A week or so ago, I was driving through the village of Alexandria Bay on my way back home. I live outside the village, but own a business in the village as well as one outside, and think of it as my hometown. I actually grew up in T.I. Park on Wellesley Island, but have lived my whole adult life in or around Alex. Bay. The sun was shining reflecting off the pristine white of the new fallen snow, and the sky was a brilliant blue.
I was feeling mellow and thought about how much I love this little village. Alexandria Bay is a tourist town, and as such has been struggling economically for a number of years. Our season is short, and our property taxes are high. In spite of this, I think the village is more attractive than it has been in many a year. I see homes being fixed up, some businesses are making improvements, and overall, there are more well maintained homes that not. Occasionally, I hear someone refer to the village as nothing but a rundown party town, and I take exception to those remarks. It tells me that those people have not really visited the village recently. Yes, there is some of the "party town" atmosphere here, but there is also a sense of community, a lot of good people who will come to your aid if needed, and it is located on the banks of one of the most beautiful and mightiest rivers in the world. There is much to offer in this area if only one takes the time to really look.
In this day and age, few people live in the same area where they grew up. Many people move often these days. My dad lived and died in the same house he was born in on Thousand Island Park, a fact that impresses even me who has lived iln the same area all my life. My husband attended over 13 schools before high school. He was born and lived and all around Germany and several places iln the U.S. until he was in junior high. I read once that the average person changes jobs every three years. I don't know if that is still true, but job changes certainly contribute to the transient nature of today's society. That makes for a lot of houses being bought and sold. Many people have no sense of place today. They don't feel connected to any particular region or city.
I have seen many people who grew up here moving back. The river and the north country pull them home. This is a wonderful place to bring up children and a great place to retire. I have "Come Home to the 1000 Islands" in many of my ads. It has real meaning for me and for many others who have visited, lived here for a short time, or grew up here. I think people are searching for that place that they can call home. I invite you to come visit and stay a while. A sense of place can offer a feeling of peace.