Thursday, May 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Until you live somewhere else and come back, you don't appreciate many things about your home town.  For example; until we lived for three years in Upstate New York, I didn't appreciate my time in a little podunk town called Hoopeston, Illinois (basically in the middle of a cornfield) the two years prior to that.

The same could be said for Green Bay, though I've always appreciated my home town.  Where else can you walk through a parking lot full of tailgating football fans and get offered a beer or a brat by at least one perfect stranger? Where else can you take your kids to an amusement park, park for free, pay no admission, and put your kid on a ride for 25 to 50 cents each? All the road construction in Green Bay right now?  As inconvenient as it is, it means our tax dollars are hard at work (and so are a lot of construction workers). Wisconsin roads and highways are wonderful.

Our state parks are gorgeous. No, we don't have any mountains, but we do have many green forests, lakes, and lots of places to take the kids. Neighborhood bonfires are a regular events out here, and if you don't know your neighbors, you are probably not from around here. It didn't surprise me at all, last winter, when not one but three different neighbors stopped over to help remove snow after a particularly big snow storm when Mr.4444 was out of town; that's just the way people are around here.

Wisconsin has many things to attract people with families, but its true value is not its things; it's its people.  My neighbor (who is a world traveler) moved here with her husband and two young kids a couple of years ago, from Texas. Last weekend, she was talking about how her company has a hard time getting people to move here ("It's cold." "It's boring.") and how they need to sell it better to potential employees. She said, "There's no place like it--the family values, the school system, the way people are not just friendly but neighborly." She recently got a new job and had the choice to live anyplace in the country, and she chose to stay here; I think that says a lot.

You can say what you want about Green Bay; our winters are tough, and our Wisconsin taxes are tougher. We aren't a huge city; you can get through all three museums in a half a day (not counting the Hall of Fame, of course!:), and you'll be disappointed if you're looking for a Saks 5th Avenue store, but there's something to be said for Midwest values...

....not to mention those amazing cheese hats.

              photo credit

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