When I started thinking about retirement, one of the places high on my list was Powers. A little place in southern Oregon I have always considered to be my home town.
It is small -- only about 500 residents. Most of them retirees or Forest service employees. Almost all of the other industries were linked to logging. And that died out decades ago in the shadow of the Spotted Owl.
And it is peaceful. Tucked into the Oregon coast range, it is almost at the end of the road. With great scenery. Mountains. Rivers. Forests. Joe Meek and his mountain buddies Wildon have felt at home there.
I eventually struck Powers from the retirement list. Most of my relatives have moved away or died. And the town offers very little in services. No doctor. No dentist. No banks. Limited access to food.
Instead, I decided to head to Mexico where I would have great scenery and a sense of isolation. The lack of infrastructure in Melaque does not bother me. Probably, because I expected so little when I thought about moving to Powers.
All of that came back to me on Sunday when I attended a picnic for anyone who has ever lived in Powers. According to my mother, it was a small gatherings -- about a tenth the usual crowd size.
I had just finished the third grade when we moved away from Powers. Most of my classmates have found their futures elsewhere. In fact, I have seen more of them in Salem than I saw at the picnic.
There was the sister of my best friend in the third grade. A friend of my cousin. And the older brother of a friend.
That was it. I had a good time. But I certainly did not re-live very much of my past.
Some people are people of place. Their very soul seems to be identified with a patch of ground and its connective community.
I am not one of those people. I do not feel rooted in any specific place. I could enjoy myself as much in Greece as I do in being retired in Mexico. The place does not make a difference.
Well, it does to a degree. I would not want to live in Sudan or Afghanistan. That would make me a person on not-some-places, I guess.
But that leaves a big world out there. If Mexico is not The Place, there are plenty of choices. Paris. London. Los Angeles.
But, for now, it will be Mexico in another three months.