Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life in Wisconsin


Every once in a while the state of Wisconsin will come up nationally and usually we are described as a back water or fly over country or a place of weird people.  I wanted to say a few things about living here.

The weather does change rapidly.  It can be sunny and nice for a few hours in the day but then changes to wind and rain not too long thereafter.  It is more often cold than warm.  We may have four or five months that could contain some warmth.  July and August are really the only reliable warm times that we get.  Otherwise, it could be cool enough that jeans are required.

Speaking of clothing, we are not a dressy type of people.  I was recently in Chicago and I saw people in the hotel lobby that were wearing suits.  It surprised me.  I didn't think anyone actually dressed up that much anymore.  I think people dress down here in a relaxing manner.  Jeans, sweatshirts, and t-shirts are popular.

The people are mostly descendants of northern Europeans.  There is a reserved nature and people are close to their family and friends and not necessarily looking for new friendships.  So there might be a closed nature to us.  However, because of this, there is a sort of stability to the region.  People do not move far.

The economy is steady as well.  It isn't a place where there is a wide difference with incomes.  People work hard and want to improve their lives through work.  Agriculture and manufacturing still play a big part in the states economy.

People also play hard.  Recreation is a big thing here.  Fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, biking, running, and sports in general.  People like to restore and collect cars so there are several auto shows here.  People also like their beer and strong drink.  There are many bars and most towns have several in addition to restaurants that have a bar.  I think the bar culture came over from Europe but it is also a place to gather to keep warm.  

The big cities have an unhealthy balance.  Madison and Milwaukee often determine the outcome of any election.  Unfortunately those two metro areas lean left so our state comes across as liberal.  It is true that socialism has crept in like it has through out our nation.  However, I think there is a conservatism that runs deep.  People believe in personal responsibility, protecting life, and personal property.

I think if you are considering moving here, be aware that the cold and darkness are hard to put up with.  People can be closed and it is difficult to really get to know others.  The economy can have some stability to it.  The politics are divided.  It is reported to be an affordable area to live and it is compared to San Francisco or New York but I would not say it is really cheap.   Bargains can be had if you look for them but food, gas, housing, taxes all seem high and relentless to me.  

If you have any questions on life here or if you want my opinion or would like me to research something for you, please let me know.  I can be reach by this blog or keithjameskemp at gmail.com.

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