Thursday, April 13, 2017

A little reframing

In the process of writing a (civil! I'm always civil!) comment somewhere about the situation of rural vs. urban, I made the observation that I didn't want to live in a city again, and that the "worst" thing I faced on a regular basis about my more-rural location is that I have an hour's round-trip drive for my preferred grocery shopping. (Fresh vegetables and some fruits I can get at the Green Spray, a few blocks from me. Ditto a few other staple items. They don't carry my preferred brands of cheese or any organically-produced milk, but the wal-mart has some of that).

And then I realized: yes, you have to drive an hour's round-trip a couple times a month for "better" groceries (or for a bookstore, or for a craft store), but I COULD be facing an hour's round-trip commute every day.

It's a trade off. My sister-in-law has, IIRC, a 45 minute commute - each way - to and from work. She and my brother live in a very lovely smaller town with close-by amenities (like a Harris Teeter supermarket). But she has that horrific commute four or five days a week (depending on how she schedules). And it's in the DC corridor, so it's extra unpleasant.

I've....perhaps been feeling insufficiently grateful for what I do have. I suppose part of it is, I'm still sad the little quilt shop in town closed (and the paperback exchange closed, and the Hollow Tree closed) and I think about how it was a couple years ago. But it could be worse.  It was when I first moved here.

(And who knows? Maybe things will change again and we'll get a few more nice small businesses. I hold out hope even as part of me says that that's foolish given Internet shopping.)

But yeah. I have a five-minute commute, and that's something not to be sneezed at. I can go home for lunch on the days when I don't have a 1 pm class. And I do - going home for lunch is one of the small pleasures of life and is not to be taken for granted.

And despite the bizarre crimes and dumb criminals I've written about lately, by and large, we are a lower-crime area UNLESS you are involved with drugs. (Most of the people caught as criminals seem to have had their brains addled in some way by over application of external chemicals; most of the people who have bad stuff happen by and large are involved in buying or selling drugs).

And I own a home, I mean own outright as in the "abstract" is sitting in my safety-deposit box and is not in the hands of some bank somewhere - I bought it cheap in need of fixing up, for cash, did some of the fixing up myself, hired people to do the rest (the stuff involving wires or gas or plumbing, most of which was fairly minimal), and as long as I can pay the taxes on it and keep it up enough to satisfy the code officers, it stays mine.

And I have a local "family" of sorts, the people at church, that I feel love and value me and what I can do. (Even when I sometimes feel taken-for-granted at work). And it's quiet ENOUGH - sirens are rare enough near my house that I go and look out the window to see which emergency service it is and where they are going (It is usually the ambulance, probably going to either a car accident or someone having problems in their house). And I can get out when I want to and go do stuff - go to Sherman, or Whitesboro, or go to the lake if I wanted to do that. And I don't feel afraid, most of the time, of leaving the house - even 25 years ago, in Ann Arbor, I didn't always feel safe walking around town there.

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