There is almost a foot of new snow and it’s still coming down. The perfect time to write a bit about life here at Green Grove. As promised I’ve been working on describing how life is different now that we live in rural WV as opposed to urban MA.
One big difference is that since it’s a good 30 min to an hour to get to a supermarket, we shop ahead. We try to do a big trip to Costco about once a month and then no more than one trip a week out for fill ins like milk, produce, etc. That means we are more conscious of planning meals ahead. It also means that when a snow comes we don’t rush to get bread, milk and toilet paper….because there’s plenty in our garage/pantry. We never buy one gallon of milk or one loaf of bread….in fact my husband frequently bakes bread for us, but we keep some store bought in the freezer for when he’s busy with other things.
Another difference is that people function differently, a perfect example is some plumbing work we’ve had done. Our downstairs bathroom has been sluggish, slow to drain and not always guaranteed to flush off and on since we moved in…we have had a variety of folks through but finally found a local plumber who actually did some work here before. He came with a helper and they called in another guy who knew somethings about our system, they spent 3-4 hours and did a number of things. Some that hadn’t been done and some they just did more thoroughly and when they were finished for the day he said, “Now I’m not going to give you a bill until we’re sure it’s really fixed. Give it a few weeks and if it slows down again call me and if it’s ok and you’re satisfied let me know and we’ll settle up then”. Wow…when’s the last time a plumber left your house without payment? ”
Then there’s how neighbors help each other out….like when our lawn mower broke and a friend/neighbor came and looked at it, knew how to fix it and since his wife was going to town the next day had her get the part. Then he came out after work and put it on for us. Only let us pay for the part, nothing for his time, her gas, her time….just being neighborly.
Or our friend and outdoor maintainence man was cutting wood up above us and came in just to get a drink and warm up for a bit. While he was here figured out a plan to better insulate the outdoor room where our water filtration system is housed, so we wouldn’t have to worry about pipes freezing if it gets really cold for really long. Then later on he called to say he knew where to get a good deal on the supplies so don’t get them somewhere else for more.
And when he was heading to a town with a Cabela’s my husband picked up several things from there for a several different folks.
Now sometime’s it’s a little hard to adjust to the laid back attitude, like if there’s something you want done but you don’t say it’s urgent or an emergency and the worker says he’ll stop by….that could mean tomorrow or it could mean next week, or next month. And when folks do stop by they may visit for several hours before getting to the work they came to do. Then there’s those first uneasy feelings when you “contract” for big jobs but there’s no contract just a handshake over the agreed on terms. Though it’s always worked out and no one seems to take advantage of anyone. I think because we all rely on one another everyone is careful to keep their reputation good….otherwise news would travel fast and they’d loose business.
Even when folks do something someone doesn’t like, or they just don’t see eye to eye on something, politics, religion, whatever—they still have a level of respect and responsibility toward the common good that you just don’t find often.
Then there’s that grapevine I mentioned—where news travels fast. I can run into someone in town, and by the time I get to work the next day everyone knows I went to town and why and whether my trip was successful…and if it wasn’t they offer lots of suggestions for where to find whatever I couldn’t get or what to use instead.
And today, well it’s snowing, schools are closed so I went out for a test drive of my Christmas Snow Shoes….they work great! My husband baked bread, the hunter split wood, the weaver wove, and the dancer read and now she and I are going to watch a DVD together….and I made homemade chicken noodle soup and peach crisp for dinner. No stress, no worries about shoveling…a neighbor will come on his tractor and plow us out when it stops. Just a nice day here at Green Grove….where Magick happens in all seasons.
Is life different here, you bet….and I’m so glad it is.