Oklahoma ain't so Bad (pt 2)

Friday, October 26, 2007

(Continued from....)

Not to say that California is bad.

I love California.  First off, I was born there.  So how bad can it be?  It's also a great place to visit.  So much to see and do, there is no way to do it all in a year, much less on vacation.  But there is no one perfect place in this world, and like every place else, that includes California.

Probably because California has so many people, it has the best of the best, and unfortunately it has some of the worst of the worst.  Cultural events, arts, museums, sports, you name it, they got it.  Oklahoma really can't compare.  We have nice stuff, but.... well, it's just not the same.  But then again, there are places in Cali that are just not safe.  Some of the most crime ridden, dangerous places in American can be found in California.  Again, Oklahoma can't compare.  This time that's a good thing!

This also applies to the geography of California as well.  You've got the highs and lows there too.  Literally.  Mount Whitney at 14,494 ft is only 70 some miles from Death Valley (at almost 300 ft below sea level).  And while the costal areas are moderate in temperature, much of the state (especially in the south) is broiling desert.  Just go to Needles and see what I mean.

Its in these hot dry areas where fires take place.  California is a state meant to burn.  I don't say that to be mean, or cruel... its just a fact.  Hot dry areas, with dry vegetation, which often have high winds.  Plus, the plants themselves are designed to burn.  Some even rely on fire to germinate.  Then when people build their houses in those areas, it not surprising that sometimes they go up in flames.  Sad?  yes... but not surprising.  Just like its not surprising when someone's house is hit by a tornado here in Oklahoma.  Or when living in an area below sea level next to the sea and it floods.  Nobody wants it to happen, but it's a risk that one takes living where they do. 

Then there are the California earthquakes.  I always here about how half of California will fall into the ocean someday.  I hope that never happens, but not sure I could live in a place that has that threat hanging over it all the time.  Taking my chances with tornadoes seems much safer.  At least with a tornado, the area of destruction is usually relatively small.  Even a mile wide path is small compared to the area devastated by an earthquake. 

My brother and his family moved to California several years ago.  Previously, they lived in western Oklahoma, where he had a small medical practice.  Okay, I have to admit that western Oklahoma is somewhat scenically challenged.   However, he up and shut down his office to move to the "Golden State" of California. 

I felt like he was under the impression that California would be this ideal utopia where things are always better and the people more educated and enlightened.  After awhile, he realized that where he was, it was actually no different than where he had been.  People are people.  Sure, there are probably more educated people in California than in Oklahoma, but considering there are 10 times more people in California, that isn't too surprising.  But, there are also a lot of weirdoes in California (such as the arsonists who set some of the recent fires).  More than Oklahoma I'm sure.  Go figure.

Chris lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's.  Its beautiful, but the country is wild.  Even more so than Oklahoma I believe.  He had to buy a shotgun to kill the rattlesnakes he finds in his yard, driveway and porches.  Can't let those get near my nephews!  At one time, he fancied himself a "gentleman farmer" and was raising various animals.  Over time, they basically all got eaten by mountain lions, or whatever is stalking the hill on which he lives.  Doesn't make one feel that safe.  It gets to be over 100, sometimes over 110 F on a regular basis in the summer time, and not surprisingly the area sometimes catches fire. 

So, as I think, Oklahoma is not such a bad place to be.  Yes, it has its problems.  But tell me of a place that doesn't.  The next time someone asks me why I choose to live in Oklahoma with all these tornados, I'll just smile and tell them there are worse places to be.....

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