Column: What a difference a year makes

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Commentary by Joe Molina

This week marks a year since my wife, Beth, and I arrived from Los Angeles and landed at an Indianapolis airport with two cats in tow and a whole new world of Midwest horizons. It was 5 a.m. and we were so beat, but excitedly prepared ourselves to meet a massive moving van and a separate transporter of collector cars that we would soon be driving on Carmel streets.

I lived in Southern California for over six decades, and my wife, a transplanted Hoosier, happily introduced me to a new world called Indiana. After selling my public relations agency of 43 years, and not wanting to deal with the unbelievable traffic, unpredictable massive fires and evacuation plans, plus the droughts and a general declining quality of life, we left LA. We were done. We wanted a life – not a lifestyle.

After many trips to the Indianapolis area to visit family and friends, we discovered exactly what we were searching for in Carmel!

We fell hard for Carmel, immediately. We loved the enchanting Christkindlmarkt, the Palladium, WestClay and Jackson’s Grant. We love that people wave to each other and give us thumbs up on Sunday drives. I discovered the four seasons that I had only seen in magazines and books. We find people are content in Carmel. It’s kinder, gentler here. The little things matter in positive joyful ways.

And to me, here in Carmel, there’s no awful traffic jams like I was used to experiencing on the West Coast. I can get from our home in Carmel to downtown Indy in less than 25 minutes (an impossible feat in LA)! We could finally enjoy a real Sunday drive, just wandering around and enjoying this beautiful place. What freedom!

We continually thank those who took the time to show us the highlights of Carmel, like radio legend Kristi Lee, Sherrie Roizen (our patient realtor and tour guide) and Mayor Jim Brainard for his vision that helped bring Carmel to a charming reality.

We enjoy the thriving arts community and the many tasty restaurants. We meet people who smile a lot. We have car friends like John Leonard of the big Artomobilia Car Show who has introduced us to other fellow gearheads (and there are a lot of you out there). And God bless our neighbors in Bridgemont.

Thank you, Carmel. Although we just met, we already know we will be very happy together for many years to come.

Joe Molina moved to Carmel after spending more than 60 years in Southern California.

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