And apparently that’s if you’re lucky:
I used to be on a beautification group. We spent a lot of time drafting two things — first, guidelines about availability of public trash cans (as an attempt to fight litter — which, yes, is another ugly issue and I get so sick of picking people’s left over fast food wrappers out of my yard) and second, some recommending that new businesses being built leave some “greenspace” instead of totally paving over the whole area around the business. For that second one? One or two of the businesses moving in to town sent a lawyer to our next meeting to fundamentally tell us we weren’t allowed to do that … and it was after that that I kind of quit the committee, because what is the point of working to try to make some thoughtful suggestions if someone else is just gonna say “I’m gonna do what I want and here, screw you, I’m not even going to try to have a dialog or listen to your side.” That was also when I realized that my thought of maybe someday running for city council was an entirely stupid and misguided idea … and so now I just focus on keeping the trash picked up in my own yard, and planting pollinator-friendly plants there.
Up here in the Big Town, there are all manner of beautification efforts hither and yon, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and anyone coming in on any of the Interstates is likely to be grateful that visibility out of contemporary cars is on the scant side: they went to a lot of trouble to put down these roads in the scuzziest-looking spaces they could find, most likely because it was cheaper to acquire the right-of-way.
And again, I admit, I’m contemplating Ᾱ maybe when I retire, I just move away from here. If I can afford it, find some kind of artist’s-colony type of place, maybe even up in the mountains a little bit (so cooler in the summer), somewhere a little less … I don’t know. I keep hoping that things will improve here, that we’ll get some new businesses that I would actually use and enjoy, but I think the problem is we’re close to a state line, and so everything is engineered to get that sweet, sweet out-of-state money (casino, the “medical” MJ shops — which boast either doctors or “virtual doctors” onsite, so I am assuming the oversight into actual medical justification is kind of wobbly) and the people who actually live here … well, we don’t matter so much. Or at least that’s the sense I get.
Overheard one day: “If I ever move, it’s going to be some place with more climate and less weather.” At a Certain Age or slightly above it, it perhaps becomes harder to justify those roots you put down way back when.