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Why the Midwest?
Old 09-02-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
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Why the Midwest?

Sometimes I wonder why I am living in fly-over country.

From windchill factors & shoveling snow to swatting swarms of hungry mosquitos - seemingly in a blink of the eye. Turn off the heat so you can crank up the air conditioner.

Boring topography and monoculture agriculture.

Roads like a pot-hole laboratory which gives new meaning to "freeze-thaw cycle".

And then there are the Cubs.... wait till next year. Again?

Then there is a night like tonight - extra sweet sweetcorn and heirloom tomatoes straight from the garden - so fresh they are still growing when you eat them. Nirvana. Unmatched anywhere.

Almost makes it worth it.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:27 PM   #2
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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As a fellow Midwesterner, I've always thought Midwesterners were generally the nicest folks anywhere. But so many have migrated South & Southwest that now you can find 'em almost anywhere these days.
Seriously- It's all about what makes YOU happiest. No offense but used to live in IL. Could not wait to leave. Wanted to move south, but instead took a j#b in IN 'for a while'. Many years later I'm still here- and in no rush to leave. Except for spending a few weeks in AZ during the winters. Just like the AZ relatives like to spend a few weeks in July/August back up the Midwest. No place is perfect.
BTW- Don't forget to count your blessings for being a long-time Cubs fan. When your time comes you should be directly admitted to Heaven.....'cause you've already been through hell on earth
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:42 PM   #4
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I was born, raised and have lived most of my life in the Seattle area, but I have to admit that I totally romanticize the midwest. Both of my parents' families are from there and some of my happiest childhood memories are trips back to the Dakotas in the fall. The relatives have since died so I haven't been there as an adult and I have no idea what it is really like to live there. I am hoping to do a midwest road trip in the next few years. Do you have suggestions for nice cities and towns to visit?
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:49 PM   #5
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Chicago (my birthplace) is the obvious choice to visit in IL, but it doesn't feel to me like "The Midwest". I'd say look downstate or for something different go northwest (e.g. Galena, which was unglaciated).
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:12 PM   #6
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BTW- Don't forget to count your blessings for being a long-time Cubs fan. When your time comes you should be directly admitted to Heaven.....'cause you've already been through hell on earth

I am just a piker - I'm "only" 58. My dad is the long suffering one, he is 83.
He said he would hang on till they won one, but now he is doubting his commitment sadly.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:17 PM   #7
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Unmatched anywhere.

Almost makes it worth it.
I am glad you like it.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:18 PM   #8
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Corn and tomatoes grow just about everywhere. Peaches and strawberrys dont.


Just sayin.


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Old 09-02-2014, 09:21 PM   #9
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I am hoping to do a midwest road trip in the next few years. Do you have suggestions for nice cities and towns to visit?
Everyone should do the Chicago lakefront at least once in the summer. The museum campus, Grant Park, all the usual things. It really is a unique city on the lake. Just try to do it in May-June, or Sept-Oct if possible. No crowds, good weather, and lower humidity.

As for small towns, Mrs Duck and I love to jump on the motorcycle and take off without much of a plan and roam through the country. Can't get enough of local diners and festivals. The people on the whole are as friendly and unassuming as you might expect. It's just Americana.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:22 PM   #10
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Heh, this time of year through the end of February I voluntarily take trips on a roughly weekly basis from my edge of the Rockies home to something that most people would recognize as the Midwest (eastern Colorado). I did so today. The people I met were really friendly, very direct, and as I had the magic decoder ring (pickup and shotgun) they were all very willing to share information it might have taken me some effort to gather. Nice people, nice place.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:30 PM   #11
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Corn and tomatoes grow just about everywhere. Peaches and strawberrys dont.


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Thats my point really. They may grow everywhere, but in my travels I haven't found a comparison. Theres tomatoes, and then theres tomatoes.

I have a peach tree and a plot of strawberrys also. They pretty much grow everywhere also. Would you like an Illinois peach? Didn't think so.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:28 AM   #12
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We got a chance to live in many places during my w*rking years, we chose to settle down in Ohio. We like it a lot, for all the reasons already mentioned.
When I hear someone making disparaging comments about the place, it's usually someone who grew up here and can't wait to leave. I tell 'em to go see some things, then they may find they like it here a whole lot more.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:51 AM   #13
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I was born and raised in Chicago and lived there until I left for the military when I turned 18. My entire family still lives in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. I, too, am huge Cubs fan!

When I retired from the military I was sure I was going back to Chicago and my family was all for it. It just didn't pan out and we stayed in Florida. Chicago has all my childhood memories and my ENTIRE family. I visit periodically but don't you know it.......deaths in the family always seem to occur in the winter time!

My wife is a northerner also (CT.), we met in the military. Now that we are a little older and just about empty nesters, we have no desire to go anywhere cold let alone live there. As my Chicago family grows older they seem to vacation down south a lot more, but all of them have told me they will live out their lives up north. I guess there is something to be said for a true "Yankee"

Mike
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:05 AM   #14
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DH and I moved to "one of those square states in the middle" (that was how one of his coworkers put it) when I changed jobs in 2003. We haven't looked back. Each of us had been born and raised in the Midwest but I'd lived in NNJ for the previous 25 years and DH longer than that. My salary didn't change but the cost of housing sure did. It made a huge difference in our ability to save for retirement although we already had a good base.

We love it here. We get snow, of course, but nothing like we had in NJ. DS finished school in Des Moines, stayed there, owns a house and has a wonderful wife who stays home with their baby daughter, which would be impossible in a HCOL area. (One friend from the old city has both adult sons living with them because $400K for a starter house is more than they can manage.) The people are nice and a world-class music hall is 45 minutes away from us. The medical/dental care is as good as it was in NJ. I've started a Geology course at a community college just a few miles down the road and really like the professor.

Shhhh. Don't tell anyone on the coasts about us. They'll all crowd in here and jam up the roads.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:37 AM   #15
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Sometimes my ignorance of US geography shows.

I was visiting Denver a few years back and this huge blizzard hit. Just too much snow for me to go out while it was still falling. So it was TV time.

They kept broadcasting conditions and one point they announced the interstate (70?) was closed all the way to Kansas. I had no idea the two states bordered!

I guess I'm just an "east of the Mississippi" guy.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:18 AM   #16
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Living near Chicago and Lake Michigan is wonderful 9 months of the year for us. Low COL (distant suburbs) and truly world class amenities within easy driving distance (Chicago). And wonderful places to visit in WI and MI. Nice Spring, relatively moderate Summer, gorgeous Fall...some Winters better than others.

Getting away from cold winters means hotter summers unless you go to the left coast, pick your poison. Many warm regions are expected to face chronic water shortages with no relief in sight, could get pretty serious.

San Francisco and Santa Barbara look close to perfect to me, but both are far too expensive IMO.

As a wise old Aunt told us, 'no place is perfect, and if there was it would be so expensive and so crowded you wouldn't want to live there.'
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:51 AM   #17
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I live in Maryland, just east of DC, and there are times I fantasize about moving. But, one thing I like about it here is that, we have four seasons, and for the most part, they're really not all that extreme. The summers can get hot, but there are a lot of places that get hotter! And while the winters can get pretty bad, again, there are places where it's a lot worse.

I think the biggest problem with the winters though, is that we just don't have the infrastructure to deal with them when we have a really bad one. We just don't have them often enough to have all the equipment in place to keep the roads and such clear, so we'll shut down completely for a storm that most New Yorkers or Chicagoans would laugh at.

I'd also imagine they build the homes to be more weather-tight in those areas that are more prone to harsher winters? Or, who knows...I guess there's going to be crap construction no matter where you go.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:53 AM   #18
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Originally from southern Indiana. Visit there occasionally, and the only thing I miss is the scenery. I find small towns and rural locations too provincial...

Not that the suburbs are so exciting, but I can hide in an urban/suburban area, and pretty much live as I want, and associate with whomever I want.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:11 AM   #19
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Originally from southern Indiana. Visit there occasionally, and the only thing I miss is the scenery. I find small towns and rural locations too provincial...

Not that the suburbs are so exciting, but I can hide in an urban/suburban area, and pretty much live as I want, and associate with whomever I want.
I always find those little rural towns to be quaint...a nice place to visit. But I dunno if I'd want to live there. You could go there expecting to find Mayberry or Hooterville, but end up in the Village of the Damned!
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:11 AM   #20
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Another place to visit in IL is Quincy, which has a historic feel and is right across the river from Hannibal, MO.
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