“Mississippi? Really??”- lots of people
Why on God’s green earth would someone willingly choose to move to a place that is last in many categories where you want to be first, and first where you want to be last?
For Christy, it was family. For me, it was freedom. For Banks, well, he likes to pee in the yard (true story).
You have to remember that I am proudly an outsider on most things. A temporary guest (we all are, really). A free thinker. I don’t need to impress the neighbors. I used to view it with uncertainty, but wow, it is indeed the ultimate strength.
Thus, my criteria is always going to be a little different from the norm. Stats don’t faze me. Ratios don’t scare me. It’s just gossip fodder. Are we trying to raise a well-rounded, happy kid or send someone to the moon (coincidentally, Stennis Space Center is right down the road)?
Look at the map of Mississippi and you will see lots of distinct regions, lots of places to explore. On previous trips, I’ve been north to Oxford, one of the coolest towns in America. I’ve done southern til I’m blue in the face. I did central last week. Ain’t much crackin’ out east. And I cannot wait to explore the fascinating Delta up in Greenville and Cleveland (google it). But if you look at the circled area, that is where it’s at, and that will be home base. The town is called Gautier, it is pronounced “Go-shay”, and it is French for “where I will live”. (Just kidding.)
Temperature-wise, there are 10-11 outside months in the year. The world famous (and my absolute favorite) The Shed BBQ is 5 miles away.
New Orleans is 100 quick interstate miles away.
The Hornets played at the Pelicans last week, the Panthers will play at the Saints, and the locals tailgate before everything. Everything. I can see I-10, my driving gateway to the world, out the window. A major international airport is an hour and a half away. Minor league baseball is $7 per ticket and only 15 minutes away.
I wake up on the water. It’s 5-10 miles via boat to uninhabited islands. We saw comedian Sebastian Maniscalco last week, one of the many weekly big names at the Biloxi casinos, which are only 15 minutes away.
The food is indeed going to be a real problem for me, with places like Bozo’s on every damn corner. (Please note, I was a svelt 190 pounds when I arrived.)
We went house hunting via boat, a ridiculous new adventure.
And 5 of the top 10 golf courses in the state are within a 45 minute drive. One of these is Fallen Oak, #1 in the state, top 50 in the country (stats, I know), and where I watched last week’s PGA Champions Tour event.
So what were you telling me about the stats? The ratios? The gossip? The riff raff? All the why nots?
When I see my 4 year old son planting vegetables with his grandparents, when I spend a random Wednesday night showing him New Orleans with his grandaddy, when he helps his mom nurse a 1 day old cat, when I see him bypass the indoor plumbing to go pee in the yard, I know we are on to something…
Just like sports, just like March Madness, life isn’t lived in the stats. It’s not lived on paper. You have to play the game, and sometimes, just like last year, the 16 seed finally wins.
Have a wonderful week.-Benj
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