I've just been looking on realtor.com at homes for sale in my hometown. I have no real intention of moving back there, but I like to see what houses are available. It's a small-ish town (18,000 +/-) in central NH and so, so lovely. It was a great place to grow up, I loved it and still do, despite my not living there now. Every time I go home, I am amazed (though not always happy about) by the constant changes that are taking place (ie, there is a new CVS going in which is SO not needed), but the new middle school they built is gorgeous!
The downtown area is one of my favorites, though it makes me sad to see that is has taken a bit of a nosedive in recent years. It needs some help. Back in the day, there was a movie theater, one of the old fashioned theaters that was a playhouse for more than 80 years. It is even haunted! Sometime in the 1980's, it was subdivided into five small theaters where movies were shown, which is how I remember it, but it closed as a theater ages ago, it seems, maybe when I was in high school. Inside, you can see the old fashioned concession area, roped areas and lighting rooms. It could be gorgeous, but it is empty, except for the apartments that are above it and not in the best shape. If I had a few million that I didn't know what to do with, I'd buy it and restore it to its once-held glory.
There are other now-empty buildings downtown. There used to be a few nice department stores (locally owned, not large chains), but those have since closed, some years ago. Now that I am thinking about it, there are no chain stores...it is all local businesses, which I like. Still though, it needs some revitalization. I remember the first time our mothers let my best friend and I ride our bikes there by ourselves. I was 10 and it was such a big moment. We had to call as soon as we got there, and they both made sure we each had a few dimes for the payphone (cell phones? back then? yeah right!). It is roughly a mile from our house, but it is along Main Street (typical!), so it is a well-travelled street. I'm sure we waved to half of the cars passing by us, because we probably knew them :)
Some days I daydream about moving home and becoming mayor (ha!) and adding all sorts of new shops to downtown. Of course, I realize that I couldn't do this on my own, but I'd love to see a bookshop, a quilt shop, maybe a restaurant or two, a bike shop, a pet shop and a few more! Currently, there is a shoe store, a few restaurants, a pottery place, a coffee shop, a card/Hallmark-ish shop (though privately owned by family friends!), a few antique shops, a hair salon and a few more places that I am surely forgetting.
My father grew up in this town. Everyone knows him, everyone knows me. They totally need me as mayor, right? :) I mean, I've lived abroad, I have two Master's, I've worked for the government, I've worked at non-profits, I've worked on political campaigns in two countries, and I have hometown pride. What's better then that?
Of course, it would be so nice to live close to my parents, so that when I have babies, they will be close by and will have close relationships with their grandparents. At the same time, as much of me that wants this, Steve wants the same thing with his parents, and Iowa and New Hampshire aren't exactly neighbors. His grandparents were in Chicago (a few hours away) and died when he was much younger, so he never had that close relationship with his that I had with mine, and it makes me sad that my children won't be as fortunate, no matter where we are living.
I'm about 96% sure that I will not move back to NH, but a large piece of my heart will always be in the Lakes Region.
Do you ever think about moving home? Why or why not? How did you and your spouse decide where to live?