Generally speaking, I get up every day feeling good because I really enjoy my life and living here in Emery County and here in Utah. I have good kids, good kid-in laws, great grandkids and a good wife. I have many good friends and I enjoy my siblings. I feel that everything in life that is worth having is available to me. I feel good.
As I picked up a Salt Lake daily newspaper, I noticed the story that Hawaii has passed Utah as the best-off state in this country. Wow, Utah is the best place to live in this great country with the lone exception of Hawaii. No wonder I feel so good every day. I live in a great place. It is no shame to lose the title to Hawaii because I can tell you from personal experience that Hawaii is at least a great place to go on vacation to and Utah is a great place to come home to.
I then wanted to know why others think this state is so good. Although we have a few chinks in our armor, Utah was rated high because of a great work environment where we all feel satisfied with our jobs and because of life evaluation; we think that the future will be good for us.
As we all know, this state also has a great outdoor environment with great outdoor recreation. Utah has the best skiing in the world and the greatest snow. From the five national parks to all the national monuments to the state parks to the national forests, Utah is loaded with places that are not only visually pleasing but also loaded with fun things to do. We are an active people that enjoy life.
Then I looked across the page and saw an article that also caught my eye. Someone was not happy with Utah finishing second and keeping all of us happy. No, someone had taken the time and effort to break down this state of ours and tell us where in this state we are the happiest and where in this state we are not. So now I had to read more.
Yikes, right after it said that Morgan County is the best place it uttered simply that Carbon is the worst. Really? What, how is this possible? They are right next door to me here in Emery County and we are closely linked, are we also bad off. No we are better off, we are only 19th worst off. How is this? I was just feeling so good about Utah. Now I am depressed, I thought life was good and now I am told that it is not as good as I thought here in Castle Valley. Now I am confused, I think it is good and somebody else does not. Could I be wrong?
Why are we so bad off here? Now I had to read more. It told me nothing. The rankings were based on smoking, obesity, binge drinking, teenage pregnancy, insurance, high school graduation, access to healthful foods and air pollution levels. I am still confused. I don't smoke, I am far less fat today than yesterday, I don't binge drink or even drink at all for that matter, I am not pregnant and nobody related to me is, I have insurance and I eat healthy foods every day whether I want to or not. Air pollution, I just know I see a lot of really blue sky. I have a good life, so this must be wrong.
I then thought to myself, why do I enjoy living here? That is not as easy as one might think to answer.
Then it came to me, this is home. Years ago, I might have felt different but not today. When I first moved here 36 years ago, I hated it and couldn't wait to leave on weekends. Nobody told me about the extra digit that had to be dialed to place a long distance phone call and nobody told me about UHF television. This was a strange place. But as you can tell, I stayed. Now this is my home.
My first answer is the San Rafael is 10 minutes one direction and Huntington Canyon is 10 minutes the other. That is almost the best of both worlds, to steal a line from Hannah Montana. I have a hillbilly shack up Indian Canyon that is fun to go to. We have Huntington Reservoir and Joe's Valley and Millsite. We have 4-wheelers and snowmobiles and horses. We have Wal Mart and K-Mart and many other fine shopping places. We have what we need and we are not afraid to drive to find what we don't have.
We have Goblin Valley and the Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry, we have the Wedge, Red's canyon, we have Mussentuchit and Cathedral Valley, and we have Miller Flat and Cedar Mountain. We have golf and we have rodeos and city celebrations, we have the Pageant and the ATV jamboree.
I disagree with the papers ranking, this is a good place to live and to play and to work. Emery County, Utah, the best.