When I moved, I understood that I’d be living in a way I’d never lived before. Growing up, I lived with my parents in a post-war, pre-made, modular neighborhood. Little boxes (on a hillside, little boxes full of ticky-tacky…) literally on a hillside – just as the song suggests – and since they were built in the early 60’s, they were definitely filled with ticky-tacky. They were close together, but nothing like today’s house farms where you can reach out and shave your neighbors face, if you really wanted to.
Then I moved to an older neighborhood and while most houses were spaced nicely away from each other, my house was a new addition that they sandwiched between two existing homes, which meant that one of my neighbors and I enjoyed a cozy relationship just over the fence from one another.
Then I bought what we are lovingly referring to as Camp Nini. I can barely see one of my neighbors, and I’d be hard pressed to know there was anyone on the other side of me, and I’m in a cluster of homes. I’m loving it!
Now today, the issue of proximity was brought up over coffee with one of my neighbors. They casually mentioned that we have a groundhog living under our playhouse in the backyard. Having had a groundhog live peacefully in my backyard at the other house, I didn’t see anything wrong. The neighbor said, “We have to get a gun. Do you think we are 150 feet from another house?”
I wasn’t sure why we had to get a gun… until they said, “Killing groundhogs is fun!” And then they started talking about mice and how they’d squished one of those little guys. EEK! I could feel the “city girl” in my cringe. But the reality of it is, I’m not in the city anymore, and critters can, and do, damage property and crops around here. I think that if I had my garden up and going this year and I’d found all my juicy tomatoes had been eaten by a critter, I might have another reaction other than squeamishness. After considering the time and effort and labor involved in preparing and tending a garden, I might be saying, “Honey!! Where is my bow?”
(I can shoot, and very well, btw, but I do prefer my re-curve bow which I have had since long before Hunger Games, thanksverymuch!)
After a morning of contemplating the elimination of vermin from the yard, I felt the best thing to do would be to visit the local library and get my brand-new, shiny and all-powerful LIBRARY CARD. Those things are awesome…. just sayin’. The library in my area is fairly new and by-gosh and golly, it has some new-fangled ideas that my old library (voted one of the best systems in the COUNTRY) didn’t have. 24/7 mailboxes to pick up ordered materials at your convenience, a CD dispenser similar to a vending machine, computers, self-serve check-out tables, three nice meeting rooms, skylights and a drive-through! You read that correctly. A. drive. through. Neato!
Feeling excited about wandering the stacks with the possibility of finding the perfect cookbook for groundhog goulash, I presented myself to the desk and got my new library card. The librarian whisked me over to the cooking section and then left with a breezy offer of help, should I need it. At this point, a few things registered:
- There might have been 5 people there, including the staff.
- The shelves weren’t higher than my chest and I could look out over the library area easily.
- There didn’t seem to be very many books!
Even though there was a good selection and choice of books, there just weren’t many of them. Or at least, not as many as I’ve been used to seeing. Every section was contained in one large room, with adult media on one side and children’s media on the other. That’s when it occurred to me that this was a library the way it should be used and in good standing for the future. It was lean and ready for its role in the future. With the E-book database growing daily and the DVD’s available, I was pretty impressed.
I ended up leaving with a pretty good book called, “Groundhog is Good Eatin'”.