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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 01/30/2008 09:00 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 01/30/2008 09:00 PM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM
:

Thoughts on Acorns, Winter and Living in a Rural County~By Karen Wildwood

It’s already been bit of a rough winter here in the rural foothills of California. The storms that have hit here from various directions have dropped more than our usual fare of snow at lower elevations, which makes navigation, even for those of us with four wheel drives, a little more difficult....


I am by nature a city person. As my son said not so long ago, “Mom you’re a Metropolitan.” Not exactly sure what he was referring to, I asked and he elaborated, “You like the city with its plays and museums and lots and lots of people.”

Although I am city person by nature, I do live in a rural county which makes me somewhat of a hybrid because after a while you just start to pick up the anomalies of living in a rural area. And really, you can only acquire this sense if you actually live in a rural area.

Cell phones for instance. I have very good friends who bought a second home up here a few years ago. Now, these are real city people who are attached to their cell phones and various other devices to the point that they have various ringtones for various people and so on.

When they first moved into their vacation home, they decided after a couple of months of multiple bills that having a landline along with their cell phones was a bit of overkill. That was until they shut off their landline and found they had no cell phone reception. When they commented on this to me, I just said you should have asked me because cell phone reception is really spotty up here. What I felt like adding is no one in their right mind would go cell phone alone up here like you can do down in a more urban area.

The fact that there’s not much cell phone coverage, and although it’s getting better, you’re more likely to drop a call than keep it, these are things you pick up after you’ve lived up here for awhile.

The cost of everyday living is a little different than people expect as well. You realize after you’ve lived up here for awhile, that the cost of housing might be a lot less, but everything else it pretty much more, like food, gas, electricity, water. And, most of us actually take out garbage to the dump instead of having curbside pick-up service. This is an endless source of amusement to my San Francisco living boyfriend, where unlike us rural county people, there is little to no effort to recycle.

Driving is another you item you learn or I should put relearn after being up here. Because of the windy roads you drive the curves differently, as in slow down and hug the curves a little more, and when it snows you don’t speed up to try and outrace the snow. Let’s face it, if it’s one your windshield you already in it. But, you slow down so you don’t go careening off into the side of the road, another car or worse.

According to the real locals, no one is a local until they’ve lived up here for at least 25 years or more. But something happened last week that made me feel like I was a little more local than I thought.

My city boyfriend made the comment to me that I was right in my predication that the winter was going to be really cold, wet and snowy. At the time I didn’t remember making any such prediction. I asked him what he meant. ‘You know you said because there were so many acorns falling in the Fall that it was going to be a rough winter.’

After he said that I did remember. The acorns literally blanketed everywhere last Fall You couldn’t make a step without nearly falling down from acorns underfoot. This, from my experience up here, can only mean one thing, that it’s going to be long hard winter. And, after being up here for a paltry 11 years, I felt like that bit of knowledge alone made me a little more rural than I thought


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