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Old 03-06-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Glendale Arizona
87 posts, read 259,546 times
Reputation: 40

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My wife and I are retired, and have lived in the Phoenix Arizona area for over half a century. What used to be more of a friendly western envirnoment, has become a 3million plus hectic urban mega-metropolis, complete with daily (hourly) crime, traffic, and HOT weather. The 80 degree summer nights of long ago now seldom drop below 100 for four or five months, and the monsoons of yesteryear now are just dry dust storms. So while looking to relocate we stumbled across Mena Arkansas. Although we have been in the big city for a long time, we both spent the first 14 to 16 years of our lives in small mid-western towns, so are familar with that lifestyle. We would love to hear from someone in Mena who could give us a more personal flavor of life there. Also, our 37 year old (single) son is considering following us, and is wondering about employment in the area for someone with both computer and retail grocery experience. Would love to hear from you, so give us an email shout. Thanks
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:01 AM
 
292 posts, read 1,135,045 times
Reputation: 131
I've never been to Mena, but I have spent lots of time in NW Arkansas. It is an absolutely beautiful part of the state. I've seen pictures of the Queen Wilhelmina state park near Mena and it is pretty country (not as pretty as further north, IMO, but you may not prefer the same things I do). As for life in the town of Mena, I can't help you there, but I don't think you'd go wrong relocating to NW Arkansas. Here is a link to the Queen Wilhelmina state park site, with pretty pictures and a video (over on the right side of the page). It will give you more of an idea about what the land looks like...it's pretty!

Queen Wilhelmina - Arkansas State Park in the Ouachita Mountains along the Talimena scenic drive (http://www.queenwilhelmina.com/default.asp - broken link)
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Glendale Arizona
87 posts, read 259,546 times
Reputation: 40
Thanks luv, The video looks "sooo green". Every time we get east of the Rockies we marvel at the green and the rivers (with water in them). What part of the state do you reside? We monitor the weather back there, and see that you have gotten a cold snap after having 70 degrees last week. Was that a surprise to you all?
Thanks again,
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
8,262 posts, read 15,962,328 times
Reputation: 10024
Hassay---My middle daughter and 3 grandkids live 20 miles north of Mena. Typical small, southern town. I wish i knew something about work in the area but I dont. mena has your typical stores including a Super WalMart. If you are into outdoor recreation-fishing, hiking,rafting or canoeing, you will be in GODS COUNTRY!! Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:35 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,895,915 times
Reputation: 7531
The weather is quite a surprise...14 inches of snow earlier in the week, possibly a foot tonite? I can believe it - it is COMING DOWN in Russellville...and sticking...and this is only the first wave.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs, AR
5,612 posts, read 13,236,060 times
Reputation: 3740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
The weather is quite a surprise...14 inches of snow earlier in the week, possibly a foot tonite? I can believe it - it is COMING DOWN in Russellville...and sticking...and this is only the first wave.
I thought I'd send a gift, so here are the three systems we had last week. Enjoy the California weather!
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 14,597,380 times
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Phoenix to Mena will be quite a change. For employment and shopping beyond Wal-Mart you will have to commute to Ft. Smith which is about an hour away. If I was you, I would look into living north of Ft. Smith, towards NW Arkansas but not necissarily in the metro. If you want a small town there are plenty to choose from, but its not quite as far from ameneties if you need them. You also might check out the Hot Springs area as it is beautiful as well. If you are set on Mena, I don't want to discourage you from moving there, but there are plenty of better places in Arkansas to consider.
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Glendale Arizona
87 posts, read 259,546 times
Reputation: 40
Hey, Thanks for all the good comments. Don't think we got any from an actual Mena citizen, but good info none the less.
Yes, we realize it will be quite a change from Metro AZ to Small Town AR, but that's the reason we're planning it. As I mentioned, we both grew up in small towns, mine was a population of 1200 in central Indiana. I'm sure some things have changed, but we're hardly young and naive... especiall the young part. We'll certainly look over other areas of AR as well, and the forest and fishing sound like paradise.
Just checked your weather report.... Get the snow shovel ready.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
5,583 posts, read 5,509,245 times
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I really like Mena if you take it for what it is. A small, very conservative southern town that is somewhat isolated.

One thing I like about Mena compared to NW Arkansas is that you are in a mountain valley in the Ouachitas which include pines and hardwoods.

To me it feels more like being "in the mountains" than does NW Arkansas because of the difference in the geology of the Ouachitas and the Ozarks.
The Ouachitas are actually mountains while the Ozarks were a plateau which was carved out by erosion. They are both beautiful in their own way but I prefer the Ouachitas because of the wider valleys between the mountains.

Mena has a nice little hospital and Ft Smith has more amenities than you might think relative to medical, shopping and entertainment simply because it is a hub for western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Adding in NW Arkansas there are at least half a million people in that corridor. Mena is just outside of that and feels a bit in the boonies but it is accessible to this area just to the north of it.

The culture in Mena is a rather insular, church going type of place. It is a dry county there, so if you are not into that you might want to go NW Arkansas.

I lived in Arizona and I agree with you that Phoenix is no longer "worth it".
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:02 AM
 
292 posts, read 1,135,045 times
Reputation: 131
I'm with you on the small-town living. I live in a really small town, and I love it. I wouldn't live in a city if you paid me to live there. Well, depends on how much. LOL

There are scads of nice small towns in NW Arkansas. Mena may be one of them...it sure looks like it on paper. I would suggest, since your son is coming and needs a job, that you all move to a larger town (none of the "cities" in NW Arkansas are really huge) first, get a small apartment, and spend your time looking around, if that would be possible for you to do. You said you were retired, so it sounds like it would be. Fayetteville is a really pretty town, I've been there. Springdale I wouldn't recommend. Rogers and Bentonville are growing really fast, from what I hear, but I haven't been to them. And all of these are positively surrounded with small towns you could move to later, after your son has found a job and you've had time to make an informed decision.

As for the green....yes, that's what Arkansas is all about! It's beautiful, and the lakes and rivers are clear and cool. Pretty soon the wildflowers will be everywhere. You might want to keep in mind what the person before said about the difference between the Ozarks and the Ouachitas. I don't know which you would like better. But you could decide that on your "day trips" after you get here....both are within driving distance of the Ft. Smith, Fayetteville, or Mena area.

I don't actually live in Arkansas, but my family has a cabin in the Ozarks, so I've spent a lot of time there over the years. I don't know as much as someone who actually lives there, though. But I hope to live there myself someday.

That 12" of snow they just got (and that was only in a couple of parts) is a fluke....they don't usually have that much snow. One snow per year if they're lucky, and it usually melts quickly. Sometimes ice, but it usually melts quickly also. This has just been my experience in the past 3 or 4 years of keeping up with the weather around our cabin while we're here at home.

I don't think you will go wrong moving to NW Arkansas, based on what you've said you're looking for. Southern Missouri is about the same, from what I understand....the terrain, I mean. I don't know anything more about it than that.

Have you spent some time looking at the other posts here on specific towns? And there are a couple of posts about living in Arkansas in general, like "what's the best place to live in Arkansas", "some truth for moving to parts of Arkansas", and such as that. You'll get a LOT of information.

Keep us informed on what y'all decide!
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