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Rurality Check


Campbell’s first day at school, his teacher knows all about where his parents had tried to buy a house over the summer.

Turns out his teacher would have been our next door neighbor.

Would that have been good, or bad?
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Having breakfast with the wife for the first time at Sweet Sue’s. The librarian recognizes the wife, says she has something Campbell needs to complete his membership. Pops over to the library and brings it back to us at our table. Talk about service.

The town is so small you trust your son to go to the library by himself on his second day after school.

It’s not like he’ll get lost.

He comes home saying he needs a parental slip to get on the Library Internet.

Was that the case in NYC?

Kids aren’t allowed to use the Internet computer upstairs. Wonder why.
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Look forward to attending the Hudson Valley Wine Festival, with dozens of wineries from all across the State.

Except it’s being held 35 miles away, the wife and kids need to spend the time at home to unpack and unwind, and you don’t drink and drive.

Realize that tastings in the city are much easier to attend.

Time Warner wants $4563.62 to install cable TV for you at your house: turns out the cable stops a half mile further up the hill and they’re not interested in paying to lay out the lines any further.

Wow.

Direct TV wants $600 to install satellite DSL for you.

Wow.

Decide to use the inbuilt 56k modem. Sign up for a dial-up with your old NYC ISP.

Turns out that 56k modem dial-ups are a damn site faster than they used to be.

Besides, as Campbell has remembered from all the Time Warner Roadrunner commercials, DSL stands for Digital Slow Line.

Kids these days! Back when I was young, we didn’t even have telephones…

Thankfully, you’ve got Roadrunner at the office.

Time Warner did not need several thousand dollars to install that one.
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Campbell has his first music lesson in a village school – where they teach the kids how to scratch with vinyl and be a human beat-box. He spends his homework hour inventing a rap.

Word.
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Take the bus down to NYC for the first time – and enjoy having time to read, write and think.

Until a dread-locked hippie chick in dire need of a bathe gets on the bus at – where else? – Woodstock, sits – where else? – in front of you, and starts reading – what else? – George Orwell’s 1984.

Who says there’s no such thing as a stereotype?
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Driving your kid 17 miles to school. In 20 minutes. You used to wait that long just for the school bus to show up in Brooklyn.
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Campbell has his first discussion group in class. Comes home knowing more about Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq than most American adults.

Especially the President.
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The organic pasta at Sunflower costs twice what it does at the Park Slope Food Coop.

But the eggplant at the local vegetable stand is straight out of the ground.

So’s the squash. All four kinds.

And the potatos. All six kinds of them.

Whoops, Microsoft Word says that should be potatoes.

It’s not like mis-spelling potato is a matter of political importance, is it?
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A raccoon greets us on the deck the day we move in.

So do grasshoppers, who seem to have mistaken the carpet for grass.

There’s deer in the woods.

And a strange animal I see wondering up the driveway in the middle of the night. Looks like a white anteater.

Perhaps it is.

And I keep having to carry baby toads out of the garage.

And Posie catches a mouse.

That was meant to be the cat’s job.

But the cat has decided he prefers lounging on the lounge chair out on the deck.

That was meant to be our job.
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The turkey shoot at the local sports club.

A strange way to celebrate 9/11.

Unless you’re a hunter, of course.
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The mist amidst the mountains on the morning drive down to school.

The mountains glistening under blue sky during an Indian summer.

The trees changing color in front of your eyes.

The sun setting behind the mountain on the drive home.
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The wife goes car-shopping.

We have no choice but to be a two-car family.

Welcome to the rural world.

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