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How do YOU decide where to live?

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When in a Chicago hotel, do as the other guests do, right? Since I normally never read newspapers (learned this from a very wise sales trainer–Want to keep your mind clear and your attitude upbeat? Don’t read or listen to the news–especially in the morning when its negative energy can follow you all day long), decided to see what was in the USA Today tossed under my door.

Article says a nationwide shortage has recruiting agencies from as far away as San Diego chasing the displaced health professionals and nurses of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, some for temporary jobs only, while others are happy to help them find new permanent employment–mainly in other cities. Some workers are torn–yes, they’ll have to go through getting another set of credentials in a new state, but some also wonder “what happens when the next hurricane comes?”

Speaking as a person who lives in an area where the worst we might get is a weeklong deepfreeze in winter and a really rough thunderstorm in the mild season, I can’t imagine how people choose to live in regions where homes are known to slide out from under their inhabitants with some regularity in tidal waves of mud, or where buildings frequently relinquish their roofs, windows, siding–and sometimes residents–to the ferocity of wind and water.

A guy I knew once said he’d never move out of the Cleveland area because we are situated right next to a body of fresh water–something he felt will one day come in quite handy when shortages abound. I don’t know if I agree that’s a good reason to stay here–I don’t like the idea of doing anything out of fear (though heaven knows, that’s often easier said than done).

But it’s not the same thing to choose to live in a place that might be a safe harbor in a disaster as it is to choose not to live in a place that’s a known danger spot. The intention is different–and the philosophers say intention is everything when it comes to evaluating decisions for moral or ethical or kindness quotients.

Still, people generally choose to live in places that attract them with vibrant life, or with easy ways to make a living (whether those be honest or otherwise). Nawlins had some of everything–good, vibrant, bad, intense, sexy, dangerous. And it had the music. Everywhere music accompanied you–on the streets, in the shops, in the hotels, bars, and restaurants.

It’ll be fascinating to see what emerges from the wreckage. But one thing we know, whatever it becomes, it will have rhythm and soul–or it won’t be New Orleans.

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  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    I chose to live in DC, where I now live, for no other reason that I visited in 2000 and fell in love with the city. So I can’t possibly judge any citizen of the Big Easy who wants to go back.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    I keep seeing commercials for people looking to hire Katrina refugees. And, yes, San Diego WILL take all the nurses they can get. We’re very short-handed here.

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Dang. Should’ve gone to nursing school. But then there is that aversion to the sight of blood…

  • Philip

    I’m a resident of Biloxi, MS and even after the trajedy of Katrina, the scare of Rita, and the history of Camille… I could never leave my home. For many people it’s not a decision of “oh too many hurricanes down south”, “too many tornadoes in the midwest”, “too many earthquakes on the west coast”. It’s simply our home and our people and our family. Down here our communities have come together in the way I’m sure many New Yorkers did after 9/11. We’re not shooting at the police, or the Red Cross like New Orleans. Just today I stood in line at a bank and watched as old white men, young black women, and a couple of redneck laborers all stood around chatting and smiling about how lucky we were to have this breeze blowing while we wait in the line “Do you need some water honey?” “Get out of that sun and come stand under my umbrella”.
    There’s a beautiful thing happening down here, I would never choose to live anywhere else.

  • Nancy

    If you deliberately choose to live in a dangerous area, why should the rest of us have to bail your stupid butt out every time you go under, because you insist on living there?

  • Philip

    This was the worst hurricaine in like 30 years Nancy. I boarded my own windows and went to higher ground when the flood waters came. President Bush made the decision to spend $60+ Billion on the recovery effort, and I’m sure he’d do the exact same for you should some freak natural disaster hit your town.
    Oh and how exactly did you bail us out? We’ve got crews of people from all over the country who make it their job to assist with these types of disasters. They were collecting unemployment 4 weeks ago and now they’re making $20 an hour and they have enough work for the next 6 months.
    I’m really sorry that your tax dollars are being spent on a place you’ve never been and people you’ve never met. But believe me that 60 billion would have been spent anyway, and I don’t recall Bush announcing any tax increase so how exactly did I affect your pocketbook?

  • http://www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Barbara Payne

    Tragedy is the great uniter–at least for a time. We can only hope that the caring will continue for always.

  • Nancy

    The point is that people persist in living in places where every YEAR they get flooded out, blown away, burned out by brush/forest fires, smothered in mudslides, etc. I have a brother in Key West. I have neither sympathy nor charity for him getting damage to his house, car, or other property just about every 6 weeks. IMO he has real gall to whine & cry about losing anything, when he knows damned well he’s gonna get hit with at least one stiff hurricane a year. He sure as hell shouldn’t be bailed out by the government – or anybody else – every time it happens. Enough is enough is enough.

  • Philip

    Well I agree with you Nancy. Key West and the Bahamas get slammed constantly during the hurricane season. Even here along the Gulf Coast we take our fair share of abuse, but it’s really got to be devastation before the gov’t steps in with aid like they have for storms like Andrew, Ivan, and Katrina. I really doubt your brother gets a check from FEMA every time his car floods, I know that insurance on cars and homes along the tip of Florida is ridiculous, so again his losses aren’t really affecting you. When the news crams it down your throat the way they have been doing I can understand your frustration with us ridiculous people who would be crazy enough to live here, but I assure you in my 26 years I have weathered more than 10 hurricane’s and it’s never been more than lots of yard cleanup and mabye a leak in the roof. This season has been extraorinary. If you’re still around where do you live that’s so safe? I may consider moving.