Have you checked out your local library lately? These days libraries offer way more than books. For a while now they have been offering other media such as CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, film archives, all kinds of magazines and newsletters, research rooms, voter registration, and tax forms. There are wireless Internet access and computer terminals for your use, which is great when you are away from home.
Some libraries have very interesting web sites with digital content and archives, blogs and photo galleries. These are really virtual libraries where you can check out eBooks, videos and music on line and download for use for a limited period of time.
Now libraries are becoming community centers with free activities, senior programs, exhibitions, lectures by authors, and classes on many subjects.
No wonder about 66% of American 50+ already have a library card. Maybe you have a card but have not kept up with the new services your library is offering.Â Now is the time to “check out” your library to get up to date.
After having lived in an urbanized suburb of Atlanta for 40 years, this is the year I will be moving out to a Del Webb community Atlanta in a small town. Granted it is on outskirts of the metro area, about 15 minutes from a major mall and commercial district, but it will still be plenty different from my current location.
There are groceries stores, UPS store, some restaurants, liquor stores, banks and others around my new community. A biggie is a brand new 100 bed hospital at the entrance to my new community. That is actually closer than my current hospitals.
What is also closer is recreation amenities right in the community, plenty of sidewalks and trails for walking. There are daily activities, a gym and indoor and outdoor pools at the clubhouse which is within walking distance from my new home.
Our current friends will be about 45 minutes to an hour from our new community so we can still stay in touch and meet for lunch. At the new community there will be plenty of opportunities to meet new friends who will live in the same community and be available during the week, not just the weekends.
After a month or so at the new community I will have to do a post with my observations about how living in an active adult community in a small town is different from what I am used to.
We are thinking all the community offers will more than make up for any dislocations of living in a small town. Part of what scares people moving from a metro area to a small town is the people – will they be accepting and what kinds of cultural changes will be faced. Most of that concern will be alleviated by moving to an active adult community with almost two thousand residents coming from all over the country and the world.
Of course my old friend the Internet will be with me. There is high speed Comcast cable and the cell phone reception is reportedly good for several carriers. Small towns these days have very good broadband and cell phone coverage
So this year will be an interesting one for us as we take life by the horns and transition to a new life in an retirement community. We have waited long enough and at age 67 and retired we look forward to making new friends and being active in our new community on a daily basis. We are avid Bocce players and they say we will fit right it. That is the first club we will sign up for, along with coin collectors club, day trippers, travel club and hiking club. That will be a good start.
As far as the town, exploring the several nearby small towns, visiting the dairy, the winery and maybe the outlet mall up the road will be on the list. The Road Atlanta sports car track is nearby and a group from the community visits the track for several races which I will probably join them. Fort Yargo Park is nearby with over 1800 areas with a 260-acre lake that offers a large swimming beach, fishing and boat ramps. Maybe it’s time to take up fishing again. I will keep you posted. -Robert Fowler
When one makes a trip to spend a few days in an area you have never visited and discovers it’s an attractive area, sometimes it turns in to a “Let’s move here” idea. I could see how that could happen in Charlottesville Virgina after spending 3 days there this week.
We just wanted a getaway and picked Charlottesville off the map. Having never been there, we did a little research and found it’s a good place to visit and to live.
Charlottesville Trip Report
Day one we flew to Richmond Va and took our rental car for an easy drive over to Charlottesville via I-64. Takes a little over an hour with stop an a visitors center on the way.
Seeing one of the big attractions is visit to Thomas Jefferson home (Monticello) we exited I-64 and followed the signs. We first came upon historic Michie Tavern cir 1784 which offered a buffet lunch which we were about ready for and then a tour of the tavern by ladies in period dress. We went ahead and got the Presidential tour package which includes Monticello, Michie Tavern, James Monroe home and James Madison’s home at Montpelier. After eating we took the Michie Tavern tour with a nice lady as guide. This got us in the right frame of mind for the next stop.
So about 2pm we arrvied at Monticello which is right up the road from Michie Tavern. This is a popular place and lots of people were coming in from the parking lots. We stopped by the ticket office and immediately got on the bus for the next tour of the home. The bus takes you up to the top of the hill to Monticello. Their is a guided tour of several rooms of the home and it has a lot of the items owned by Mr. Jefferson and other period pieces to look just like it did when he lived there. Thomas Jefferson worked on Monticello for 30 years and made it his unique home. Afterwards we joined a tour of the grounds and made a day of it. I think Monticello was the highlight of our trip.
Day two we take the short drive down to the University of Virginia to find the Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson. We park at The Corner, a popular place for students, and just follow them up the hill, over looking grounds framed by historic buildings. Every hour there is a tour by a student guide starting at the Rotunda. We visited several rooms inside the Rotunda and hear about it’s amazing history, then go out in to the academic village for more of the tour. After wards we stop by a student hangout at The Corner for a coke.
Next it’s a short drive to the downtown mall, which is an area several blocks long with the main street closed to auto traffic. Side walk cafes all around and we try on out for a delicious lunch. For the afternoon, we drive out to tour the farm of James Monroe which was part of the Presidential homes ticket.
Day three we drive out to Montpelier James Madison’s huge home and farm. It is a about 15 miles north of Charlottesville, right off the path to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we would be visiting that afternoon. We pass many farms on the way. This property has been restored by the National Trust, and they have done an excellent first class job. There is a large visitors center where we watch a short movie about James Monroe, the father of the US Constitution. Next we tour the large home and walk the grounds.
It getting around noon so we head East to the Shenandoah Park. Ticket is $15 but since I am 62, I am offered the Senior Pass for $10 and it is good the rest of your life. What a deal! We get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and about 9 miles along stop at the Big Meadows Lodge for a nice lunch in their dining room. We enjoyed he views and head back to Charlottesville where we dine that evening at the Boat House, the best new restaurant of the year.
It was an amazing trip and to see so many things in such a short period of time! Charlottesville is a college town with history and everything you would want, without the traffic of a large city. If you have never visited Charlottesville you need to. You just might want to move there.
Texas is one of the largest states in the U.S. Due to this fact; it stands to reason that Texas has a variety of different cities and townships that operate in a variety of ways. The state of Texas has many metropolitan areas that attract hundreds of thousands to millions of inhabitants to the metro area. Texas is also made up of a large number of small, unique towns.
Some small towns in Texas are the epitome of the American experience. Small town living has many advantages, and at the top of the list is the feeling of being one large family. Small towns in Texas often have families who have been in the community for decades or more. It is also easy to get to know new -comers in a small Texas town. If you are looking for a homey, family feeling community, small towns in Texas are a good place to start and here are some we like.
Huntsville, Alabama sounds like a small town, but it is definitely one that has experienced growth. The town of Huntsville is located in the north region of the state of Alabama. Huntsville has a current population of fewer than 200,000 people and has attracted retirees due to the vast opportunities available in this retirement city.
Huntsville, AL is a scenic and beautiful city. Though it is one of the four largest cities in the state of Alabama, Huntsville is a beautiful place with plenty of greenery. Many large cities only concentrate on building up and out, without paying attention to the natural beauty of the place. Huntsville, Alabama has plenty of wooded areas, gardens, lakes and greenery to enjoy. For this reason, Huntsville is an excellent retirement destination for those who crave the city life, while still wanting to enjoy small town luxuries. Magnolia Trace Huntsville and Redstone Village are two Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Huntsville that offer a retirement community for independent living as well as care facilities when needed.
One thing that makes Huntsville so special is the large amount of PhD holders who live in this city. Huntsville holds more PhD holders per square mile than most other place in the United States. The reason Huntsville has so many educated citizens is due to the NASA branch located in the town of Huntsville. The city also holds many opportunities for those who hold degrees in science and engineering. Retirees who wish to have a part time job in their old field or to volunteer in the science and technology field will find Huntsville to be full of opportunities.
The growth that Huntsville, AL is expected to receive is largely due to the military opportunities that are moving to the town of Huntsville. Nearly 10,000 military jobs will be relocated to the city and a large amount of military contractor positions will be soon to follow. Military retirees who wish to remain close to a military installation and have the opportunity to contract with the military will find Huntsville to be one of the top towns to retire.
The weather in Huntsville is excellent for those who are looking to get away from cold, harsh winters without having to deal with summers that are over 100 degrees F. Most winter temperatures in the Huntsville area are around 49 degrees and temperatures in the summer are just less than 90 degrees on average. Mild falls and summers leave time to explore Monte San Mountain, a beautiful mountain and nature reserve located in south Huntsville.
The town of Huntsville’s demographics are varied, which makes for a culturally rich town. Huntsville is also located within 2 hours of both Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN. A day trip to both of these large, popular southern cities will take no more than a few hours. Chattanooga, TN and Birmingham, AL are within one hour of Huntsville and these cities are popular destinations for large events.
The town of Huntsville, AL is the best small town for retirement for those who wish to retire in good weather and a scenic city that has lost none of its beauty. Huntsville, AL offers the ability to live well on retirement income and also offers opportunities to those who wish to stay mentally active after leaving the workforce full time.
I have noticed people living in small towns have a lot of pride about where they live. They have pride in their local parades and community events like fairs, art festivals and beauty contests. They have pride in their high school sports teams. They have pride in winning town contests.
Magazines hold contests where you can vote for your small town to win the title of something and people really get involved and promote voting for their town. I did a post about the South’s Tastiest Small Towns contest. Then there are the prettiest towns, best places to live, most liveable towns, best small towns for food, healthiest small towns and many others.
People like calling their town “the best” in anything. Newspapers and Chamber of Commerces really liked the PR of having the title of being ‘the best” gives their town.
In the news today, I see the headline “Travelers Rest tied for third in ‘coolest small towns’ contest. This is in the Budget Travel magazine’s annual contest to find the coolest small towns in America. Other finalists include Berlin, Md.; Buckhannon, W.Va.; Cazenovia, N.Y.; Deadwood, S.D.; Elkin, N.C.; Estes Park, Colo.; Evergaldes City, Fla.; Galena, Ill.; Hunting Woods, Mich,; Kelleys Island, Ohio; Matthews, Va.; Nevada City, Calif.; Pahoa, Hawaii; and Rockport, Texas. Apparently there were about 1,000 small town entries in the coolest small town contest.
So I went to the Budget Travel website to see what the criteria is for the coolest small towns 2014 but only see “we know a cool small town when we see it”. I guess coolness is hard to define but you will know it when you see it.
So I go over to view the comments left by people on the contest page to see if I can find any clues as to why a small town may be cool.
Fay says “Travelers Rest SC is the perfect place for people who love the outdoors and want the very best of living with nature and having all the things civilization has to offer in Greenville. Lots of local culture and the ocean is only 4 hours away.” (Ashevlle is nearby too).
The contest does have a good description for each of the finalists in coolest small town contest. You have until Feb 25th to vote.