We’ve made it through to Friday! Is everybody ready for the weekend? I’m actually off work today since we got home late last night. I just refuse to go back into the office again until Monday. So I’m going to run errands all day long and get everything done that needs to be done before I leave again on Tuesday.
Pamela Jean wanted to know where in the South I live, and what I like/dislike about it. Well, I live in Huntsville, AL. For those of you unfamiliar with the state, we’re about half an hour south of the Tennessee border right in the “center” of the state’s outline.
There are a lot of good things about this area: there is a LOT of high tech industry in the area associated with NASA and the Arsenal, which means a good job market and fairly high salaries (high for Alabama, anyway). The property taxes are the lowest in the nation, and taxes in general are pretty low, as well as the cost-of-living. The weather is warm close to year-round and the land around here is gorgeous. Even though Huntsville isn’t a huge city, we’re only an hour from Nashville, 1 1/2 hours to Birmingham, 2 hours to Chattanooga, and 4 hours to Atlanta, so you can take a day or weekend trip into a big city pretty easily. Manly’s family lives about 45 minutes away and my family is about 2 hours from here, so we can see them as often as we would like. From an infertile perspective, it is also wonderful to have Dr. Local here 5 minutes from my house and two big hospitals to choose from.
The bad things: Huntsville has a very vanilla culture. White, christian, republican, families are the biggest demographic. For someone who’s single, liberal, used to a fast-paced city life, or looking for cultural opportunities outside mainstream America, you are going to be disappointed. Also, the city is populated by military and military contractors, so its seems like everyone is here only temporarily. On a broader scale, Alabama as a whole is still dealing with the social problems associated with segregration and racial discrimination. We’re also having to fight through an accelerated transition from being an economy based on agriculture to an economy based on knowledge and technology. That’s hard for a LOT of the older generations to accept.
For me, the good outweighs the bad. Huntsville, even though it is not a big city, is still much larger than the town I grew up in. I’ve spent some time in larger cities, and I do enjoy the cultural opportunities that they have, but there are a lot of downsides (namely cost of living and congestion) that keep me from going back. We’ve discussed moving several times, but keep coming back to all the things we would have to give up if we went somewhere else. Overall, I really enjoy living here, and don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon.