Thursday, July 21


In the last month, I’ve gone through several major life transitions. From BIG City dweller to small town resident. From renter to homeowner. And, you may not know it, but I also turned 35. It seemed auspicious to choose my birthday for our closing date. For my 30th birthday, we did something really memorable: visit the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. And I am so happy to have that memory associated with that age milestone that I decided to do it again. Also, there's just a lovely synchronicity about taking on the very adult responsibilities of homeownership on the same day I make that big step into the second half of life.

For all those changes, it mostly feels like I’ve taken a step back in time. Our Town is filled with historic homes, ranging from 19th century brick to 1950s ranchers. The area is steeped in American heritage, and, in fact, tourism workers - and sometimes tourists - often walk the streets in period garb. The landscape around the burg is rolling hills and agricultural land. People in our county make their livelihoods from the land, just like back before World War II. Rural issues are of critical importance, politically and economically. "It's not farmland without farmer," announced one bumper sticker I saw.

There's also a 1950s vibe to being in a small, safe, and slow-paced town. Like Mayberry or Pleasantville. We only have to dial seven digits to make local calls, and the burg only has four exchanges. There's a drive-in theatre - two screens! - about a half-hour away, and sources say the snack bar alone is worth the trip. But I love drive-ins and have been longing for them. When I was growing up, my dad would load my sister and I into his truck and head to the drive-in. We would line the truckbed with pillows and sleeping bags, watch the movies and eat pizza under the stars. We've also been told that the Next Bigger Town Over has a burger place where they still bring the food to you in your car, but I will have to report later on whether the carhops wear rollerskates.

I've often claimed - to some opposition - that the 1980s took a lot of their culture and style from the 50s. (Think Grease, Reagan conservatism, and pedal pushers.) And I've spotted some 80s throwbacks here, including full-on, sprayed-back, feathered hair:

And the multiplex in the Next Bigger Town Over is like a flashback to my teenage, suburban years (the feathered-hair era). It is crowded with packs of teenagers (dressed more scantily than even I ever was) on Friday night. Even better for us: we can show up 10 minutes before show time!! On opening night of the movie!!! And get great seats!!! For less than 10 dollars!!!! I don't think I can convey how amazing this is - none of this was possible in the BIG City where we used to live.

This nostalgia - along with the rollback in living costs - is exactly why we wanted to get out of the City. And it feels pretty good. There's nothing better than turning back the clock just as you pass an age milestone. It's like a new lease on life. Like I've been revivalized in the process.


At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Serendipity House said...

The trick to maintaining a cool house is to try not to let it get too hot in the first place. This is impossible if the days are hot and the temps don't drop enough at night to cool things down. Last night, however, I think it dipped down into the 60s with no humidity. I kept a fan in the window all night in the downstair's parlor; I woke up to a very cool house! I closed all the windows around 7:30am and pulled the shades. The sun will make it heat up FAST! That's it! Keep things cool and (somewhat) dark and it should take a sharp edge off!

I do have a whole-house fan, but we've never used it. The previous owner winterized it and it doesn't have a cap, so we're not sure how efficient it is...but I'm very curious to find out!

Good luck!


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