This is why we live where we do: Being outside the city may be less convenient in some ways ... but the Aurora light up the night and trail access for cross country skiing, snow machining and dog sledding out your back door is hard to beat.

I live in a rural community outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Our neighborhood is a mix of nicer new homes, small log cabins without running water, small farms and old-style Alaskan homestead-type properties. Our neighborhood (and the city) is doing well in this economy, but everyone is talking about the recent announcement that nearby Eielson Air Force Base will be downsized to a small guard base, and what that will do to the local economy and home values all around the Fairbanks area.