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February 26, 2019: The Country Mouse and the City Mouse

The other day my sister El and I were talking about places to live. I said that I envied her, living in Portland because there is so much to do there. You can eat out in a different place every night of the week, go see movies on the big screen, check out museums, or spend your afternoons in bookstores. You can also get just about anywhere in Portland by bicycle.

We can do most of these things here (minus the bicycling), but this necessitates a trip into Anchorage, which is an hour and a half there and an hour and a half back. Granted, there are some things about city life that I would not enjoy, one being the traffic situation and another being the traffic situation. Cities are also noisy places with sirens being the predominate background noise.

Okay. I could live in a west coast city, maybe with the exception of LA, where the weather never changes and it’s smoggy. But I could not ever live in an east coast city. The one that comes immediately to mind is Buffalo, NY. I

remember, last fall, walking near the lakefront – on my left was this huge overpass – and I thought, well, if someone think this is a pleasant walk, they have been duped.

The happiest day of my life was when I left Rochester, NY for college. I knew I’d come back to visit because I had family there. But I would never live there. I did for many years fear that I might have to move back there, but fortunately, I didn’t have to. I do not have any good memories of that place. I did visit once, and nothing was as I remembered it to be. My thinking is that if nothing is as I remember it to be, then why be there?

I sometimes grouse about the long winters here, and also about the fact that we have transient neighbors who appear and make noise and create messes. However, they leave when the weather gets inclement.

Today was one of those days when I realized just how fortunate I am to live here. Midmorning, Pete and I walked a short ways up the road, and then skied right to the doorstep of our wilderness first responder teacher’s doorstep. We did not see a single person. Yes, the word’s gotten out that these trails are now regularly groomed, and so, at any given time, snowmobilers, bicyclists, dog walkers, runners, and skiers are out there. This was inevitable. Today the trails were chewed up by the denizens – BUT we did not see a single person out there. And not only was the sun shining brightly, but we had a beautiful view of the Talkeetna Range returning home.

And later today, I first ground drove Hrimmi and then Tyra down road and then at the turnoff, got on them and rode home. Then I went running with Tinni. By then it was dark.

Yes, I would now miss having this sort of day if I lived in a city. We really do have to count our blessings, no matter where we live.

Next: 57. 2/27/19: February is the Cruelest Month

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