I have now lived in four places since leaving home. I realized this today as I hung out downtown (well, it’s officially know as “Uptown” here by someone who, for some reason, has the authority to call it this – that‘s another story) to write about some gathering there. Kind of strange for a guy who never had any problem with where he’s from.

I really like this new place.

There are hills here. The roads are windy. If there’s a true threat of condo-building Floridians exterminating the countryside, I haven’t seen it. And the people are truly wonderful – every one of them, with the exception of this county director who seems to be the definition of a smooth-talking, combed-hair lawyer from the South, have been some of the kindest I’ve met in my life. The entire community is like this.

Did I mention there are hills here? Driving is fun. Cycling 20 miles into the neighboring county makes me breathe heavy and have to stand on my bike – actually climb something. Even commuting in a car gives the impression of a tour. Everything’s lined by nothing, which is exactly what I like. Having some of everybody’s “everything” is a repetitious bore to me.

I do miss the cotton in eastern North Carolina. The peanuts, too, were cool. Agriculture doesn’t seem to be as big a thing here as it was there. But it’s a small price to pay when you’ve at least got hills. And I’ll definitely miss the Kinston Indians’ minor league baseball team.

But Hell – missing things is what I’m used to. I miss a zillion things about western New York – far more than I’m glad to have gone from my life, which in all honesty, I can‘t think of at the moment.

So I begin to wonder if my wandering has become a way of life. I liked Wilmington less than a third-world country plus typhoid-carrying mosquitoes, New Bern more than Wilmington (and, yes, that third-world country), Kinston more than New Bern and now Greenwood, S.C., more than Kinston. None, however, have felt like a place I want to live the rest of my life.

But there are hills here, so maybe I’ll eventually change my mind.

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