Happily, Joshua likes the Twin Cities very, very much. He says that Minneapolis is the best place he has ever lived.
Of course, that may not signify all that much, because Josh has only lived in Oklahoma, Washington, D.C., and the Twin Cities. And yet, I--prejudiced in favor of the Twin Cities, as I no doubt am--agree with him heartily: the Twin Cities is a wonderful place to live, surely one of the best places in the world.
I think that this is so for two reasons: first, Minneapolis has all of the advantages of a large city, in terms of colleges and universities, and cultural organizations, and employment opportunities, and sports franchises, and other such things; and, second, the people of Minneapolis are extremely kind and decent and good, free of the narcissism that infects the large cities of the East and West Coasts.
The citizenry of the Twin Cities is prosperous, highly-educated and civic-minded. The citizenry believes in the traditional public virtues, is more or less free of the various dogmas of the day, and is, on the whole, quite laid-back. That is a nice combination, and it helps to make the city friendly and civilized and welcoming and liveable. I am not sure that I can say the same thing about any other city, except perhaps Munich.
Of course, Josh and I do not live IN the city; we live in a nearby suburb. And yet the city is there, available to us whenever we want to take advantage of it. And when we do NOT want to take advantage of it, we live in the equivalent of a small town, where we know everyone in the immediate vicinity, and where everyone knows us, and where things are quiet and peaceful and safe and secure, if not outright idyllic. We have the best of all possible worlds, I think.
If we HAD to move elsewhere, I doubt that we could find a better place, at least for our needs. Neither of us was at home on the Eastern Seaboard, and I doubt that either of us would feel at home on the West Coast. Neither of us likes the Southeast United States, with its appallingly ignorant populace. The large Texas cities of Dallas and Houston might have many parallels with the Twin Cities, but I doubt that they are superior to Minneapolis. Consequently, my hope is that we stay in the Twin Cities for a while, if not forever.
Josh seems to be fine with that idea, and he is thinking about the University Of Minnesota for graduate school, and nowhere else, at least for now.
And I have to acknowledge that it would be very, very hard for me to leave my parents again--being away for seven years was hard enough for me, and I would not want to have to go through that again. I love my parents, and I like being near them, and I like spending time with them, and I like helping them, and I like taking care of them in any way I can.
I am the youngest child, and I am the one who will have to be there to look out for them as they grow older, since my brothers will have their own families to care for. And I look forward to that role, and I cannot perform it if Josh and I are living in Hong Kong or London or Vancouver.