What I Love About my Community

Dear readers, I’ve been thinking about loving where I am lately. For background, I live in a mid-sized city in the Midwest (depending on who you ask, or which suburb or rural community you’re from, some may say we’re in the South. But I think it’s officially the Midwest. Right on the line, there). According to every high school student, ever, in this city, there’s lots not to like. A and I planned on eventually getting out of here one day, too. But now we’re settled here, and discovering there’s plenty to love. Here are a few things that keep us here:

It’s beautiful.

When I was yearning to get out of here, I made the mistake of focusing on everything my little corner of the world is not. That’s okay; it does have its limitations. But, good grief, does it have its upsides:

This is my city's downtown square. Photo from Wikipeida.

This is my city’s downtown square. Photo from Wikipeida.

This is from one of our many, many, many parks. Photo from springfieldmo.org

This is from one of our many, many, many parks. Photo from springfieldmo.org

This is a shot of the terrain around one of the many rivers in the region. Photo from Wikipedia.

This is a shot of the terrain around one of the many rivers in the region. Photo from Wikipedia.

 FOOD.

I don’t know what sort of citizen-to-restaurant ratio we have in my city, but it’s got to be insanely high (or low? I’m not good at math). There are just a lot of restaurants, okay? And lots of them are super quality. Considering the relative lack of diversity in my city, the restaurant scene is overall authentic and amazing. The only type of food I’ve had while traveling that I can honestly say is better than the food in my city is seafood. Probably because my city is landlocked. But, it’s really nice to not have to travel far for great burgers, gyros, falafel, chicken tandoor, pasta, lo mein, pho, burritos, or fish and chips. Have I mentioned that I love food? I love food.

Music.

So I don’t live terribly far from the town where country music goes to die. So my city often gets a bad rap as far as the music scene goes. And, while there’s not a whole ton going on in the way of huge names in the music business, the local music talent pool is incredibly deep. There’s a pretty wide range of local acts to see anytime you want, but if I had to pick a “type” that’s most common around here, I’d probably say it’s a tight race between indie rock and bluegrass.

 The people.

The top reason I like living in my community is the people. They are warm, kind, and take care of each other, largely. People who either have roots here or live here currently are doing all kids of great stuff around the world. I love knowing that so many people here are contributing so much to the global community, as well as to our own.

And, I’d be remiss to leave out the fact that the single strongest thing that kept A and I here is our family. It’s been a HUGE help having both sets of parents around, especially since we had Baby I. I can’t imagine doing life without them.

Do you love where you live? What makes it great?

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