Maybe this title is too strong. Maybe I’m setting myself up for immediate misunderstandings by you, the readers. To even suggest that living in Yellowstone isn’t fairy-tale perfect. But, it’s the truth – I really do have a love/hate relationship with this place where we are so lucky to live. Yes, it’s a privilege. But, like ANY place, it’s not perfect and has it’s own host of “issues” unique possibly only to Yellowstone or a National Park setting.
I love the fact that we literally have elk outside our front door and am in constant awe of their majestic presence.
I hate that I am kept up at night during the elk rut by the males bulging and literally destroying the trees right outside our window (all that testosterone aggression).
I love that we share the playground with those aforementioned elk, along with bear, bison, mountain lion and coyote.
I hate that everywhere I walk there is wildlife “scat” (oh let’s be real – the place is covered in poop!) My dog tries to eat it, my kids like to throw it, I’m just trying to keep it out of my home.
I love the view from my back window. I will never live in a place without mountains. They are my home and my contentment.
I hate the fact that this view also means that this place is not our own. We are at the mercy of the government and their entourage of rules and regulations. It’s the price we pay for living in a National Park.
I love being so close to one of the most impressive natural wonders of our country.
I hate that it also means navigating through scores of tourists, many of whom have no understanding or respect for the country and wildlife. News flash – stopping in the middle of a narrow, windy road to get a photo is NOT a good choice. Leaving your car and running down the street after a bear to get that shot is even more disrespectful and dangerous. It’s mind-boggling, really.
I love that I know every single one of my neighbors (and what job they do, where they are from, and that they’ve had a background check).
I hate that I know every single one of my neighbors. Sometime (ok, daily) I long for 5 acres and a little more privacy.
I love living in a (very) small town. If I don’t know someone, I know someone who knows them. I rarely fear for the safety of my children – and often forget the importance of teaching them “stranger danger”.
I hate the lack of privacy and sometimes a lack of the “right” demographic I may need at that moment.
I love the rich history here.
I hate that much of it is confined to books and stories because of the destruction people did in the past. There are plenty of rules to keep the area protected for future generations. But, sometimes I (and many others, I am sure) just want to venture off the boardwalks a bit….
Like I said before, no place is perfect. Home is where you make it. Bloom where you are planted and focus on the positives and the path towards personal growth. It’s available anywhere….
- Life in a National Park: What it’s like when the Government shuts down
- Finding “Home”
- Celebrating the Centennial Year of the National Park Service
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