07 August 2004

Saturday Slant:Evicted from Your Hometown

This week's question (posted by Pariah under somewhat adverse circumstances) is thus:
Your current home town has just been declared (un)inhabitable; everyone must move out of the town. Where would you move? Why there? If you have a significant other, roommate, or other co-habitants, how would the necessity to move affect your relationship with him or her? Would s/he move with you?

I am in a city I love. I live in Portland, Oregon, USA. I was born a native Oregonian but just a little off the mark. I think that being Oregonian and living in Portland is somehow central to my being.

When I dwell on that I frequently do wonder where else I'd plant myself if I had to. If Portland were about to be rendered offcially uninhabitiable, once I got over the initial heartbreak of whatever event might precipitate that, I'd think of two places.

It's important to me that I live in a place I love, am attuned to. That means, in the main, that it be someplace that is important to be in a visceral, personal way. Since was born and grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, it has to be green and pleasant, have evergreens, have hills and lovely mountains as the backdrop, and be near to the sea. I've tried living in places that don't have those features and I suffered as a result.

The first place The Wife[tm] and myself would go is probably Salem. I was born in that particular area, it's in Oregon, It's a lovely town (if a little unsophisticated (not for nothing do locals refer to it as Snailem, as the pace of life there is kinda slow)), the Cascades and the coast are at hand. I feel at home nearly anywhere in the Willamette Valley; I often say it's my hometown, in a greater way.

If, though, the Willamette Valley in whole has been made untenable, theres only one other place we'd think of. I've experienced other areas of our great land and, though I do love my country, I don't feel comfortable anywhere else in it. There's no doubt my The Wife[tm] and I would try to remove to Germany.

We both love the idea of spending time in Germany. We descend from Germans; though few to none of the traditions we may have had have been forwarded to us (Kleins have been Oregonians since many generations now) we have a strong German bloodline, very nearly 100%, and have been encouraged to be smug about this by our elders. I regularly read what I can find on German history, we fancy learning German, and we are trying to plan for an eventual trip there. I subscribe to German Life magazine and enjoy every issue. I regularly visit the shelves in the library and at Powell's Books that stock content on Germany. I have an extensive collection of German maps, including one published during WWII by the National Geographic which showed Germany within borders that one today wouldn't recognize (Nazi Germany had actually annexed part of what is today Poland, took the western 2/3rds of what was subsequently Czechoslovakia within itself as nominally autonomous reasons, and had annexed Austria in whole).

About the only thing that we'd have trouble settling is where to plant ourselves. The Wife[tm] would want to go to Muenchen, (Munich) as she fancies herself quite the Bayerische maedchen (Bavarian girl); I'd want to live in Berlin, as I have had a lifelong fascination with that strange city.

Naturally, home is where you wear your hat, as Lord John Whorfin has aptly said. But, so far as I'm concerned, you only have one go-around, so it's crucial that you live in a place you love, that's important and comfortable in a personal way. For me, that's the Willamette Valley, and if not there, Germany.

The source:
The Saturday Slant - New Every Saturday Morning

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