Very early in our marriage, I used to tell Cari that someday I wanted to live in (or build) a development where everything that mattered to me was, like, really, really close to our house. I wanted all of my best friends to live on the same street so we could hang out without having to travel far. I wanted all of the important public services close by — stores, gas stations, our church, schools, etc. I basically wanted my own little, 3-square-mile version of utopia where nothing important was more than a five-minute drive away. How cool would that be, right?
Here we are, married 18+ years and slowly it’s starting to happen here in West Richland! Have a look at the map:
Our house is inside that big circle. When we moved here in late 1998, the area was pretty dead. But as you can see, we’re slowly getting most everything we need right around us.
Elementary School: A little south of us is the elementary school where both kids have attended. This opened the first year we lived in West Richland. It’s less than a mile away.
Middle School: This is where Sean goes now, also less than a mile away. It opened … 3-4 years ago, maybe?
Fitness club: This will open on Monday. I just signed up yesterday, because about a week ago I stepped on the scale and weighed more than I ever have. Yikes! That bicycle purchase I made a year ago didn’t work out as far as helping me lose weight and get in shape; just never rode it often enough.
Grocery store: A Yoke’s grocery store opened up about 4-5 years ago, I think. It’s also less than a mile away. We don’t do all our shopping there because, frankly, the prices are pretty high. But it’s super-convenient for quick shopping trips.
Fire station: This was already here when we moved in, but it’s comforting to know that fire trucks are a mile away, God forbid anything happen.
Sports fields: Also already here when we moved — it’s a nice little sports complex with four baseball fields, a soccer/football field, and a concession building. Very convenient when Sean spent a couple years playing Little League. And it also has a nice park with playground equipment that our daughter always loved. Back before I started working from home, the daycare that we sent both kids to was right across the street from the sports complex — again, super convenient to have that so close.
Post office/Public library: These were also already here when we moved, but again – nice to have them so close. There’s also a nice restaurant right across the street from the post office, and a good pizza place right near the library (that many say is the best in the Tri-Cities).
First and foremost, all our friends. I haven’t been able to convince anyone to relocate here. Yet.
Our church could be a bit closer. It’s about … maybe five miles away and not on the map.
The nearest branch of our bank is way too far away. It’s a 15-minute drive to the mall for that.
We also need an urgent care-type medical facility. A new medical office opened last year about two miles away, but we need a walk-in facility, too.
A dog park for Sparky would be cool. There’s one in Richland, about 6-7 miles away, I think. Wish that was closer.
Guess that’s about it. No place is perfect, but this place keeps getting closer with all the new stuff being built.