Where I Live

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is ‘If you could live anywhere, where would it be?’, which I originally found a bit ‘meh’ (I could say that about most prompts for most things, though), but I guess it’s sort of appropriate, since I had to drive from Hinckley to Minneapolis today.

A quick note about the photo before I respond to the prompt, though. Out of the three pet carriers I own, somehow only one of them was in Hinckley today, which was a problem, since it’s usually one cat per carrier. I thought, a bit unimaginatively, in retrospect, that I’d put Beany in a plastic tote without the lid, and because cats don’t like cars, she’d just hunker down in there. Yeah, right.

She spent the first six miles it takes to get into Hinckley proper pacing back and forth on the backs of the rear seats, and that wasn’t even the tiniest bit safe for anybody. That was when I realized that I could have just put both cats in the same carrier (DUH). So I stopped in the parking lot of Tobies and waited for Beany to get near enough to me (I had to stay in the driver’s seat, since I didn’t want to open any doors with her on the loose) so that I could grab her by a limb and pull her closer. She weighs almost nothing and is made of Silly Putty and quilt batting, so she didn’t even mind, much less get hurt. It was surprisingly easy to get her into the carrier with Birdy, and they were actually MUCH happier for the rest of the ride than they usually are.

Plus, since I was stopped at Tobies, I went in and got a donut. Everybody wins!

Anyway, where would I most like to live? I’m pretty sure the answer is Hinckley. I mean, if I could rearrange the planet, I’d put Frankfurt where Duluth is and maybe shift over Edinburgh to western Wisconsin. And Powell’s Books would be in Mora, and winters would alternate between Minnesota’s weather and LA’s weather on a bi-weekly basis (and let’s get some of LA’s vegan restaurants, while we’re at it). There are things about my favorite places that have made me think, ‘Yeah, I could live here,’ but I don’t think there’s anything that would make me want to move away from Hinckley, especially since my family is in Minnesota.

Hinckley feels like home now; my house in Minneapolis sometimes seems like a friend’s place that just so happens to have all the stuff I like. I’m not going to hang on to the Mpls place indefinitely, but I’ve decided to ride out a winter before I decide what to do. The idea is that it might become much more difficult to get around in the country when there’s a lot of snow on the ground (who knows how long it takes the city plows to get to our unpaved road, and we have to hire somebody to plow the driveway, unless you feel like shoveling its ridiculous length (seriously, it wouldn’t be possible). But at this point, those just seem like things I’ll have to live with; I’m not sure what would have to happen to make me feel like I didn’t always want to be out at the Hinckley house. (I hope I never have to find out — I have a sneaking suspicion it might involve nests of centipedes. Shudder.)

Plus, I like living in a small town. Well, living out in the country (every time I come back to Minneapolis, I’m all, ‘Ugh, neighbors, gross.’), but having a small town as my nearest point of civilization. When I’m mistaken for somebody, I know who I’ve been mistaken for; the waitress at my favorite diner knows my usual order; the man at the organic store asked me where Rob was the last time I was there. I know a lot of people value the anonymity that comes with living in a city, but as an introvert, I find the level of community that exists in my area to be enough social activity to sustain me for long periods of time.

Plus, there’s more sun for the cats at the Hinckley house.

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