Thank God, I'm a Country Boy

We've made it, and the area around here is beautiful. Though I've often lived in large cities, like San Francisco, London, LA, Seattle, Casablanca, or Detroit suburbs, at heart I'm a country boy. Growing up, only one year was in a large city, and about half my memories come from living in the country. I enjoy the countryside, or better yet the wilderness, far more than the large cities. Sure, cities have their pluses, but about the only thing I can think of that they have over small towns is clubs, and clubs remain more of a dream than something I actually go out and do.

So this is what it's like living in a park in the countryside, surrounded by cornfields. The dog is going insane with joy. There are some hot bitches on both sides, and he has a cornucopia of smells to investigate all around. He's even become somewhat blase about all the frogs hopping around. (Poor thing- he doesn't realize there won't be anymore of them in another twenty years.) I've taken him on some walks through the pea and cornfields, up the hill, to an old crumbling stone wall- but I'll share more on that another time.

The frogs come from a pond and wetlands nearby, which turns out to be a flyway, with egrets and Canadian Geese honking overhead every morning. (More on that later too.) Also from a sewage treatment slough, which is not as cool, nor are the occasional breeze of cows working hard to become alternative energy sources. But no place is perfect.

Some parts of the park are rather old-fashioned. After I washed my clothes at the laundry, I looked around for the dryer, and couldn't find it. There was these behemoths, but I thought that surely they weren't it. The park manager had to come out and show me that I'd missed the one modern dryer, but the large round green machine (whom we shall christen Betty) was actually a dryer, industrial strength, taking one quarter at a time, and requiring many quarters to actually dry. Turning her on is rather complicated, requiring a lighter for half the broiler, which lights with a great woosh and clanging racket.

The park is full of trees, and very friendly Wisconsinites. (Wisconsonians? Wisconsinians? Wisconsinii?) It was originally a farm, slowly sold off in parcels, so that now farms surround the park, and a barn and silos remain- though the silos are due to come down in the next couple months. (When I was lost briefly coming in, my dad told me on the phone to turn "at the two silos". That's a bit like telling someone to take a right at the Starbucks in Seattle, or when I told a friend I was lost in Casablanca, but was next to a hanut.) The good news is we'll be safe- the storm shelter is only a few steps from our location.


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