Thursday, May 12, 2005

Thoughts on Place

This could turn out to be an introductory post, but I don't know that yet... I never know what I'm going to write about next. Ronni Bennett over at Time Goes By has been forced into the realization that she has to change her venue from her beloved New York to... where?
Appalachian Intellectual posted regarding some of hatefulness that has been vented toward the people of East Waynesville, N.C. (It was the pastor at the Baptist Church and he's resigned!) There are conservative Republicans in California and there are liberal Democrats in North Carolina. We may need to work on our tolerance.
Finally, I have been thinking about posting on my reflections about some of differences between red states and blue states... an issue with me as my intention is to move from the ultimate blue state smack into the middle of a bunch of red states. It came to me that my roots are in red states and that with a little reflection I can still see where they're coming from... for the most part.
I had an epiphany of sorts early last year... that I was never going to be able to retire in California, that I was working full time at a job that I do not relish in order to be able to live in California, and that I really don't care to live in California. I've lived in California since 1970 when I got back to the States. My last fifteen years in the Navy were in and out of San Diego. My kids were born in San Diego and I went to college in San Diego and after college I finally found a job in Southern California... not in San Diego, of course! I was already 42!
I grew up in the rural midwest... central Illinois and Iowa... a million years ago but I have never had a desire to return to the bitter winters or the hot, humid summers there.
My father's family was from Henry County, Georgia, and my only memories of it were of the summer. I got a chance to go back there last May, but it's become so... metropolitan Atlanta that it's just not an option.
During my drive through America last May I looked around, stopped by coffee shops, smelled the air... Tennessee sang to me... the Smoky Mountains sang to me... when I met my wife she said the Smoky Mountains sang to her (but her preference is for the Georgia side of them... she's from Clayton County, Georgia and had vacationed up around Rabun Gap). Today I'll be dipped if the MSNBC Travel Section didn't have a piece on 25 Things to Love About Asheville.
I know guys who are making it on their military retirement... but not in California. Worse, California has never really sung to me. This is where I got off the ship in 1985 and I stayed here, but I'm not a Californian. It remains to be seen whether or not I'll become at home in the Smokies, but they are calling me... and it's time.
In eighteen months I'll be 59 and a half, and I promised my wife's family that I'd have her back home in time for her birthday in 2006. I just need to hold off on breaking stuff for awhile.

I want to mention HM3 Jeffery Wiener. Petty Officer Third Class Jeffery L. Wiener, 32, of Louisville, Ky., died May 7, in a combat related incident. Weiner was a Navy hospital corpsman assigned to II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF). Here is the piece they wrote up on him in the Lexington, KY paper.

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Anonymous Ronni Bennett said...

Well, look at this. It seems I'm not alone in my quest for a new sense of a place.

Making the right choice, at my age (I'm 64), seems much more important now than when I moved around the country a lot in my 20s. In those days, I wanted the adventure of the new. This time, although that will apply too, I want a place where I feel at home.

3:20 AM  
Blogger The Appalachianist said...

Hey, thanks for passing the word on about Waynesville. Well, if you wind up in hte hills, we'll have to ghet together. If I'm not in Iraq...and, I am heading there.
I hope you get your "place" and your health is well.

6:55 PM  

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