Why would I move to Steubenville?

A friend, Annie, asked me why we relocated to Steubenville. I've had several others ask as well. So, with nothing better to write about today, I'll take a moment and share why we moved.

I was born in California. My mother, however, was born in Steubenville, OH. She wanted to pursue a career in Theatre, and so, she set out for CA, and later NY, where she met my Dad (who is also involved in Theatre.) They fell in love, married, and moved to CA because the adoption laws in that state were favorable. Before they could adopt, I came along (it's a long story, and someday I will sit down and tell it.) When I was 16, my father's company downsized, and he found himself unemployed. He had always had a good paying job as an engineer, but his age stood against him... so they opened a map, closed their eyes, and pointed - right to Colorado! We moved, and a few years later, I met Jeff.

Jeff and I share similar passions - mainly our love of science and nature. Colorado was a wonderful state to live in, considering our interests. It is beautiful, with high deserts, towering mountain ranges, and dense woodland in the upper elevations. A paleontologist couldn't ask for better stomping grounds. Colorado has, however, become over-populated, which caused the housing market to skyrocket to the point where we could never afford to buy a decent home. How high, you might ask? The home we currently live in was purchased last year for under $90 K. This same home, in size and in land, would cost upwards of $260 K in Colorado Springs, CO.

Steubenville itself has a small population, and the people here are friendly. Colorado Springs' population is almost equal to Denver, with so many houses being built that the utilities offices can hardly handle to overload. Steubenville is under 45 minutes away from Pittsburgh, with Theatres, museums, galleries, and East Coast attitude (think of Chicago or New York as far as culture, but on a smaller scale.) Colorado Springs is 60 miles away from Denver, which lacks culture all together, and the traffic and commute between the two can take as long as 2 hours! There is hardly any pollution in Steubenville. Colorado Springs has a constant brown haze. Colorado is in the death grip of a drought, and you can only water your lawn twice per week (which means the whole damn city is a nasty shade of brown.) In Steubenville, we don't bother to water, and everything is green. Steubenville (and Pittsburgh) drivers simply drive, often waving vehicles into their lane with a patient flick of the hand. Colorado drivers are raging assholes, bent on shoving all other traffic off the road. The kids in Steubenville play football, go to church with their parents, and enjoy all the activities the town offers them (often free.) In Colorado Springs, the kids are as hard as their parents, lack manners (eating in a restaurant is hell for other patrons!) and seem obtuse. Steubenville, unlike Colorado Springs, doesn't care about being politically correct or fashionable. Steubenville is a place where kids are still taught morals. People are more polite out here, and more compassionate. In Steubenville, Senior Citizens are an asset to the community, beloved and respected for their knowledge. In Colorado Springs, they are "just old people who drive slow", are seen as asking stupid questions, and get in the way... that sort of treatment soured me to the city a decade ago. Focus on the Family is in Colorado Springs. In Steubenville, family is the focus!

I will be fair: Colorado hosts some beautiful things! There is the Air Force Academy, Glen Eyrie Castle, Garden of the Gods, Manitou, and some wonderful drives up through Grand Junction and Aspen. When I moved there so long ago, it was a delightful place! My only reason for not liking it anymore is simply because it has become too over-crowded!!! There are too many people moving there from California and other places. It has become the "cool thing to do", and I have never been one to go with the flow. The people have tarnished the beauty, to me. The charm is lost. The "me first" generation has taken over. Looking back, I firmly believe those who moved to Colorado Springs are nothing more than wanna-be posers, who couldn't hack it in CA or AZ, and think that, by moving to this clueless (culturally speaking) location, they will finally be popular.

To me, my new hometown is Nirvana. My family is here. We have a beautiful river, and are surrounded by rolling green hills (which are actually mountains, but since I lived in the Rockies for a long time, I think of these as just hills.) We have a variety of wildlife. There are acres of national forest just outside our back doors. It is slower paced. It is affordable! And, for the first time in 35 years, I can honestly say the neighbors are true neighbors... waving to you as they drive by, inviting you to sit on their front porches in the evenings, and genuinely concerned with how your day is going. Nope, I couldn't ask for anything more than this peaceful community, my slice of heaven, known as Steubenville Ohio. You can keep your BMWs and Hummers. Keep the Starbucks and other fancy haunts. $500 handbags and shoes, and other accessories, aren't part of the dress code here. You can wear the same outfit to work twice, and no one will make a snide remark. When you go to the local coffee diner, you don't bring your laptop because you'll have more fun chatting with the locals about so-and-so's garage sale, or looking at Mrs. Smith's grandchildren's photos (or hearing about the fish that got away, or the new boat, or the currently small-town politician's benefit ball, or the Girl Scout bake sale... etc!) For that matter, you can sit and drink your coffee without the endless noise of dozens of cell phones ringing, or people doing "power lunches". No one will look down on you if you don't try to keep up with the Joneses... and chances are, the Joneses out here are down-to-earth decent folk who don't mind sharing their left-over watermelon or potato salad with the rest of the neighborhood.

Other perks of this area: some doctors still make house calls. The 4th of July celebrations started this weekend, with free fireworks shows that light up the night sky for miles. You can walk just about anywhere without worry of getting run over. People open doors for you. Parking lots are never full. Everyone smiles. When sad times hit, people suck it up and drive on, working harder to get through the bad times instead of whining. Honestly, this place reminds me of those Walgreens commercials... in the little town of Perfect. Steubenville is not perfect, but it is a good place. It has crime on a small scale. There are unemployed here. There are some gangsta attitudes downtown. But the good outweighs the bad.

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Beth said...

I am not too far away. Down here in Tennessee. Your town sounds alot like my little small town. We are just a few minutes from Nashville,,but no hustle and bustle out here,,just small town fun. Love your flowers!