I won't lie--my hometown (in SW Missouri) has been hit hard economically the past few years. Jobs are leaving. I've seen crime go up in my immediate vicinity. We really don't have the same opportunities (economic or cultural) that other areas have.
It's also occurred to me recently that in addition to the economic changes, maybe we really never did have the same opportunities in this area. Maybe my perspective has just changed.
But one thing we do have--one thing I love and don't know how I'd ever live without--is the wide-openness. When we have decent weather, I'm outside with my laptop. I swear there's something about being in a place with no walls. It's like you suddenly have no walls on your imagination.
It's a miraculous thing. It makes amazing things happen on the page. And no matter how my perspective (and the years) change, I can't imagine my love of the wide-openness will ever weaken...