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by Ron
We Could Live There

We like to travel on red and gray roads (so designated on the map) for the same reason that some folks like to avoid them. The red roads are usually U.S. routes or major state routes and the gray routes could turn out to be an adventure. It's true that the interstates by-pass small towns allowing travelers to avoid them and the resulting lower speed limits as well as stop lights. For us they provide a welcome interruption as we move through long stretches of farmland. This is what led to my last article about small towns. You might say that we are hung up on small towns. That is probably why I have elected to continue the discussion about them.

We love to speculate on life in these small communities and often Barb will comment, �I could live here.�  Continuing on that theme I like to kid her when passing through a dusty boarded up town by mentioning that we could buy a house there pretty cheap. I point out the store-front senior center and state that this would be a good retirement community, all the time ignoring her glare. It's all in good fun and makes the trip interesting. 

I also said that I would mention some of our favorite towns, but when thinking about it, I honestly didn't know where to start because there are so many that we like. That is one reason why we will continue to plan our routes using the secondary roads. In the previous article I discussed what we would like the business district to look like, but there are other characteristics that we think contribute to a place where �we could live.�

So what do we look for? Our thoughts are only generalizations and are full of exceptions. My co-pilot is attracted to the obviously well kept large old homes lining the main street. They have big front porches, spacious lawns, and lots of flower beds. The streets themselves may have flowers along the curb. We would like the churches to outnumber the bars. Attractive churches with manicured lawns and freshly painted tall steeples add to the picture. A large historic county court house with majestic pillars is icing on the cake. 

We have decided that a community of five thousand will provide the services and shopping that one needs. It's true that in towns of that size you will often find a Wal-Mart on the outskirts, but in many cases the local business district is still a hub of activity. Five thousand souls will also attract several doctors and a dentist or two as well as a medical center. Towns of this size can be a nice place to live and you would probably know the mayor personally. On the other hand, some may not want to be part of a small community. Perhaps we don't either, but it's fun to speculate and gets us to thinking. We are years from dropping anchor (maybe never), but one day it might happen that we "could live here" or there I forgot to mention that our dream town should also have a good nursing home. 

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