Monday, January 14, 2013

Mid-Missouri Monday Vol. 1

Recently, Patrick over at "Stuff About Me" posted about how he was contemplating his readership numbers since relaunching after an extended hiatus.  I mentioned in a comment that I mostly write my blog for me and if others enjoy it, that is great.  He responded with a comment about the fact he finds my blog interesting because I'm "... just a person doing their thing, living in a place that [he] has zero experience with, so [he] likes the education".  He went on to mention that he grew up in Cambridge, MA then lived in NYC and now is in SoCal - all essentially fantasy lands and missing a fair bit of "real" (his words). 

In a follow up message, he apologized in the event he had offended me (he hadn't).  But it occurred to me that living in a relatively small town in mid-Missouri definitely provides a different perspective on life than maybe some of my readers are privy to.  And because this is my blog and I can write about whatever makes me happy, I bring you Mid-MO Monday.  I reserve the right to have future volumes or never speak of it again.  If I feel like it, I'll take some pics or post reviews of local joints.

Possibly interesting bullet point info about my life here in mid-MO:
  • I would consider Jefferson City "big" compared to many small towns around.  It has a population of 43,332 (though the metropolitan statistical area includes another 10k or so) - we are the 9th smallest capital city.  But lots of small towns around have less than 1000 people.  Though we aren't far from Columbia - home of the University of Missouri with a student population of about 35,000 - plus about 65,000 "regular" residents.  We lived in Columbia for 11 years (including our four at MU).  My friends tease me that my husband's umbilical cord snapped us back home.  He was born in the hospital about 8 min from our house.  However, both our kids were born in Columbia (one while we lived there and one while we lived here).
  • I live on the "edge" of town - in an area that was annexed in 2003 (I think). The annexation was necessary to keep from showing a loss of population when the Missouri State Penitentiary moved to its new location (from the historic location where my Prison Break event started). The new JC Correctional Center is about 3 miles east of my house and apparently the prison population (up to almost 2000 prisoners) is included in the 43,332 by the U.S. Census.
  • While I live in a small subdivision, the land across the street is cow pasture with a great pond that our neighbors let us fish in.  It has a fair number of catfish including some albino ones.  We feed them floating fish food for fun and they churn up the water eating it.  We also have a fire pit down by the pond that is great on spring/fall nights with our friends.  We own two ATVs (four-wheelers) that we ride there as well on my husband's uncle's farm (575 acres about 30 minutes south of us).
  • I like being in the center of the state - about 2 hours from St. Louis, Kansas City and 2.5 from Springfield, MO and 3.5 from Branson (depending on potty stops).  I check airfares out of both STL and KC whenever I fly though I've flown from Columbia Regional (which is about 25 min away) when they had decent air service (which they swear they are working on again).  I'm also an hour away from Lake of the Ozarks which is a bit of a tourist attraction.
  • There was a fair bit of German settlement in this area - with many German last names still common here.  I think it is cool that the small town of Westphalia (about 10 min down the road) still has the street signs in both English and German.  There are several small Octoberfest celebrations you can attend in the fall - with the biggest and best one in Hermann, MO (about an hour away).  Great wine, beer, brats, etc.  They also have a great Grape Stomp at Stone Hill Winery in August around my birthday!
  • We don't really have "rush hour".  Traffic rarely is at a standstill - save an accident blocking a lane.  At most there is some congestion for 10-15 minutes around 5 PM.  Because of this, I really HATE driving in St. Louis or Kansas City during any of their rush times.  How people who have 2 hour commutes going like 15 miles do it is beyond me.
  • I grew up with a father that liked to hunt and fish.  He once told me when I was dating my husband that you should always stick with a guy who likes to hunt and fish.  There a certain parts of growing up in a gun-accepting culture that changes your views on things.  My son got his first youth-model rifle at age 7, shotgun at 10 and a hunting bow that next Christmas (also age 10).  He killed his first big buck (deer) at age 8.  My kids consider it a "treat" to go with dad to the gun range to plink cans and shoot targets with shotguns, handguns and rifles.  Sometimes for fun and sometimes for practice to prepare for the next hunting season.  Just like my dad always took me for ice cream if I was quiet while he fished, they know that they will get McDonalds if they listen and behave at the range.  My son has killed rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, deer, doves and a variety of fish - most of which he cleaned with his dad and were eaten by our family (all but coyotes - we kill those to keep them from taking calves).  He hopes to get a turkey this spring.   My daughter (age 8) hasn't successfully taken game yet, but has gone along for hunts.  I consider us very responsible gun owners - the guns are locked in a safe, the ammunition is locked separately in another part of the house (in a military ammo box), and the kids don't have access to any of it. 
  • I both hate and love that we have four distinct seasons (most years).  The heat and humidity can be pretty oppressive in the summer and the cold, gray days of winter can make you dream of balmy beaches.  But you really can't go wrong with most spring and fall days (with the occassional rainstorm to break it up).  We have nice fall color (reds, oranges, yellows) and many nice spring flowers.  It is hard for me to imagine warm weather at Christmas or cool summer days.  And, as the saying goes, if you don't like the weather here - wait a few minutes and it will change.
That's it for this volume.  How would you describe the place where you live?  The things you do there?  The culture of the area that might be different from the way my life is?

MMNW = 161.0 (bummer - I had seen 159's most of the week so I was annoyed with this but I sat around all Sunday and had a hot dog and fritos for dinner - oops)

Still pretty sore from the SHITR.  Had planned on getting on the trainer tonight, but just couldn't get out of the recliner to get it done.  Read a few other reports from the SHITR and it is possible I didn't have the worst night of the 40-some-odd folks that tackled this "race".  Tomorrow night I am definitely doing trainer time because I'm going to have to take a minor break from riding after a minor medical procedure on Wed.


  1. We joke that Calgary has 3 seasons. Winter, Monsoon, and Construction. Depending on how desperate they are, you might find construction any time of year.
    The neat thing about Calgary weather is the Chinooks. Today for instance. Going into work it was about -10 C with a windchill of -16 or so (14 and 3 F respectively). Leaving work, it was several degrees above zero. That is not a big temperature jump by our standards. Being around as it goes from -20 C to +10 C in the space of a few hours is neat.
    Calgary is a big city by Canadian standards (just over a million population), and a medium sized one by US standards, but traffic sucks most of the time. Although we have a red neck image (They don't call us Cowtown for nothing), and the annual 10 days of Stampede insanity don't help, Calgary is actually quite a cosmopolitan city. Nobody quite knows how many theatre companies run in town, and we love our Muslim mayor so much that he might not have anyone run against him next election.
    What I like about the climate is the sun and the dryness. Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in North America, depending on exactly what you are measuring, and one of the least humid. Sunny but not hot and not humid. Love it. The occasional days of -40 are a small price to pay.

    1. Humidity sucks as do gray (no sun) days. So sunny and not humid sounds appealing. Not sure I could suck it up for those cold winters though. LOL about being rednecks - hard to imagine since I come from where the necks really are red from working out on the farm. How many people in Calgary have ever actually cut/baled hay, fed the cows or butchered them for their family to eat?

  2. The thing that I think differentiates Huntington Beach from many of the other Beach communities in the area is that it's a city in it's own right - 200K population, and though it has it's share of gated/exclusive communities, it's a solidly middle class place with a plenty of shopping/cultural/recreation opportunities that are not entirely beach centric.

    That said, there is of course a beach, about 10 miles worth. In the 10 years I've lived here, I've probably "gone to the beach" a grand total of 5 times. But I use it/am near it all the time - the beach strand is great for running and 99.9% of my bike rides use Coast Highway to access points south.

    It's about 45 miles south of LA, which with traffic is sheer torture. The joke (my personal, inside joke that is) is that I can leave my house, drive to Orange County Airport 15 mins away and as long as I time it though it's straight through security and right on to the plane, I can be in San Fransisco quicker than some days of fighting traffic to LA or the Valley.

    Like any place it has it's good and it's bad. But I dunno if it's because I'm older and have family/roots/friends here, it feels more like home than anyplace I've lived since I was a kid.

    By the way, right now it's in the high 30's which is freaking just about everyone I know completely out. I've become a cold wimp since moving here, for sure.

    1. Thought of you on the way to the office today - the radio DJ's were making fun of the reporters in CA freaking out about the weather. They played some clips and it was hilarious.

  3. We live in typical suburbia west of Chicago. My only complaint (outside of not liking winter) is that we don't have any redeeming ecological features, such as mountains or the ocean. Lake Michigan is okay, but limited use for much of the year.

    1. I've been to the Chicago area a fair bit on both business (2000-2002 working mostly out in the burbs) and for pleasure (mostly the tourist stuff) and I really liked it. I think your trails that you have posted pics and talked about are a "redeeming" feature - not as major as mountains or oceans, but still awesome. I'd pick some of the smaller lakes around NE IL and SE WI over Lake MI though. My sis lives up in Delafield, WI on a lake that I'd much rather swim in/ski on than something bigger. Of course, I've been skiing in 50° temps in July there too. Not so much fun.

  4. Great post Christina! I think I missed Patrick's post about blog readership. Even though I blog for me, I do check page views and comments everyday.

    I love small town living though I never been hunting (but would like to). I love deer meat and being outdoors. I don't own a gun, but would if I was in to hunting.