One of the advantages to living in the middle of nowhere is that "anywhere" is a short walk away. My walk to work covers five blocks. It takes almost as long to drive it. One morning starting the car I thought to myself, "It's five blocks. What kind of lazy pig are you?" So, I walked. Besides, we needed the rain that day. I've tried to walk it as much as possible since then. (Sometimes I'm just daring it to rain.)
In the span of five short blocks I pass a dozen or so houses, two churches, two bars, two sets of railroad tracks, an elementary school, a funeral home, and a courthouse that the locals like to say Abraham Lincoln once argued in. (He didn't, by the way. That one burned down, but they built this one in the same place.) Life, death, and a good Friday night, all in five short blocks.
An inch beneath the asphalt on the roads I walk, lie the old red bricks the roads were first paved with. And below that, the original dirt , I guess. I got to walk them once after the city bladed up the roads before coming along behind the sweepers to hide them once more with fresh tar and rock and paving. There was some talk of trying to preserve the bricks instead, but these are the more modern, improved roads we deserve... roads that will last for us into the future, I think one of the city father's actually said.
Two churches, two bars, one school..... There are laws out there now that say that bars can't be within so many feet of a school or church, but these places are all held over from a simpler time. (Back when we didn't worry about the pastor or priest getting liquored up, I guess.)
Makes me wonder if maybe we aren't fixing the wrong roads.