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Old 02-07-2013, 01:09 PM
Location: Northern California
3 posts, read 4,959 times
Reputation: 20


Positive or negative feedback welcomed. In the title, I structured the word <GREATLY>the way I did... so i could explain it haha.. (that's a fake laugh by the way. "The Hangover" -Stu Price). I wanted to accentuate my gratitude for any information/guidance. I truly need it.

I ask for both positive and negative feedback because I feel (faintly) that I may not be "manning" up, therefore anticipate a few comments from people who see me in that light.. and they could be right.. the words they reply with may be of help.

I probably should be voicing this to a therapist instead of in an online forum that I came across while searching for a new location to call home but I'm sitting here dreading my future and feel the need to vent.

After serving 4 years in the Marine Corps, I met a wonderful girl that I fell in love with. We lived in rural New York...7 hours from NYC (I don't want to be confused with a "New Yorker"; I'm not a big fan of the product of such a densely populated place. It seems that population density is related to the value one sees in others lives). We married in 2003 and had a great beginning together. I can be a fool from time to time but I can count on two hands the times we raised voices at each other. I was amazed she loved me the way she did and she saw something in me that made her happy. Fast forward.. In 2008 at the age of 29 and after 5 years of marriage, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Diagnosed while attempting to figure out why we were having a hard time having a child. She fought.. the cancer was treated and remission started. We were happy. Still concerned for the future but we were thankful.

For years we fantasized about moving to a warmer climate. After this "scare", we pulled the trigger and did it. What better place than California! Being from NY, and hearing what we hear about the state, we decided on it. We hopped in our packed Uhaul with our 3 year old canine friend and headed out, excited to trek unrushed on a cross-country trip

2 months after unpacking, I was on my way back from picking up a prescription for my wife, enjoying the California sun on my newly purchased Harley road glide when a drunk driver went out of control and hit me. This was on the freeway going 65MPH... at 7PM! The driver and his passenger were not from this country and were living here illegally (illegally only on paper.. seems as if the state welcomes them and there's clearly no enforcement... the 26 year old partying scumbag still lives no more than 10 miles from me) The vehicle had no insurance and needless to say, there was nothing but disappointment when speaking to attorneys about the possibility of reclaiming lost expenses (wages/medical bills).

My main injury was a broken pelvis in 5 places. Concluding my stay at the hospital I was confined to a hospital bed that was set up in our spare room. A wheelchair was slowly introduced, I remained confined to it for 4 long months. The injury, the lack of punishment to the offender, and the health care received...or should I say lack of, was stressful to put it mildly (If you ever have the option to use Kaiser Permanente as your health care provider... DO NOT CHOOSE IT. They run their hospitals like a profit driven corporation.. It's criminal.

During my recovery she became very ill. A trip to the doctor dealt a devastating blow. Her cancer returned and within 2 months she had passed away.

What do you do when the one constant in your life, the person you loved and would happily trade places with to ease her pain is gone? I didnt know, don't know now, and pretty confident that I never will know what to do or how to deal with it. I've had people die during my life. All from "natural" causes. It was sad and it felt like they died. I dont have that same feeling now. It doesn't feel like she lived a life then passed away. It feels like we were together...then nothing like she just disappeared. I still wake up and have a real feeling of- if I turn around, she might be there.

Sometimes when I look at my dog, I can see it in his eyes that he feels a bit of what I do and that breaks me up.

I hate California for a lot of reason. I've been looking for an area in Colorado and am having trouble deciding on an area. If I had to choose today, I think I'd choose somewhere near Grand Junction. I want to be away from the buzz of too many lives in such a small area. Renting a house or an apartment In the mountains seems soothing, relaxing.. I don't mind cold or snowy weather. For years I've been interested in, and have read a lot on, living off the grid. That isn't in the cards right now, just a small place with few conveniences will do me just fine. I need a very affordable setup/location. I will be living off a minuscule settlement that I received from my insurance policy. As of right now, I have no intention of resuming a career in the engineering field. I'd rather dig ditches for minimum wage than go back to corporate bullsh*t... which in my line of work means traveling and living within a half hour of a major airport. No thanks. I have a fixed amount of cash on hand, good credit, and a good heart. When I was happy... I mean younger, I worked as a landscaper and a construction gofer (pound this,cut that). When we found out about my wife's cancer, I quit my job, which required traveling M-F, and started a small "home improvement" company finishing basements, remodeling inside rooms and outdoor landscaping. This allowed me to be home with her.

I'd like to be around friendly people who care about each other. Im not looking to sing kumbaya in a drum circle, just friendly faces would be nice. I feel like the people here are so empty. I thought it was me at first, but after a few trips to a dog park, I met some nice people and could have normal conversations with them. 4 out of 5 times they were also from the east coast. I was assured it wasn't me and that Californians (at least in this part) were very standoffish. Ugh! Have I mentioned yet how I hate it here?

It feels good to write out a little of how I feel on something other than a notepad that ends up in a drawer. I was getting a little off topic (yup, even more off topic than it is now If you've read this, thank you. If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear something. An opinion on areas that you think may suit me..or suggestions on how to cope.. A place you have for rent.. A job you'd like to fill... A good deal on a reliable truck.. A hunting buddy...Lol Okay, I do need these things but.. (patience was never a strength of mine)

A reason to go to a good/decent location is what I'm searching for .. I've got no ties. If enough people recommend an area because there's a cute family of ducks that lives in a certain pond.. that's likely where I'm headed.

I went back and added some work history in case of the small chance that someone out there that needs a body to perform some labor that just so happens to be in an area that I could be interested in..

I think I'm pushing my luck so I'll end it with this.. something I learned much too late in life.

Treat the people you love ..like you love them.

Life is health- Living is enjoyment- Spread each as much as you can without emptying your own tank- everything else is nothing at all.

Hopefully one day I'll do as I say, till then.. I'll keep taking one step at a time. Thanks for Listening.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:57 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
Reputation: 9132
I've been familiar with Grand Junction for over 40 years--I still go there frequently on business, have friends there, etc. I don't consider the town the friendly place it used to be. That started to change first with the oil shale boom in the 1970's, and then again with the gas drilling boom of the last few years. To someone from a nasty metro area, Grand Junction may seem idyllic, but, as a friend who has worked in Grand Junction for 30+ years sums it up (and he commutes there rather than lives there), Grand Junction has many of the problems of a bigger city and few of the amenities.

Sadly, Colorado, for the most part (and including Grand Junction), is going down the same broken path that California has followed, just a couple of decades later than California did. Colorado is making all the same mistakes and will eventually wind up in the same sad place.

Colorado's communities are, in my opinion, not that friendly a places to live. Colorado is, unfortunately, full of a lot of the "empty" people that you describe. The friendliest towns tend to be the smaller ones--towns away from the resort vibe and the metro areas. Unfortunately, those towns are also the ones that lack a lot of basic services (anything beyond basic non-specialized medical being one) and the poorest prospects for making a living. Anywhere in Colorado is a bad place to be on a "minuscule settlement." The cost of living in Colorado is cheaper than California, but still high.

Colorado's major attraction to most is its lovely geography and "invigorating" four-season climate. To many people, everything else is unimportant. For those, Colorado can be a happy place, but your post indicates that you likely find some of those "other" things important. If so, you should probably look elsewhere. Much as I love the geography and climate of Colorado, along with its natural and historical heritage, I find, more and more, that those things are diminishing in importance compared to things like sense of community, manageable living costs, fiscally sound and sustainable local and state government, and relative stability in population and economic activity--all things increasingly lacking in Colorado. Work commitments currently keep me in Colorado. When those end, I'm gone.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:18 AM
Location: 5280 above liquid
356 posts, read 513,556 times
Reputation: 383
Dude sorry to hear about all the crap you've dealt with these past years, so I can understand your desire for a change of scenery. I agree with jazzlover's assessment of GJ, however I still find a community feel in Palisade and Fruita that boarder GJ. I have family that live in both locations and visit frequently.

Also, I love the community feel of Loveland/Ft. Collins.

All these locations still have the issue with employment especially on the wester slope of GJ.

I'm a native of Denver and jazzlover summed up my feelings of CO in it's current state. I'm looking into a possible relocation of my family to ID- have you checked Boise?

Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Much as I love the geography and climate of Colorado, along with its natural and historical heritage, I find, more and more, that those things are diminishing in importance compared to things like sense of community, manageable living costs, fiscally sound and sustainable local and state government, and relative stability in population and economic activity--all things increasingly lacking in Colorado. Work commitments currently keep me in Colorado. When those end, I'm gone.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:56 AM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,190,335 times
Reputation: 22564
Default Read about Pueblo

Consider Pueblo.

Here is one thread
Young Couple moving in August - Pueblo?
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:06 PM
178 posts, read 488,137 times
Reputation: 288
Look into Kingman, Arizona. Housing is affordable and there are enough amenities in the area. The climate is good to excellent with only a couple of hot months in the summer. In the not too far past I found people there to be friendly enough. I don't know if you have been there but it would be easy for you to visit and spend a week or two. If you are looking for a "little" excitement while there take a short drive to Laughlin, Nevada. If you are looking for a "lot" of excitement you can go to Vegas.

Kingman is only about 2 degrees hotter than Grand Junction in the summer but is much milder/warmer in the winter. I find the traffic to be less annoying in Kingman and the streets easier to navigate than Grand Junction. I still think Grand Junkie, whoops...did I say Junkie?...sorry...is an OK place but if it were me I would also consider Kingman. I do like areas around Grand Junction like Redlands mesa, Fruita and Palisade.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:18 PM
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,445,057 times
Reputation: 1247
Colorado is quickly becoming 'California-lite'. We are pretty much a 'blue state' now, housing prices are on the rise, and if not for the TABOR act, our government officials would have us in just the same financial mess CA is in. I don't know if your disdain for CA is political or not, but if so, just an FYI.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:36 PM
9,830 posts, read 19,525,426 times
Reputation: 7602
Originally Posted by dude_reino View Post
Colorado is quickly becoming 'California-lite'. We are pretty much a 'blue state' now, housing prices are on the rise, and if not for the TABOR act, our government officials would have us in just the same financial mess CA is in. I don't know if your disdain for CA is political or not, but if so, just an FYI.
That's what I have seen over time, especially my last visit. The state is going downhill with the emphasis now on slacking, gettin' benefits and gettin' high, rather than productivity and decent community behavior. Watching the news when I was there and reading the paper it looks as though the freaks from Boulder and panhandlers have taken over any sort of rational common sense in the state.

The funny thing is it's the Californians that ruined their own state, so they've moved to Colorado and are now in the process of ruining it.

I think overtime, as they have already, they will find ways to weaken TABOR, so they can raid the revenues and put the state in major debt.

So I think it's something for those considering moving there to take into consideration.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:39 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,777,680 times
Reputation: 9132
I agree with wanneroo above, except about TABOR. While it was sold to Coloradans by Doug Bruce (an ex-Californian, by the way) as a method to control government spending, its major practical effect, combined with the earlier Gallagher Amendment, has been to shift the property tax burden from residential property owners to commercial and industrial property owners. While that alone can not be blamed for much of Colorado's shift away from a decent industrial base to an economy based on non-productive land development and residential real estate speculation (and bubble), it certainly hasn't helped. The other very bad thing is that the revenue-constricting effects of TABOR have fallen most heavily on the small, locally-organized and run service-providing districts (like fire districts, water districts, cemetery districts, etc.) that provide many essential public services, while leaving the wasteful state government much less affected. Thus, the main result of 20 years of TABOR is that state government is still pretty much as wasteful as ever (and gets average ratings, at best, from the experts that rate the efficacy of state governments across the US), while essential local public services continue to deteriorate. By the way, Colorado's fiscal condition is nothing to brag about. In fact, fiscally, Colorado is in worse shape than most any state in the Rocky Mountain region, partly as a result of Colorado's legislative process continuing to be "owned" by the real estate and land development interests who have assured that growth does not pay its own way in Colorado, but rather that the costs of it are soundly socialized onto the existing taxpayers.

The other thing that TABOR has contributed to, though it certainly can not be blamed entirely for it, is the serious deterioration of Colorado's public primary, secondary, and higher education systems. Even Colorado's generally fiscally conservative business community is alarmed about that--knowing full well that a populace that is poorly educated, either in K-12 or at the college level, is of little value to the average Colorado employer.

Any prospective Coloradan, especially those who have or plan to have children to raise here, should be extremely concerned about those trends. Bluntly, I would not raise a child in Colorado because of the state's festering fiscal and education problems.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:12 PM
16,505 posts, read 20,901,804 times
Reputation: 47862
Soul Searcher, I can identify with you in regards to some parts of your situation. I know about losing someone in your twenties, a time in your life that should be your best time. And I know about getting cracked up in a car wreck, I have a couple issues that have stayed with me four decades later in regards to just keepin' on with life. I know.

From the standpoint of getting away, just being by yourself, the Grand Junction area can certainly fill that bill from the 100 plus lakes east of here on Grand Mesa to the desert BLM land roads to the north and west of here, one can usually clear their head and experience some peace and quiet, though the 70 thousand plus increase in population over the last two decades has been encroaching on that quality of life.

But sadly it all comes down to jobs and Mesa Country just doesn't have them. Last months media stats puts Mesa Counties unemployment rate at 9%. The last four years have not been kind to the blue collar, worker and in lots of cases, the white collar worker.

One of the suggestions I have for you is to type in various Colorado towns and cities in the search box at the top of the page. There is a lot of information that the Colorado moderator has compiled that gives a good cross section of fact and opinion for you to read up on. There are several threads on the Grand Junction area, I've posted on several of them.

I noticed you mentioned your hitch in the Marines. I think I can speak for everyone who has posted on this thread that we appreciate your service. That's one good thing about Mesa County. The services at the VA hospital have improved over the last several years but still quite a bit of vets have to go to Salt Lake or Denver for major procedures. But there has been expansion at the local hospital and there are different veteran outreach groups to help here, particularly regarding the homeless vets which is a problem in the area.

Good luck to you!

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 02-10-2013 at 08:06 AM.. Reason: correction, spelling
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:33 PM
Location: Northern California
3 posts, read 4,959 times
Reputation: 20
Great replies everyone, I appreciate all the detail. I would have responded sooner, but the "instant notification" to my email hasn't notified me of any responses. I just checked back at the main site to confirm the zero responses that I thought would be here. I am happy to find all these responses.

I am leaning towards Colorado for a few reasons.
-weather(nothing too extreme. This is true with most of the US)
-local/state government. +when coming from New York and California you appreciate the liberal mindset of the state (liberal-not necessarily a political term))

As for employment, I will not be job hunting (at least not right away). I am looking to stock up on supplies and live in a fairly remote area. Off-grid living is what I would eventually like to graduate to.

I have looked at, and am interested in GJ, Grand Mesa, Montrose, Gunnison, and Durango.. Some of the best valued apartments I've found (for what I'm looking for) were in Montrose and other areas outside of GJ.

As or VA hospitals... Since leaving the Marines, I haven't stepped foot into one.. and would like to keep it that way I'll go if I had to but as we all know.. it's typically not a place to go if you want to feel better.
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