American Elephants

Growing Up Rural: by The Elephant's Child
November 18, 2022, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Politics

It’s 5:30 in the afternoon here, and pitch black outdoors. I hadn’t been paying much attention to the change of season. but it is November, of course. Winter months, except not really “winter” here at all. Just a little colder, more likely rainy. At home in Idaho (Idaho will always be “home”) Winter usually began with the first snowfall. Here in the Seattle area, snow is regular but rare. Seattle is famously the “City of Seven Hills” though there are probably way more than seven, depending on your definition of “hill.” It’s not flat territory. It’s a major pain in the neck when we have snow, because there are hills in every direction and streets can get icy without snow. It’s 50 degrees here now, no snow visible in any direction, but I cannot see the mountains from my window. There are winters with no real disruptive snow. Depends on whether you want snow for beauty or no snow for getting around.

In Idaho, we had to plow our own road once they redirected the North-South highway over the hill to the East. We were once on the main North South highway, but they created a short cut that left us on a side road. Since we had an effective plow on our truck we got to get the neighboring small ranchers in and out too. So I am thoroughly familiar with very rural life.

The nearest town was nine miles away. and a very small town at that, but a county seat, and usually some small industry like a sawmill,

Court House, grade school, high school. hospital, two grocery stores, 3 or 4 gas stations with repair shops, hardware, lumber yard, Odd Fellows, and three churches. That’s what I can remember offhand. There was a farmer’s pond just outside of town where everyone went ice skating in early winter. Last figure I saw was a population of about 800. No idea how accurate that is, nor how related to how big it was when I was growing up. I have no idea if this is typical of small towns all across the country. Nor just what population qualifies a town as an “officially” small town.

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