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Jen in the Midwest

I do love it here. But being landlocked has an odd feeling even if only passing through. There is an unbelievable peace that comes over you when driving through the small towns like I did in St Charles, yesterday. I felt safe. This part of the country is definitely more patriotic than where I've lived before and in that I find strength in unity. But as quickly as I felt at peace here, there was also a slight unease. As much as I can see the strength and sense of community, as an outsider I saw a bit of helplessness because of the isolation. These towns away from everything that is big might be safer if terrorists came, but would they also be too far from protection? It's no wonder they seem more self-sufficient than the rest of us. What do I know about how to take care of myself if there was no system to rely on? I don't know how to grow my own food, or sew. I think I can make tamales and enchiladas if I have a recipe, but I couldn't make a decent tortilla from scratch or hunt a rabbit.

On the flipside of the bigger towns, I fell immediately in love with Andersonville in Chicago. I've always loved Chicago and was seriously considering moving there before Vegas. As you know, where I'm going to live has haunted me for some time. But Andersonville was an immediate draw. It is an old town and a downtown in a larger city. Brick buildings, and Swedish delicatessens. Nuveau Mediterranean restaurants, boutique clothing stores, indie bookstores, WiFi gym's with juice bars, and an upscale sandwhich shop/ice cream parlor. The street was clean, the clientele a touch more worldly than other parts of the town, and the mix between old school and new school suited me. Oh yeah, and housing was still in the $250s.

Ah but the BBE (Best Boyfriend Ever) has his climate issues and this would never be a good fit. So maybe someday I'll just visit, or rent something for a few weeks or a month and write.

That said, today I'm going to go to my favorite city, Milwaukee (which everyone laughs at me for). Today I'm going to chuckle at Andersonville because I will be more in love with Downer Street and I'll get ideas in my head that maybe we can summer here. At least once. Someday....


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