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I am reading the trilogy “Red Mars,” “Green Mars,” and “Blue Mars” by Kim Stanley Robinson. These are very long and detailed books. I’m just about half way through the first book. The books are about 550 pages each and there isn’t a lot of one line dialog. That means most pages are solid blocks of lines with the maximum number of words on each page. It will take me a long time to get through these books.
As far as the story goes, so far, I would classify the story as very hard science type science fiction. The science and engineering principles behind every action are explained in detail. During the voyage to Mars you get details about the emotional state of the crew and all the steps taken to alleviate the feeling of cabin fever on the eight month trip right down to the changing color of the walls and the plants around the ship. You learn about the radiation effects on a ship during a solar flare and how to air break a ship hurling toward a planet. On the planet everything is described in, sometimes, excruciating detail. I think there is far too much description. The story itself seems to be just the growth of a Martian colony from one hundred people on a dead world to millions on a living one. I want to see how it all works out but some sections are difficult for me to read through.
In any case that wasn’t the real point of this post. The story got me thinking of just how far away from home I’d be willing to go. I’m not as attached to one place as much as others but I don’t know how far out of my comfort zone I would be willing to go. In this story the first hundred pioneers went to live the rest of their lives on a dead toxic world where they would never be able to go outside without protection. That’s definitely an extreme change and not something that I would be willing to do no matter how famous I would become.
Our house is almost paid off and we are considering moving somewhere that is a bit more tax friendly to retired people. I know Pennsylvania is good for that on the surface but then I hear about this school tax deal and how the tax can be raise at almost any time. In some counties, the tax almost wipes out any saving you get on your retirement income. Delaware was another place we are considering, but if you live down by the beaches, you’ll have to deal with the bay bridge to get almost anywhere. If you live further north, you have to deal with urban traffic and interstate 95. We have also looked in North and South Carolina and found some interesting places. Going to the Carolinas, puts us right back in interstate 95 traffic. None of these locations have been ruled out but so far nothing has gotten us excited enough to begin the process.
Those locations are fine. They are in driving distance of family and friends. I am willing to move many places but I would have to be convinced to live somewhere that has a colder climate than the one I live in now. Sorry hometown folks, I just don’t like the winters. If I ever move again, my choice would be a warmer climate. I’m no fool. I’m not going to pay big money for a little sunshine. If I can’t get a deal someplace warmer than I won’t go, it’s a simple as that. Of course, I’m not the only one making the decision. Cathy is very good at convincing me. If I put my foot down, she’ll just knock it out from under me and no level of black belt will stop her.
I would live anywhere in the warmer part of the country but I don’t think Cathy wants to be too far from her grandchildren. We have talked about making a plan when the house is paid off. With the extra money we plan to travel to different areas and stay for a period of time and see what it feels like. We’ll see. We would be saving a fair amount of money if we went to a state that was friendlier to retirees, but we are at home here.