I did not write a column last week because I spent Thursday and Friday in Nashville, visiting my friend Eric. He is originally from Albuquerque, but we became fast friends when he spent a semester at Mount View High School during our junior year. We stayed in intermittent touch through the 2010s before reconnecting in earnest a year before the pandemic hit. I visited him a couple of times over the course of 2019-20 whenever my work travels would take me through Atlanta. When he moved to Nashville last year he invited me out to visit.

I am thankful for my travels for various reasons, but none so prevalent at the end of a trip as how shocked I am at how most people in this country live. People like Eric, his girlfriend, and millions of city and suburban dwellings can leave their apartment (picture a hotel full of single-family apartments) and within 15 minutes walk to more than a dozen restaurants, bars, cafes, or other places of entertainment.

Convenient? Sure. But with this convenience comes sacrifice of personal space, privacy, and the ever-assaulting presence of constant noise. I am the first to admit that rural Mainers’ chosen lifestyle is far from ideal, and there are serious detractions.

But would I ever choose a lifestyle of city living? No way. It might be for some people but not for me.

The annual town meeting has been set for March 11, location TBD. Election of municipal officers will happen on Friday, March 10. Nomination papers for the various municipal elected positions are due at the Town Office by Jan. 17.

Have a great start to 2023!