Whooping Cranes, Walter White, and Other Friday the 13th Weirdness (aka Relocation Part Two) . . .

My “ancient” cell phone starts ringing when I’m actually out and about doing something other than staring at my computer. Even luckier, I’m in a store by the noisy checkout lanes when a call came in earlier today. I’m all like “I’ll bet it’s about a JOB!!!!“, and I try not to sound overly eager when I answer the call.

The conversation went something like this:

“Hi, my name is *garble garble*, and I had your application sent to my desk for the *crackle static crackle* pusher.”

A pusher? What the heck? What do they want me to push? Drugs? Contraband? Hmm . . . maybe . . .

I start daydreaming about being the next Walter White. Or at least about all of Walter White’s ill-begotten gains. “I’m sorry,” I say, “I’m in a store and it’s noisy. Could you tell me who you are with and what sort of position you’re looking to fill, please?”

My phone suddenly behaves itself. “THE CART PUSHER POSITION AT WONDERFUL CHAIN STORE.”

Which, even though I’m not on speaker, everyone within a ten-foot radius can hear.

I get embarrassed and flustered, and I garble something back about I wish I could but I’m not able to fulfill the duties of a cart pusher because of . . . and, luckily, I stop myself before I head off into a TMI ramble about why I can’t move unwieldy objects around. I apologize, but say that I’m open to positions like X, Y, and Z.

(In all my years of working in grocery stores, I have never, not once, heard of that particular job–as a bagger–referred to as a “cart pusher” position. It’s mostly just like “Go out and get carts” and I would race out the door before the manager even got to the word “carts” because, you know, it’s a break from the customers who get oddly irked that you put their bread at the bottom of the bag and pile twenty soup cans on top of it.)

Plus, you know, if I were able to handle a more physically arduous job, it would be this one, without a doubt: https://www.conservationjobboard.com/job-listing-whooping-crane-chick-rearing-apprenticeship-baraboo-wisconsin/3478983987.

Right?

So, yeah, snarky and probably not-very-funny story aside, I put together a wishful-thinking list of the places I’ve gotten travel/relocation packets for, and I was going to do a poll for fun (truthfully, so I could learn how to do it), but decided just to list the potentials. Ideally, I would love to have a water source nearby, or wetlands, and a great library/library system–and be in a Blue state. Classical music, farmer’s market, good track record for animal welfare and advocacy/wildlife protections. I did like Wichita, but my experience in small-town Kansas has really tainted the state for me, sadly.

Willow’s Wishful Thinking Relocation List:

  1. Canada!
  2. Scotland!
  3. Anywhere in Maine (Freeport, Portland, Bangor)
  4. Salem, Massachusetts
  5. Montpelier, Vermont
  6. Oregon (Portland, Ashland, Medford. Bend)
  7. Des Moines, Iowa
  8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  9. Yellow Springs, Ohio
  10. Wisconsin (La Crosse County Library seems great! Milwaukee?)
  11. Missoula, Montana
  12. Austin, TX
  13. Detroit
  14. Chicago
  15. Minneapolis
  16. Fargo (Gotta see the woodchipper, right?)
  17. Kansas (Lawrence, Wichita, Kansas City, KS/MO)
  18. New Mexico
  19. Eureka Springs, AK
  20. Deadwood, SD

Annnnddd, I also have more candidates from lists of states/cities that have banned Roundup, and/or are hippie-type places, as well.

In lieu of a poll, feel free to vote by putting your pick in the comments! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go out and get carts, one by one by one by . . .

 

118 thoughts on “Whooping Cranes, Walter White, and Other Friday the 13th Weirdness (aka Relocation Part Two) . . .

    1. There seems to be a lot of cool stuff to do! Visit the Hula Hut, bookish festivals & bookstores, Waterloo Records, and who could resist the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar? What’s your favs? (I’ve heard the traffic can be a little intense…says the person originally from Florida with bad traffic as well!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool is pretty cool too. The street art and the street music, the BBQ and I love Jester King brewery right south of Austin. I should say I don’t live in Austin. I live in Dallas, but we visit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I sometimes hesitate to go back to a red state, but I do miss many things about the more Southern locales, and I figure, like you, a more alt city like Austin would provide a nice buffer!

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    1. Ha, now I realize that I shouldn’t have used numbers. LOL. It’s a little far for a day’s drive but maybe if I pushed…but that’s why I have some of those locales on there. One of the main dealbreaker problems with this place (seriously) is that I cannot find a petsitter, for example

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      1. First off — just because I live in Minneapolis doesn’t mean I was bosom buddies with Prince. You’d be surprised at just how many times I’ve been asked how close I was to him when people find out I live here. 😀

        Seriously, however, the Twin Cities are a great place to live. Costs of living are not out of hand yet. Basically, the winter cold chases away people who might push it upwards. There is plenty of greenspace, lots of lakes, bike paths are extensive and expanding. Being sober, I don’t get out as much, but the nightlife used to be a blast between live acts and DJs (from dance clubs to garage bands to Irish music).

        There are areas in the Cities I wouldn’t choose to live in, which says quite a bit — I grew up in “a bad neighborhood” and when to school in an area associated with the race riots of the 1960s and early 1970s. My old high school is still considered to be the cesspool of public education because of violence, drugs and gangs (to be fair, that hasn’t changed since the 80s). I’m not easily fazed, but I wouldn’t choose to live in certain areas.

        “Minnesota Nice” has always been a bit of a myth, but it is more so in the past 25 years. It’s still “nicer” than other places I’ve been, but not quite as much as media makes it out to be.

        One notable thing based on recent travel is just how clean our cities are compared to elsewhere.

        Farmer’s markets, renfest, State Fair, Winter Carnival, tons of live music opportunities, and world-class theatre (Guthrie, for certain, but some of the smaller houses are fantastic too). No mountains, but plenty of forests, hiking, canoeing, and camping outstate. Plenty of x-country skiing and, of course, ice fishing. The self-proclaimed Halloween Capitol of the world, Anoka, is in my backyard (less that 20 min drive on a bad day).

        Not sure what else you’d like to know. There’s good and bad here, but my general attitude is that the balance is heavily weighted towards the good. Might be too sleepy for you if you need to have flash and glamour. Mostly decent coffee (drip), espresso drinks are “meh”. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee if you visit 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, your high school experience is a little what I was used to in Florida. We’d have riot days instead of snow days, and we couldn’t go to school. The streets would be filled with rioters. Like, when I subbed at schools in New Mexico, they would all be like “That kid’s being naughty” and I’m like “Where?”–as I was used to even elementary-school-age kids being recruited (or even freelancers who raided their parent’s/guardian’s medicine cabinets) to sell drugs. So, yeah, I was like “you have no idea was real ‘naughty’ is”. *laugh* I used to lock my door at my house to go out to my car, and the other people where I was living were like “Why? Your car is right there.” LOL! And, truthfully, I didn’t even know Prince was from there until I got my “Insider’s Guide” to Minneapolis. Yeah, I don’t go out to many shows anymore, and, although I used to be pretty in-the-know about alt music (goth, punk, industrial) back in the day, I’m kinda one-note now: neo-pagan, dark ambient, neo-medieval, film- and video game scores, and classical, classical, classical. Too many memories, and too much evocative nostalgia about the ole coffin classics. I’m glad to hear it’s mostly flat. Growing up in Florida, I love swamps/wetlands and forests and water sources. I used to be all about outdoor sports–rock climbing, hiking, whitewater canoeing/canoeing, but nowadays I just like slow ambles through nature. And, yeah, people here sometimes seem really nice on the surface, but it’s a trick. LOL! I felt safer back in Florida! Ideally, long term, I’d like a nice place with some space away from the neighbors–especially after my experiences here! Anyway, thanks for all the info!

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      3. I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that rumor has it that Minnesota has one of the largest pagan communities in the States. Also: the con scene is pretty strong here, from straight scifi/fantasy conventions to anime and cosplay.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh, yeah, a good con scene is a big plus! I probably forgot to include that…I love all sorts of conventions like that, for sure! When I left Florida for New Mexico, the convention scene was a little disappointing there. And anime conventions are just spectacular with all the cosplay, especially! And that’s also a definite perk about the largest pagan communities! *writes that down on the list*–I’ll check that out more too! And Minnesota’s a blue state, last I heard! Thank you for sharing more details!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice, thanks for the comments. I love Portland’s Rose Garden and Japanese Gardens, but I like what I read of Ashland, anyway. A family friend (and Shakespeare expert) worked with the Ashland Shakespeare Company, I believe. Back when I got my MA in history, I was trying to land a job at the High Desert Museum in Bend. I’m guessing you’ve been to Fargo? And, yes, to Scotland–cheers to that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😄 I have yet to travel to the great north! But love the movie! Bend is a lot like where I live in Nevada. And Ashland is charming in addition to providing great drama. Keep me posted as you check them off. 💜

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      2. Has Ashland banned Roundup (do they spray for mosquitos)? Thanks for the even more exciting input! I’ve only had a brief summer stay in Missoula, MT and that was back in 1993 and the paper mill was still in operation.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you! And I can tell you more about the southern Oregon Coast and Northern California. Otherwise, most of my travels were years ago and need to be revisited. I miss it. Though I’ve turned into a homebody.

        It’s great having a resource! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I looked at California too…on the “Best places for hippies” (I’m not completely a hippie but we do share common ground) were Arcata and Eugene. I did look up Eugene, but actually reached the part that went something like this “If you’re an allergy sufferer, think twice before moving to Eugene.” Because they grow grass…? Ha!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Both movies really make me want to get up there! I’ll be doing the relocation thing after living in the same spot for 25 years, when I retire in a 17 months. Woot woot! So this has been a really fun post and chat 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh, nice! What’s on your list? Feel free to ask, because I’ve lived in a few places myself. I’d recommend Blue New Mexico, actually, if you can handle the altitude. It’s got a lot of perks…if you don’t mind things taking a good deal longer to get done there! Santa Fe has the opera, good theatre, absolutely heavenly food, the best farmer’s market I’ve ever been to (it’s small, but the variety is amazing), great medical care (compared to other place–you get seen fast, and doctors are rarely rushed), and lots of social support programs–and, of course, amazing galleries and art!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Someone suggested the Bisbee area and Flagstaff, if I’m remembering correctly, as I was also checking out Arizona. In any case, if you haven’t visited Winslow, they have that Fred Harvey hotel there (I went on a family trip a long time ago) called the La Posada Hotel…which is the hotel that the architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Coulter did. I even included the Turquoise Room (the dining room and bar) in one of my horoscope sets over at Haunt Jaunts: https://www.hauntjaunts.net/st-patricks-day-horoscopes-2022-your-signs-haunted-pub-or-inn/. It makes for a lovely and comfortable stay and the train pulls up the the hotel still! Phoenix has that Frank Lloyd Wright hotel which is amazing! But it probably goes without saying that Phoenix is HOT! Like, I’m from Florida, originally, and it was so hot in July that, even though it was a short walk from the parking garage to the rooms, I literally thought I was going to collapse. I had to stop three times on the way. Water, of course, with climate change, is going to definitely create issues…for places like New Mexico and Arizona and such.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. With advancing age comes an urge to move to smaller and smaller, more remote places. Hubby and me moved from innercity redlight district in Hamburg/Germany to hipster scene area of Cape Town/South Africa, then out to the suburbs. And now that the suburb has grown to over 200.000 residents and a high crime rate, we’re starting to think about moving to Swakopmund/Namibia. It’s a highly civilized place located at the border of angry coastline and deadly desert. Population somewhere around ~13,000. For us (mid-50s and 60) it’s the perfect place! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I was looking at some of this, like thriving music scenes, and I was like, “I’d love this if I was younger!” I made a mistake and moved to a livespace where I still have neighbours, and not very nice ones, to say the least! Ha!

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  2. All things being equal, I definitely vote Scotland! I’m in northern England and if I had an excuse to hop the border and get away from the more egregious English nonsense, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glasgow’s my favourite city that I’ve been to; I haven’t spent much time in the Highlands but I’d really love to. Glasgow is wonderful, such friendly people and such a lovely arts and culture scene.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I loved Glasgow!!! Edinburgh always seems to get the spotlight (it’s a cool place too) but, like you, Glasgow really drew me in. And I had the chance to tour the Glasgow School of Art (way before it sadly burned). I wonder how bad the damage was…so heartbreaking.

        I love both Margaret Macdonald’s and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, I was just thinking about that yesterday as I was drafting the post. Wales is definitely intriguing, and I think I have relatives or friends of the family (or both!) over there in Wales! Do you like Wales?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. About Oregon… (and Washington State)… be aware that the west side is the more liberal. Central and Eastern Oregon (… and Washington) is a hotbed of anti-government radicals who think it is supposed to be their White Homeland. The Bundys and their rifle-toting “militia” are very active in Central and Eastern Oregon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this–I’ve heard some of this about Oregon, but it’s nice to have specifics! I greatly appreciate it, because I for sure don’t want a repeat of what’s gone down here (or a repeat of Florida, where I grew up). Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was briefly a Massachusetts resident in the 1980s and enjoyed it. My brief visit to Salem was a lot of fun. If I could afford it, I would seriously consider a return to Nantucket (where I lived) though I imagine climate change will be an issue there as it is with the desert southwest, but with the opposite problem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? I don’t mean to make light of climate change, but I’ve all been like “I’ll check out Vancouver, Canada/Ooh, I might have a chance to relocate to California/Hey, how about New York but not NYC? *wry laugh* And I haven’t been to Nantucket (except by way of the maritime history books I’ve read). And I’ve even been intrigued by Rhode Island. So many places, so many times! Oh, and there’s a lot of comments on this post, but I did give a little mention about your thoughts on Arizona you sent me a while ago–well, to the best of my memory, anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, I caught the reference to my Arizona musings! I know California isn’t on your list, but like Oregon and Washington as Deby Fredericks mentioned above, away from the coast, it’s more conservative than most people realize. Remember, the two presidents from California were Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan!

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      2. Yes, you got it (Arcata was on my list at one point) but then I started to look at more affordable places like…Clearlake?…I forget the name, and I’m too behind to go look it up, but that’s exactly what started to be revealed via deeper research…that conservative attitude! So, thanks for the confirmation! (I’m still checking it out from time to time…Arizona…I don’t really know what to do…things are just in a big ole mess! Ha!)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Dee

    Wow! Whooping crane chick raising. What a cool job. Seriously! And you even get to wear a costume! Lol
    Where were the cool jobs like this when I was working? I guess I’ll just continue with bottle feeding kittens.
    I hope you find some greener pastures out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to see a parking lot at a store with all sorts of stagnant carts that are suddenly ambulatory…like Maximum Overdrive, but with carts. And, now that I say that, I’m wondering if I’m flashing back to a movie or TV show episode I saw once, and forgot about…Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They exist outside of Toronto, in every direction. Still, if you like the convenience of a city…libraries, markets, etc. There are lakeshore homes with big trees and gardens. So not remote, but private.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I imagine that unless it’s really rural with lots of acreage, lake homes draw the HOA type of crowd. They do here, anyway. Is it different up there–are they more laidback? And you hit right on the quandary…one of the issues here is the neighbours. I would like to not have any neighbours, but even in this small town with a grocery store and such, I can’t even get the groceries I need without having to drive an hour and a half! You got it, for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Round up is not federally banned in Canada (hate that shit) but in most areas it is prohibited or restricted.
        In Ontario, “they” track mosquitoes. If they are spreading disease, they use trucks to spray kill the larvae. I don’t know what they use.
        I haven’t seen aerial spraying in Toronto for over 30 years, as long as I’ve lived here.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh, all great names. I live a 6 minute walk from High Park. It’s gorgeous there. I have a view of the lake from my apartment. I can be on the lake shore in 5 mins…. just across the foot bridge. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. WE bought 20 years ago. No one wanted to live in this area then. Now, we couldn’t afford to buy here.
        Pre Covid, we were looking at homes along the Lakeshore Blvd. just out of TO, between here and Oakville. Somewhere to downsize and get ready for retirement.
        Now…. everything has changed. I feel we are rolling with the punches now.
        I still love it here. So, I don’t care if we move.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, yeah. The problem I ran into was that it seemed to be hard to find an apartment…i.e. not just an affordable apartment, but rentals in general. I’ll have to go back and refresh my memory with my actual research notes (so don’t quote me on this), but even rentals in nearby towns seemed to be a rare occurrence.

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      2. Northwest Arkansas is a happening place right now. And because Eureka Springs is kinda out of the way, there probably isn’t much available. But if you like the area, Fayetteville might be a good option. It kinda has an artsy vibe to it, but the problem is that it’s a major college/party town which might turn some people away.

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