My city’s population is less than 1/5 of Liverpool’s! About 160,000 and 60,000 of that is college students who are typically here for only 10 months year.

I am happy here, especially in the neighborhood where we live now. The lake in our backyard fills my need to be near water, which I missed for many, many years. Our city is a liberal oasis surrounded by Trump supporters and born-again evangelical Christians. I used to live in the country among them, way outside my comfort level. The city is better.

I enjoy the semi-tropical weather that allows a noticeable change of seasons but with mostly mild winters lasting only a couple of months. Of course, as is evident by my photos, I love the wildlife and flowers!

However, your photos of Scotland leave me breathless! Although I can’t see myself living there, I can understand your desire to. And, the fact that there is a civilized town center nearby makes its wildness easier to digest.

Many of my ancestors were from Scotland and Ireland. My DNA recognizes those places, like returning for a high school reunion after decades in a faraway place.

I am drawn to stories and movies that take place in such places —Canadian fishing villages, Irish coastal towns, Scottish Highlands, many of the coastal villages in France and Italy.

My ancestors actually immigrated to Canada first, coming into the United States through Maine and North Dakota. I adore Canada and feel particularly at home in the Niagara Falls/Ontario area. Niagara feels intensely familiar as though I lived there in another life.

I recently saw the movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and was enchanted with the island of Guernsey. I have the book waiting for me on Audible. The book and the movie The Shipping News is another favorite. I love Newfoundland — visited there when I was a teenager in Maine. Last year, I read Bleaker House about a writer who spends 3 months on Bleaker Island in the Falklands in the winter. Definitely too remote and lonely but a fascinating read. I was able to visit that cold, desolate Island without leaving warm Florida!

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an early novel called Stern Men about residents on an island off the coast of Maine. Most people haven’t heard of that book but I loved it. When I lived in Maine, my favorite places were coastal fishing and lobstering villages.

Although, I am not fond of mountains, there is a romance writer — probably the only romance writer I read — whose stories take place in a small town in Vermont. Her name is Louise Miller. I get completely caught up in her small town characters and the charm of the village.

If you know of any such books, please tell me!

I am intrigued by your online business! Perhaps, once you have it going, you’ll share that with me. My best wishes that it works out for you. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a business you can run from Scotland?!

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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