Recently I posted to facebook that I really LOVE Oregon - but did not give details. One friend who lives in Oregon asked for details. I answered her in a private message. I have many friends and family in Utah who may not share my feelings about the hoop-jumping that so many have to deal with in the state of Utah that I did not want to post my number one reason why I like living in Oregon. I love being in Oregon because it isn't Utah - or more specifically Salt Lake City. I guess it's wrong of me to judge the entire state by just one county.
Thus far I have not had to jump any hoops - not even to get a driver's license or state plates. Nor did I have to wait. I have been treated like a person and not just a number. I count! I may have counted in Utah, but I didn't feel like I did. Especially when it came to voting. Seriously. Utah's a Republican state. Overall I am not. I vote for the man, not the party. Often I actually vote against someone.
I grew up on the east side of Salt Lake. I never questioned the government or political issues or even the PTA. I suppose I just didn't know any better. I grew up quite naive and though I knew about existing situations - I didn't think I knew any of those circumstances personally. And then I married Roland and was introduced to deceit and corruption - not by him, necessarily - but by poorly run systems that failed us. The systems, quite frankly, fail many. And I know it's everywhere and not just in Utah. That still doesn't make it right.
I didn't have to deal with thorns on the east side, but the west side was full of thorns - or perhaps it was just in those neglected neighborhoods that we could actually afford. While the flower itself seems harmless, it has to be mowed or weeded immediately in its yellow stage - otherwise it becomes a vine of thorns which attach themselves to footwear and thus gets tracked in the house. And it doesn't seem to matter how much I sweep or vacuum, the thorns are always there - on the floor, in the carpet, on the furniture . . . I've had them attach themselves to my socks. I didn't dare to go barefoot indoors - let alone outdoors.
Our grass has always been dry - no matter how much we tend to water it. Even when it has been green, there are always patches of brown - except for the green stems that bring the thorns. Our lawn has always been ugly. Even here. It is dry. The cost of water has gone up. Only a few of our neighbors have green grass. Most lawns are dry and ugly. But I can still go outside in my bare feet. I don't have to wear shoes to take the garbage to the curb or run out to the garage or pick the mail up across the street. For the most part, I do. For the most part I wear some kind of footwear because I'm in the habit. But I don't have to anymore. The yellow weed flowers in Oregon don't turn into thorns. This is a good thing.
I miss the Salt Lake County library system. I miss having access to public transportation - though it was not always reliable, it was better than whatever may be offered in this county. There are some things I miss about Utah. But overall I am happy that I am no longer a resident of Salt Lake. I really do like it here in Oregon.