Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wherein I extoll the virtues of rural life

I'm sitting here looking out my window wondering to myself, 'self, why is the sky a funny color?' It has stopped raining, thats why. So for the moment, voila-it's 50 and the pussywillows are budding! Yet at a moments notice a vicious, dry northeaster could sweep through and freeze everything down to the ground in a matter of hours. Standard winter bullshit.
Weather notwithstanding, government helicopters and planes continue to fly over regularly so that I will feel safe. Thank you, America. I think.
See, I live close to an international border, and GW. likes to keep an eye on our strategic sileage stockpiles. Meanwhile, on a nearby road which parallels the boundary (which for some reason the DEA hasn't discovered yet), suitcases filled with ganja and money go flying back and forth like tennis volleys in the night. Every so often a farmer on our side* lucks out when one of them busts open, provided he gets there before the rightful owners or the livestock do (cows will eat bud. Got milk?)
You know how in crime neighborhoods the quickie marts sell shit like roses in glass tubes and butane cans? Well around here, what they sell is mini maglites. TONS of them. No streetlights out in the middle of a pasture. Hard to see. And so, on any given summer night, on one side of the road theres a bunch of people named Vanderveen and Buizenhoffer tiptoeing through the cow flops in the darkness with their little flashlights harvesting unwanted samsonite bags, while on the-we'll call it 'Rabbitsford'- side of the road, (and you can see this clearly from my backyard) there'll be huge police chases taking place with gunfire and the whole shizzmafuck. Later on you can go inside and watch the same incident on To Serve and Protect. Thats Cheese COPS, for those of you unwise in the ways of the wily Canadien.
I won't be moving in the forseeable future, though. Well, fuck; it'd take more than that, for sure. ..I have a great house sitting on four city lots that I have filled with beautiful flowering plants. Out my bedroom window I can watch eagles add limbs to the nest they've been building in the same tree for the past five years. This thing is half the size of a Volkswagen by now. They fledge at least two eaglets out of it every year. Theres a creek two blocks from my front door. It runs through the center of town (or the handful of business that we refer to as town, anyway.) In the gloaming you can watch coyotes slinking along the waterside using the creekbed as their highway. Trumpeter swans and great blue herons feed there. In the spring huge salmon come schooling up from the ocean. I mean, right through the center of town, two blocks from my front door.
This isn't wilderness, though...it's dairy country. My neibors still live on small farms and raise chickens and sell weaner pigs and butcher their own beef in the field. You see rural France touted as this giant paradise for foodies, but this is the middle of heaven. Homemade cheeses made in real homes, for the love of God. Duck eggs. Quail. Game. Organic everything. Everything.
In August, nearly every road is a jungle pathway through huge fields of feed corn. One year for a surprise I took my daughter out in the middle of the night to watch the Perseiid meteor shower. We sat on the trunk of the car and watched streaks of stars falling for hours. Coming back late one night we even saw Northern Lights. I pulled over and turned off the car, and we could hear them. Imagine that.

*On their side, they luck out even better. They get beautiful, green, untraceable cash that buys 1/3 more baby wipes at Zellers. Although theirs is prettier.

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