Someone commented to me the other day that living here is like stepping back in time twenty years. And I think he’s right. Here are some things I’ve noticed, that I remember being true when I was twenty years younger:
1. People read the local newspaper. The printed one. It’s where you find out what’s going on in town, and how you get to know your neighbors a little better. Every article in it is about people who live nearby, or businesses you’ve seen or been to. Even the classifieds are useful, since that’s where you find the puppy you want, or that cord of wood you’re needing. Instead of feeling lost in a sea of fragmented information, as I have in the city the last decade or so, here I feel like I can go to the source. Or rather, it comes to me every week in my mailbox.
2. There’s no hurry. I’m still getting used to this. Every time someone shows up at our house on business, I expect them to nod and meet my eye before quickly finishing and leaving. But, without fail, they stay and chat.
Yesterday our meter-reader drove up, checked the meter, and proceeded to invite me to church, encourage my homeschool efforts, and tell me where the best adventures are for small children. She loves Jesus and was excited to know we do too. We might even have her daughter babysit sometime.
When the owner of the internet-provider company came to check on his signal, he stayed to visit for an hour and we’re now looking forward to seeing his sailing club go by on the lake sometime.
Everyone is like that here. And the result is that you build trust for your neighbors a lot more quickly.
3. Trust. People around here trust each other more. The U-Pick Corn farm down the road from us runs completely on an honor system. You show up at the field, check the map to see which section to pick from, borrow a bucket, and put your money in the box on the way out. Agreements are often made and kept with words. Maybe it’s because people know they won’t get away with gigging their neighbor. More probably, they just wouldn’t want to.
4. You take your trash to the dump. I remember making trips to the dump with my Dad as a kid. We can actually see the dump down in the valley below, and if we had a good strong catapult, we wouldn’t even have to drive there. Husband called up to the house on our two-way radios the first time he went, and we could see his tiny dot of a truck in the line at the entrance.
5. Everyone goes to the county fair. And it’s still a modest crowd.
I like this going back in time stuff.