of the items I would want in a city or community.
So, I find myself posing the questions to you, reader. How do you feel and what do you think about your chosen home location. Where do you live, and what do you like about your community? Is it small or large... or somewhere in between? Did you grow up in the area or move to your current home town in adulthood? What keeps you in your community? Have you visited other communities that you prefer over your own? What prevents you from moving? I would love to hear about other places around the country (and even outside of the country) and how you and/or your family arrived or chose your place of residence. Meanwhile, I'd better get back to work!