Here Where I Live

Maybe you live in a rural area, and maybe you don't. If you do, you will wonder at my wonder, but if you don't, you'll see why this sometimes startles me.

I just opened our weekly newspaper. In it, there are:

... two obituaries - I knew both of those people. We weren't close friends - but I'd know who they were at the post office or the grocery store.

... an announcement in the "50 Years Ago" feature that says postage went up on August 1 of that year -- to 4 cents for regular mail, and 7 cents for airmail.

... pictures from the local theater troupe's musical production of "Oliver!" - tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students.

... annually seen summery reports of all the city folk who lose battles with nature (those happen in the winter too). This time of year, it's fires, and people wandering off trails to either fall (this week there was a death) or get lost for days and days.

... a college graduation picture of a local high school alum.

... a volunteer of the month.

... and the city needs to hire someone to take minutes at the City Council and City Planning Commission meetings.

Oh. And one more thing. This is the reason I started remarking on this week's paper. One of the letters to the editor is a woman's outrage at "speeders" in her neighborhood who have killed another "fur baby" and so now this woman has had to bury another cat.

I know perfectly well that life's griefs and births and changes and chances happen in the city. I grew up there. The city is where all the stuff of life happens in such a constant stream that it's hard to see the pieces as they fly past.

Here, though, we have the space to see each thing. We have an open house reception at the library when someone retires ... and people come to it. We attend funerals and drink punch at customer appreciation days. We have a weekly paper with a back page of local sports teams (usually the high school if it's between September and June). We know the cashiers at the grocery store, and every year the parade during the week of the fair (the last free one in the state) includes the local forestry workers.

It might be a bit of a philosophical leap to insist that the person who hit a cat in the road has "no respect for life" ... but I figure that if this is the letter to the editor ... well, this is a good place to be.

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