Time for a Change of Climate?

By Michael Kaufman

Nanook of the North would feel right at home in Orange County these days but not this Nudnik from Warwick. I would say the bone-chilling cold we’re having is for the birds…. but they’ve all been smart enough to fly south by now, leaving us birdbrained humans behind. What with all the talk about climate change lately I’ve been thinking seriously about making a change in climate of my own. A colleague with similar thoughts found an eight-question quiz in Kiplinger magazine that helps you determine “which place is the right fit.” I gave it a try and frankly I’m still reeling from the outcome.

According to Kiplinger the top place for me is Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Since I don’t know much about the place I did a Google search. The first item on the list was “Teen Shot to Death Walking Down Rocky Mount Street.” That would have been enough for me but Eva-Lynne said, “That could happen anywhere,” so I did some more reading. I learned that Thelonious Monk, one of my all-time favorite jazz musicians hailed from Rocky Mount. There were some other things to like as well, but overall, I don’t think I’d give up Warwick for that place.

Next on the list: Auburn-Opelika, Alabama. I never heard of it but I didn’t bother to look it up. I know I’m not Alabamy bound. (I’d rather hang around with the heebie jeebies in Warwick.) On the other hand, my nephew Steven’s wife Allison’s Aunt Louise seemed happy enough living in Birmingham. I met her at Steven’s wedding years ago. It was the only time I ever heard an old Jewish woman speak with a deep southern drawl. I got such a kick out of it I kept the conversation going just to listen to her talk.

Next up: Greenville, North Carolina. At least I’ve heard of it. From Googling I learned that it is “the 10th largest city in North Carolina“; and the “health, entertainment, and educational hub of North Carolina’s Tidewater and Coastal Plain.” I’ve heard of Tidewater: The Mets used to have a Triple-A team there, the Tidewater Tides. Greenville seems to be near the beach, which is a plus. But I was turned off when I went to the official home page, which carries the heading, “Greenville, NC: Dedicated to providing all citizens with quality services in an open, ethical manner, insuring a community of distinction for the future.” I almost fell asleep reading that. I prefer something more direct and to the point such as, “Florida, NY: Home of Jimmy Sturr, the Polka King.”

The next one was a nonstarter: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (See Auburn-Opelika.)  And last but not altogether least on the Kiplinger list of places supposedly the right fit for me: Goldsboro, North Carolina! Yes, Goldsboro, described by Wikipedia as “best known as home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.” I never heard of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (but I used to work with a fine fellow named Seymour Joseph). The county seat of Wayne County, Goldsboro is located about 43 miles southwest of the aforementioned Greenville (meaning farther from the beach. Feh!); and 55 miles southeast of Raleigh, the state capital. Big deal.

I’m not knocking any of those towns. Maybe they’re all swell places to live. They’re certainly a lot warmer than Warwick. But are they the right fit for me? I don’t think so. I’m not leaving Warwick any time soon. And as far as I’m concerned the Kiplinger quiz is guano. But see what it comes up with for you.

Michael can be reached at michael@zestoforange.com.


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2 Responses to “Time for a Change of Climate?”

  1. Jean Webster Says:

    Well, I had the chance to go to the place people often call “God’s waiting room” – better known as Florida – to spend the winters. But, I was clear about not wanting to go there. As some people in your neck of the woods are aware, John (the Florida wannabe) and I live in Portland, Maine. It’s a great little city, with lots of art, music, great restaurants, parks, the ocean, etc. But, cold cold cold this winter, and I wear several layers even in the house. I cannot count how many times he has reminded me of “where we could be right now.”
    Not me!

  2. Michael Kaufman Says:

    Thanks for the comments, Jean. I think Portland may not be far from one of our favorite summertime haunts, World Fellowship in Conway, NH. It sounds great but I don’t think I’d care for the winters there. It has gotten so cold around here that even my wife, who has been as clear as you have about not wanting to move to Florida, is beginning to vacillate. (Tell John I empathize.) Did you take the Kiplinger quiz? I put in a hyperlink to it because I was hoping readers would share their results.

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