I met my lovely elderly neighbor today and she told me she had just been on a long walk around the settlement in which we live. We had a wonderful warm spring day so she enjoyed her walk a lot. "Aren´t we so lucky to live here", she said. And yes we truly are.
We live in a settlement from the 1950ies in the outskirts of Vienna. This area used to be wood and is basically protected from new developments, but they made an exception after the second world war due to the housing shortage. They sold only rather small lots of land - each about 500 sq. meters and the people built all sorts of houses on them: Big ones and small ones, ugly and nice ones, whatever they could afford at that time. Nowadays these houses are *old* so a good percentage has been demolished and we have some modern houses in the mix, too. As a result this is a rather funny looking place especially if you´re used to the quite similar looking houses in German settlements (they have stricter building regulations there).
The people who live here are a good mix, too. There are some old inhabitants left who live in the houses they´ve built in the 50ies here. But there are also lots of families and increasingly young people, especially environmentally aware ones. We even have a transvestite! And we´re lucky to have extra lovely neighbors - some old, some young - with whom we get along very well. They take care of your cats when we´re away and give garden harvest to us over the fence. We even made friends with some of them.
But what makes the living here so good is actually the location. Our settlement is completely surrounded by wood. From our house you can see it from every window and I walk about 3 mins to get there. This is something I really love. In summer, I go for a short walk after work almost every day even if it´s almost dark. It´s magical and smells so so good. When you exit the bus from the city, it´s a different air really, pure and full of flavors. And it´s quiet, oh so quiet. Sometimes I ask myself whether I´m growing old since I enjoy these things so much. But then, I like to think I only grow wiser. Because it´s a pretty good place to live.