Today’s interesting question from The Provocateur is about our home and whether or not we like it or wish we lived (I’m making this assumption since it isn’t part of the question) somewhere else.
This is a complicated question. Seven out of ten people are unhappy with the place they reside? Do they not like their house or apartment or condo? Or do they wish they lived in a different climate or had more money and could get a bigger place — or, for that matter — a smaller place?
“Unhappy with where they reside” is a lot of questions with a single label. I can’t answer for anyone else, but if I had to answer it, I’d need a considerable amount of context to give a sensible answer.
So let’s start with climate. I could live without ice or snow. Ever. I’ve had more than enough blizzards and ice storms. We originally thought to look for a gentler climate. Except anyplace we looked was either as expensive as the place we already live or was politically and culturally incompatible for a mixed race couple, one of whom is Jewish. Garry won’t move south of the Mason-Dixon, Florida is OH NO NOT THERE!, and most of the southwest is too red (but hopefully changing) for us. And by the time we were thinking about this, California was deep in drought with mudslides, earthquakes, and fires. Its attractions were not so attractive. Meanwhile, a warmer climate drifted to us.
Be careful what you wish for.
Many areas in the U.S. are less expensive than Massachusetts, but not culturally “fit” for us. Any big city would be okay, but we don’t want move go to any city.
I actually quite like our house. It’s nothing special, but it’s comfortable. A big breadbox of a house nestled in an oak woods full of feathered and furry critters.
Is this the house of my dreams? No, but I’m too old to live in the houses I dreamed about. They were all bigger than I could manage and much bigger than we need.
I love where our house is located. This valley is beautiful even when it snows. In the fall? It’s over-the-moon glorious. From the deep green of summer through the golden autumn, this location is a treasure.
What don’t I like? That it needs work and we don’t have the money to get the work done. We did critical stuff last year. New boiler, gutters, a couple of windows. We’ve got new front and back (deck) doors. New hot water heater. New washer and dryer. We had the deck repaired, though it really needs to be replaced. No money.
What we don’t like about the house is that we don’t have enough money — or any likelihood of ever having enough money — to repair it. Otherwise, it’s fine. Not fancy, but comfortable, and peaceful. Nestled in the woods, I can’t think of anyplace I’d rather be — unless we hit Powerball and have half a billion dollars — in which case I’d probably rethink many things, not just housing!
About 15 years ago we were considering moving. In the end, inexpensive and attractive locations turned out to be socially ill-fitting. We two might as well have targets painted on us. We’ll just stay here.
So, are we happy or unhappy with our residence? We would be happier if we had money to fix it up.
Are we happy living in New England and specifically here in the Blackstone Valley? It’s beautiful and that’s a huge gift. Would we like to see some changes? Garry wishes there were more people of color. I wish there was a Jewish community. There are a lot of people like me, intermarried with non-Jews scattered around the towns and villages, but no community. I miss it.
It would be real nice after having give so much of our working year money to social security to get back a pension we could live on. I know there are people worse off than we are, but that doesn’t make it right.
As we age, I realize my plans for an earlier demise have been foiled. It looks like, odds against us, we’re going the distance.
Who’d have thought it possible?