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Not the Rocky Mountains

Not the Rocky Mountains

 

My brother, who has the pleasure of living in the Rocky Mountains, came home for Thanksgiving. It’s been a while since he lived here full-time. I’ve never lived anywhere but here. I’ve visited a lot  of places, most nicer. Some make me miss home.

I guess out West we here in the “flyover zone” are referred to as the flatlanders. I’ve had a few cowboys call me that. I thought it was a nod to the topography. Maybe it’s more of a veiled reference to the fact that we are apparently flatlining.

He, who hails from the land of eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, observes about life here:

It is cold.

It is dark and dreary.

No human forms can be found anywhere.

It is depressing.

To him I say: Isn’t that why you left? We all want to leave. It is dark and dreary. It’s December. Depressing? Not always. Lately, yes. Don’t even turn on the TV, radio or log on to the Internet. Just do what the rest of us do, hide behind a good micro brew, or a decent vintage, or just go to bed with a bag of chips, strew crumbs all over the sheets and pull the covers up over your head.

Oh, wait, maybe that’s the problem …

Sadly, there’s evidence to back his claims. First, there’s this bouquet of black roses delivered to our dying region.

Then,  a box of chocolates with a skull and crossbones on it, sent by Mr. Grim Reaper.

Seems like we’ve been in the spotlight a lot recently and our warts and chin hairs are not lookin’ pretty to the rest of the country. Not like the rest of the USA is shaving on a regular basis either.

I meet folks transplanted from all over the world who come here for automotive-related jobs. Many of my good friends were born not only away from this region but on a different continent. It’s all a matter of perspective. While some of them hail from beautiful places, those places lack something that we have here. Something they like about here.

Don’t ask me to produce a list of “things.” Those details vary from one person to the next. One woman likes the urban sprawl. She comes from a place where people are crushed together and space is too precious a resource. Another friend likes the grittiness, the diversity of race and culture. She comes from a very homogenous, orderly society. Homogenous can mean uneventful.

The worst offenders are those who leave and then return for a visit. I hate to say it but most who have left have no intention of returning. I have other relatives who sometimes only stay a night and then cut a hasty retreat to the airport. I know it’s nice where you live, but jeez …

All I can say is: If you hate it here, don’t come. We’ll just visit you in your nice place, sleep on your couch. If you left and are visiting, don’t rub our noses in the very obvious pile of poop on the ground. Buried somewhere in all this dirt is a diamond. 

I’ll take it with me when I go.