Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Neighborhood

I live in a neighborhood like any other.

Alright, fine. That's not entirely accurate. But as I gave the perspective on time a few months back, I thought maybe I could give a perspective on place when it comes to life at a camp.


My neighborhood is fairly normal, especially if you look at it from a small town perspective. I live in a cul-de-sac with two other households. Like most suburban neighborhoods, it's usually fairly quiet. We can keep an eye on each other's pets when someone goes out of town. I can borrow a cup of sugar from my next door neighbor, too. I've got the corner grocery store that doesn't have everything but can get me through the week. The post office isn't open all hours but it gets the job done. There's even a gas station ... if I've got an emergency, and a mechanic if something basic goes wrong with my car. There's even a park, complete with a playground and places for me to go for a walk. And of course, let's not forget the hotel for when my own family visits.

And the neighborhood association is still dealing with the squirrel problem.

During the summer months, there's a boarding house that fills with college students -- like most towns out here. The local swimming pool opens certain weekdays. I can usually ask my neighbor to mow my lawn.

And during the winter, the same neighbor will plow my driveway. Heck, there are even those who put up Christmas lights in December.

Just like every other neighborhood I've ever lived in.



Okay. I'll admit. The corner grocery store is the kitchen. The post office is, um, me. (And my computer and mailbox.) The gas station is more of a stretch, but as we keep unleaded on hand I know I could get by if only to drive the four miles to the nearest actual gas station. The boarding house is the staff cabin. The swimming pool is the creek. And the lawn mower, plower, and mechanic are all the M-Man. Who does in fact live next door.

Our neighborhood is admittedly quite small ... but it's also pretty darn self-sufficient most of the time.

It has some bonuses, too. I've never had a neighborhood where someone was aware if I was gone but around here that's just the way it is. (For that matter, I'm equally aware of when my neighbors are gone.) I rarely have to lock my door ... although some habits die hard. And I never have to move furniture by myself if I don't want to.

Don't get me wrong -- there are also downsides. I mean, I've referred to it as "our own crazy little commune" more than once, usually in reference to a certain lack of privacy that comes when you live and work in the same place with the same people. Anything else, though, has more to do with the rural aspect, which is not unique to us. Yes, the gas station is four miles away. The actual grocery store is more like 15.

And okay, sometimes our neighborhood gets downright chaotic, but that's usually because we've been invaded by 150 tourists.

Erm, guests.

The bottom line is that, while there are certainly some truly weird things about my chosen lifestyle (namely the part where I live at the end of a dirt road with two extra sets of parents and I'm okay with that), for the most part our neighborhood is a lot like any other neighborhood I've known. Right down to the squirrel problem.

While it could be argued I need to leave the neighborhood a bit more often and find a social life, it's a darn good place to live. Don't think I'd trade it for anything right now.

Now, to see if I can find a few things in the grocery store so I can make Mexican for supper...

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