Wednesday, July 02, 2008

City Mouse Goes To The Country

I visited my mother yesterday to continue stripping the wallpaper in her front room. I had really been looking forward to spending some time in quiet suburbia, working on a relaxing project and listening to my iPod. But the day was far more hectic.

First, I had to continue to worry about the phone service in my apartment. Even though I had taken everything apart and fixed it, and eventually went to the trouble to install a new jack, the phone still wasn't working properly. I could call out, but no one could call in. So I had my home number forwarded to my cellphone as a temporary measure until I could get a Verizon repair person to my apartment. (I'm waiting on him/her now as I write.) I figured that I would at least be able to keep up with job searching from my cell phone at my folks' house. But no. My parents live in a cell phone dead zone.

This was discouraging, but I thought that I'd at least be able to check email; I'd brought my laptop. And I'd found a wireless connection there before. But no. The magic wireless network had disappeared.

It makes me realize how great it is to live in the city. Wireless networks about, and the only time I lose cellphone service is in the tunnel under the harbor on the Blue Line between Aquarium and Maverick. And everything is within walking distance. My mother has to drive everywhere, while I am conveniently surrounded by a grocery store, a Radio Shack, coffee shops, restaurants, a hardware store, and more. A quick bike ride takes me to Target. I can walk or ride to any number of parks.

I have fond memories of my childhood home, and I remember being a kid and thinking I would eventually buy a house there and have a family of my own. I would send them to school and that child would have most of the same teachers that I did, just as most of my teachers had taught my father. But I can't even begin to ponder the idea of going back to the suburbs. It's too quiet, too stretched out, too much effort. I like my own neighborhood, where people sit out on stoops and talk to each other, instead of hiding in their big houses behind lines of trees. I like the fluoridated tap water, the nearness to the harbor, and the enormous public library. In fact, I think the only thing I really miss is being able to walk around in bare feet.

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