All in all I'm fairly happy here. Just taking into consideration that we are not flooded out. No hurricane season. No tornado alley. No high humidity. No bugs. No poisonous snakes. No nuclear power plants (except Hanford). No oil spills off the coast. Mild climate. Four seasons....ok, 3 1/2 (this year only) as spring morphed right into fall.
Then also I take into consideration that we have little smog. No major traffic congestion issues, with the exception of JBLM @ I-5. Adequate bike lanes. Not great, but adequate. Amtrak that connects us to the rest of the nation. Mass transit that works for many. Great pedestrian access to all parts of town and within walking distance; and getting better. A lake with a walking/jogging trail in the heart of town. Several nice vistas from many vantage points. And lots of trees.
Next the cultural climate. Just to name a few that spring to mind: The Procession of the Species Celebration, Harlequin Theater, Olympia Film Society at the State Theater, Folk music at Traditions, music at the Farmers Market, The Japanese Garden, Bon Odori Celebration, The Pet Parade (though I have never seen it once), Lakefair (I only go for the Demo burger), Wooden Boat festival, Harbor Days (though I have never seen the tugboat races...from where?), and lots and lots of jazz. Oh, and other kinds of music, too, I guess. Even Celtic (don't ask me why).
I like the downtown for its flavor of the month businesses, too. Some drop out. Others drop in. An ever changing landscape of shops and restaurants. It takes time to grow a culture; I think we're doing a pretty good job. Especially in spite of the fact that we don't have a theme-park setting like Leavenworth, old buildings like Port Townsend, large buildings like Portland, or hills like Seattle & San Francisco. I like all those places but I keep coming back to Olympia. (It's not the water, it's the people).
Last on my list for today, our social situation. This is the area that needs some attention. From how our police have an arrogant attitude that we are supposed to bow down to them, when in fact they work for us. To how we treat the homeless. From how we make decisions, to who thinks they ought to get things their way because they have money. From activists to anarchists. From those with their ties on too tight to those with their dreadlocks too stiff. An overall whiff of deservitude with little consolation for other points of view. Maybe it's bound up in the cllimate of control. Maybe it's caught up in the myth of might makes right. Maybe we just haven't quite figured out how to live with diversity in a way that doesn't always clamor for top of the heap. We can work on that. We have time.
So, all in all I call Olympia my home town (even though I wasn't born and raised here). For all my travels I keep coming back here. In spite of all the exotic spots I've visited I keep returning. And while I'm here I"ll make my stand for kindness. And while I'm here I'll do my part to make this town more fun-loving, more life-loving, less stressful.
My name is Terrence,
I am not shy.
I shout it to the sky -
I am proud to be alive.
I am proud to call Olympia home.