As regular readers know, I am doing my yearly visit with family and friends in Indiana. In the past, I would make two visits a year, Christmas and summer. The hassle of Holiday travel got to be ridiculous and I tired of sleeping on airport floors in Houston, Minneapolis or Atlanta. Weather plus the cut-back of flights became too much of a gamble and people traveling during Holidays are too stressed, so the “spirit” of Christmas was not always so holy.
For the past four or five year, I’ve been taking 4 or 5 weeks of spring for a journey back home. This means my routines in Bako and my incredible loving life with my wife are put on hold. Those of you with kids and grandkids living thousands of miles away know how important it is to see and hold them, not just email them. Add to that an incredible 97 year old mom who needs a little spoiling and here I am.
We all have our habits of daily life. We get up at the same time (except weekends), we shampoo and shower in our own distinct way and our routines are important. I need my morning paper, my tea, my walk and then my computer.
Our lives are self-scripted and routine. We need routine. It’s comfortable. When we go on vacation, it’s exciting to “break” our routine. I still have my morning paper and tea but I’m sitting at a strange table in an unfamiliar chair. On vacation we have new adventures and then we’re ready to go back to our homes, our routines. Yet, this is not an unfamiliar table, chair or place. I’m sleeping in a bed I spent my first 19 years in. I have my meals where I sat over 60 years ago. It’s comfortable and weird at the same time.
I have lived for long periods of time in 5 cities in 3 states. When I read the local papers, especially the opinion pages, and when I get to know new friends in these new places, the same feelings about cities and states always stand out. Everyone thinks their home town is the best place to live with the friendliest nicest people. That’s nice. Everyone thinks their state is the best. Of course everyone thinks the USA is the best country in the world too. That’s nice..
The truth is there are nice people everywhere in the world. Every city has them. Every state and country has them. I see nothing wrong if you think living in Northwest Indiana or Southern California or Central Idaho is the best place on earth. It probably is…for you.
The one thing I find annoying though is when the people who think they are living in the “best” possible place on earth act like they know other places (that they have never lived or visited for a long period) is no good.
Be nice to people and they will be nice to you. Smile at people and they smile back…no matter where you are. The best place to live on earth is right where you are.