I found a rather well-written, previously unpublished piece by my husband, from whom I’ve since gotten permission to share. Here goes…
In my relationship, we decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t be happy if we had to move to a major city, and she would not be happy living in a tiny town, or by herself with no friends, no people. (Maybe something like that. But that would be exaggerated for the sake of creativity.) Our compromise was in the form of an apartment (a living room-style apartment, if you will) in a small town in upstate NY. If I haven’t completely scared you off, let me give you a little more insight on the reasons behind this type of arrangement.
What is our town like? In a nutshell, we have the qualities of a small town. We have a store, we have some services (banking, legal, the usual.), but it’s not much. We have a lot of very quiet, rural areas, but they’re not full of tourists (though there are a lot of small family farms) and it’s not a lot of people. A lot of it’s quiet (for the most part.) We have a small place on the lake for the summer, and a less-than-small town for most of the other seasons. It’s rustic and some of it’s great, but we definitely live a bit removed from the city.
Another point I want to make about our small town is that it’s very pro-education. Our town gets huge amounts of funding from the town school, and we also have a large private college nearby. I am a (HUGE) big fan of the college, and we put a lot of money into our local college. My (formerly) wife was (was!) a teacher, and was super appreciative of how much the private college gave back to the town. I love knowing that if she didn’t teach anymore, she could pursue her career dream (a career she knew I would support her in.) But, again, I’m trying to be creative here.
So…with all that being said, and me getting all giddy with anticipation, the point I really wanted to make is that while it’s very true that my wife is very happy to be out of the big city, it’s still weird. And while I know that I do love my small town, there are parts of it that can be a bit, well…somehow, in my mind, I’m picturing the movie Signs. Where you are in the beginning and you can clearly see that there’s something weird going on. There are odd sights, and it’s a little weird, but you can never really get a good sense of what the town is like because of all the weird-ness. Our small town is weird. The things that I have mentioned above don’t even come close to truly giving you a glimpse. I do have to mention the literal weirdness, though: there’s a woman who rides her bike down our main street on the weekends carrying a kayak. Sometimes she even sits on the bike and rides. On her front basket. It’s strange.
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