On the Street Where We Live

life in a village

Thirty six below. Snow depth 16 inches.

Street landscaping is not in vogue where we live. We have no sidewalks or carefully designed plantings. I remember the beautiful landscaping along the roadsides back in Texas. Very nice, but I can’t say that I miss it. Our street is not especially pretty in a civilized way, but it does have a wild, austere kind of beauty that suits me fine. Ours is tree lined most of the way and I am very taken by the stately spruce. We have trenches for gutters, filled with snow this time of year. We have no billboards, none at all, and I like that very much. We do have a bulletin board in the AC (our general store) where you can advertise kittens, couches and four-wheelers, and our local radio station will probably make an announcement for you if you ask nicely.

Our street is broad and well maintained. Whenever there is new fallen snow, the village grades it right away. Our streets are hard packed snow that never melts this time of year, so it has texture to it and isn’t slick at all. It is easiest to walk away from the edge of the street where there is no loose, fluff to drag your way through. We have no traffic to speak of, so this doesn’t present any danger.  It’s cold enough now that people don’t get out so much and when they do they often find it easier just to walk. I see as much foot traffic as I see cars and maybe more.

The absence of traffic makes our village a very quiet place to live. The ambient noise level is so low that you would immediately notice the quiet if you were to visit us. We have only two substantial sources of noise in our village this time of year: our power plant which is always running (well, we hope is always running) and sporadic airport traffic which we always want to hear (no airplanes means it’s fifty below and we are cut off from the outside).

The next time you go out stop, look and listen. See all the billboards, try counting how many cars you see, hear the constant hum of incessant background noise assaulting your ears. then imagine what life would be like without all that. Nice?

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