I learned yesterday that Medina is ranked #40 in CNNMoney.com’s Best Small Towns.
I have one question: Why so low?
After watching the video report on http://money.cnn.com/video/pf/2009/07/09/pf_best_places_louisville.moneymag/, I learned that the No. 1 city, Louisville, Colo., was chosen as the best small town because it has an old-fashioned feel with the amenities of a larger city. It has a great standard of living, easy access to the big cities (25 minutes to Denver) and the Rocky Mountains, lots of sunshine and people are friendly.
I haven’t lived in a lot of different areas, but I can say without question that Medina is on par with that. It is a wonderful place to raise a family. We have the quaint small-town feel without being a small town. We have the cute shops on the square, a thriving Farmers’ Market in the center of town each summer, colorful activities for the community such as the Candlelight Walk and this weekend’s Art in the Park festival, and nice restaurants.
At the same time, we have Target, Kohl’s, WalMart, six grocery stores within 5 miles of my house, and probably just as many drug stores. We have a Hobby Lobby AND a JoAnn’s ETC. Need I say more?
I don’t go to the mall much anymore — really, all the shopping I need to do can be done right here in town.
The schools are well-regarded, even though they were bursting at the seams before the two newest additions come on line this year. Teachers are committed and the results show in test scores.
The weather is relatively mild, even if we (probably) don’t have 300 days of sunshine every year, like Louisville, Colo. We get snow in the winter and heat in the summer, with an actual spring (unlike closer to Lake Erie) and a moderate nip in the air each fall.
We don’t have the mountains or a major lake nearby, but the park system offers a wide variety of hiking and bicycling trails that wind their way through forests and meadow. Plenty of smaller lakes and ponds are tucked like hidden jewels among neighborhoods.
While I know I should lock my doors every time I go out, I don’t worry a great deal about the safety of my children. They can ride their bikes up and down the street, and they play outdoors without fear. Poverty exists here, but it doesn’t seem as extreme as it does in some areas. I also know that, if an emergency should arise, this community — with all its social services – would wrap its loving arms around us to help any way it could. People are friendly and eager to help a neighbor in need.
Every once in awhile, I wonder what life would be like had we moved to another state in another part of the country. I sometimes envy those who live close to the ocean, or those who never have to shovel snow, or those who live near a major metropolitan city with a lot of cultural opportunities. I feel a little like I missed something by settling down so quickly not far from my Northeast Ohio roots.
But when you look at the many things we have here, it’s hard to think another town could offer as much.
Medina’s not perfect, but it is home. And a pretty good one at that.