Non-disclosed Location Blogging
I am writing this from a distant place while I am away on business. Today I spent a little time in a small town in a region that most economists would consider economically stagnant. As I was sitting at the local sports bar eating a darn good burger for lunch, I fired up the laptop to take advantage of the venue's wi-fi. It was one of the only places in town with free access, and there were at least two tables in the restaurant on this slow-paced Monday that chose this spot for lunch because of the wi-fi. Just sayin'.
I noticed many other aspects unique to small rural towns that prior to becoming resident of one myself I never would have recognized. These two stood out:
- The locals are friendly, but very guarded with outsiders. "We'll smile and take your business, but don't ask about our business."
- The brain drain of prime-working-age and young adults is the rule, not the exception. I would love to see a comprehensive analysis of census data on small rural, working class towns.
Tonight, I am back in the big city with the common headaches of traffic, noise and too many choices for dinner. While I was born and raised a city kid, I am becoming more and more fond of the lifestyle that my family chose when we moved to North Adams.
I can't say that I miss having 10 options of where to buy a pair of socks, or peanut butter, or a cup of coffee within a mile. There is something relaxing about not being bombarded by the marketing of thousands of messages a day trying to get me to purchase something I may or may not need. I had forgotten that the hundreds of minuscule and unimportant daily decisions that one has to make just to get by in the city actually take up time and thought that could be devoted to other things. And the fact that the minutes consumed by my commute can be counted on one hand is something that I appreciate more and more every visit I make to large metropolitan areas. (It once took me 4 hours to drive between Tacoma and Seattle when two lanes of I-5 were unexpectedly shut down. Did I mention that it was only 28 miles?)
I can't wait to get home.