Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rural No More

I like to think of us as living in a rural area. I suppose to city dwellers, it is quite rural.

But the truth is, we're surrounded on all sides by other homes. These are to the east of us.

These homes are to the north.

This is the side of my house.

Through the trees there you can barely see homes to the south of us.

The silo is to the west.

There are actually, many more homes visible than I show. I usually crop out my mother-in-law's house, for example, if it gets in the picture, along with others. Out my office window I can see four houses to the west; they are to the left of the silo. I seldom point the camera in that direction.

Housing growth has slowed in recent years as the economy has faltered. I don't know when, or if, it will pick back up. I don't particularly want it to pick back up. When I was young, Botetourt had about 18,000 people. Now it has 33,000. Almost double!

Even with all of these houses around, services remain elusive. We have no water and sewer. Everyone is on a well and uses a septic tank for the necessities. It takes 15 minutes to get anywhere at all, including the grocery store, post office, or gas station.

I am not complaining. I remember when trips to the grocery store meant a 30 minute drive - one way. But there were smaller stores in the area to make up for it, places where you could dash in from bread and milk. Those don't exist here any more. Now if you want bread and milk you have to stop in the large grocery store in Daleville.

Change happens every day. Sometimes it is better, sometimes worse. Sometimes it is both, depending on perspective.


  1. America just doesn't have a great deal of 'truly' rural areas anymore, unless you move to the wide open spaces of Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska. But I rather like having a few people around and would be lonesome in those wide open spaces. It's a choice we all make to stay where we are planted or to mozey along.

  2. At our last house I could hear the neighbors speaking in their back yard from my tub. And there were times I ran in the house to answer the phone, but it wasn't mine that was ringing! I like the privacy, but I need to see people now and again.

  3. I've lived in all types of places. We had 110 acres in Oklahoma. It was a small piece. The neighbors had thousands. It was so desolate that we took off our clothes one day and ran around naked--screaming and laughing. Just because we could. Talk about feeling free! Another time we lived in a place where I could literally reach over the deck railing and pass a plate to my neighbor on her deck. And everywhere in between. For me, I like it when it's the country, when I have a few acres and all the surrounding neighbors have acreage and farms, but it's not a big deal to run down to the store to get some milk and not a big project to go to the mall, and though I like my privacy, I enjoy seeing neighbors occasionally go by walking dogs or on a bike and we wave and sometimes chat.


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