Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Alternate Universe

    The other day I was reminded of just how different the pace is in my small town. We moved from the city to this suburban/rural area several years ago but every now and then there are moments that bring it home.
          Once a month my small committee meets in town hall in the evening to conduct our business. Our group’s power is vast and far-reaching: our budget is $250 a year, an amount we still haven’t figured out how to spend.

          Down the hall last week another group was meeting – I believe it was one having to do with our town’s upcoming anniversary (another committee that could shake the very foundation of life as we know it).
          Well, one of our members brought along not only his eight-year-old son  (a remarkably well behaved boy, aside from a few twirls in his swivel chair) but also the family dog. Family dog was a sweet, amiable creature, with the white curly coat of a standard poodle and the dimensions of a Russian wolfhound (if you’re unfamiliar with the breed, it’s about the same height as a Volkswagon).
          Well, it seems that the mom of the family was in the second meeting down the hall and so our evening went on as usual except that every ten minutes or so Giant Family Dog would drift in quietly after visiting Mom, stop at each of our chairs for a pat, continue around the conference table, and then wander out again. I hope he becomes a regular.
          There are other signs I’m no longer in the city:
-         The difficulty of getting through a four-way stop. Everyone is so courteous, waving each other on, that we never get out of the intersection.

      In corn season our local farmer, who’s getting on in years and deserves a break now and then, leaves out the corn at the stand and we shop on the honor system, bagging our ears and then making change with the cash left out for our convenience. 

-         If you go by our village store in the morning you’ll likely pass by one or two unoccupied 
cars left with the motor running; the locals are inside picking up their coffee and muffins.

-    On your way out of town don’t forget to check our barber shop where congratulations for birthdays, births, weddings, graduations and the occasional prom invitation are written in giant letters on the front window.

I should probably leave out our rude awakening when after moving onto the street listed as a ‘Private Road’ (“Look at that, hon, it says private – so it must be really quiet!”) we learned what that really meant was that no one from the town will be dropping by with anything as helpful as a big truck of asphalt. Traveling down our dead-end road is a teeth-rattling visit to the terrain of Baja, Mexico. But then again, no speeders.


  1. New York City, Boston, and LA can't hold a candle to the peace and calm small town New England instills in one. I wouldn't trade them for the world! You did a beautiful job pointing out all the wonderful charms....(even the pot holey roads!!. What was that show?? Green acres is the place for me!! Leaves and trees and flowers and birds and bees!! YAY!!


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