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Big City vs. Hometown

October 29, 2012 |

Mr. Keillor,

I am in a pickle. I have a great paying job in San Francisco, good friends and lots of big city activities -- have had for 20 years -- but my family and my beloved Sierra Mountain home are far away and I have been homesick for awhile, thinking about moving back. There is no work back home and I will probably give up a great job to be a clerk in Mrs. Gumble's grocery if I go back.

If you were presented with such a decision, what would you decide and why?

Robert S


A few years back, Robert, the missus and I decided to leave Manhattan for St. Paul, Minnesota, and it was an easy decision: we had an infant daughter, both our families were in Minnesota and all four grandparents, and we wanted our girl to grow up with aunts and uncles and cousins. What you're talking about sounds to me more like retirement. San Francisco is a great city -- the chill fogs of summer, the ocean air, the fabulous diversity of faces on the street -- but if your hometown is calling to you, I think you should listen. It can be a great pleasure to be with people who've known you since childhood -- no need to give the back story -- and as you get older, you may find that your youth becomes more and more vivid to you. But think of this as retirement and plan accordingly. You don't want to be a carry-out boy at the age of 65. And give the hometown a few short tryouts before you make your decision.

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