. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

San Diego vs Los Alamos

I spent spring break in San Diego and always like going there. The area has so much to offer, not only for tourists, but also for residents (or so I assume based on family who live or have lived in the area). Of course, the climate is mild and pleasant, but also there are the beaches, all of the parks (Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Legoland), museums galore, a vibrant downtown, convenient retail with so many shopping options, a variety of restaurants, a major airport, the state university (UCSD), and did I mention the beaches?

All of the above are things that I do not experience in the small town that I live in so it is always difficult to transition back from vacation to life at home. Especially coming from a mild and warm spring in San Diego to frigid cold days with gusty winds here. There are seasons and a mountain climate here that don't agree with my need for warmth, there is no ocean (or hardly any water anywhere), there is not a lot to do for activities unless you drive "off the hill" and there's only one very small museum in town. Retail is a joke unless you drive an hour to Santa Fe or two hours to Albuquerque (or shop online). Downtown consists of one or two blocks and is always closed up after 6pm and on the weekends. There are hardly any restaurants here, either, and a majority of them only serve during the lunch hour. Housing prices are too high for what you can get. Employment opportunities are few unless you have a Ph.D. and can dedicate yourself to working 40 hours a week or more.

So what does this town have? Beautiful mountains with many hiking and biking trails, beautiful pine trees, great historical sites and geology, and mild summers (unless you count the afternoon thunderstorms that can roll in from time to time). The skies at night are so clear that you can see how amazing the stars are. The skies are such a vivid blue because there is no pollution. The community is small and is made up of a hodge podge of people from all over the place (few natives here) so everyone is friendly and the businesses really do go out of their way to provide good customer service. It is safe here with hardly any crime and the schools are the best in the state (but the nearest state university is in Albuquerque). Another benefit is that there is not a lot of noise or traffic.

There are tradeoffs for any place where a person lives. Good and bad is all relevant, I guess. I am just thankful for being employed and for having a home in these difficult times.


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