What is a Rural Suburb? This:

I live in a rural suburb. There are a few developments in town: those are the suburbs. I live in the rural.

I live on a street where you are as likely to find stray horses as dogs.  I’ve come face-to-knee with an ox while getting my mail.

At least one guy on the street mows his lawn by goat.

In my neighborhood I hear gun shots regularly. Not crime-y gun shots; merely my neighbors hunting their endless acreage, celebrating raucously, or helping an injured farm animal along from its misery. If someone ever really does get shot around here, no one will call the cops because we’re all used to it.

I live in a place that ministers to its own. If tragedy occurs, the whole community donates, helps, gives. Even if we don’t know each other it’s what we do. I have seen it in action and it’s beautiful.

Last year a huge tree fell from our property blocking the road and our driveway while we were on vacation. Strangers cut that bitch up so we could get drive into the driveway. An electrician from town that I’d never met was up on a ladder with a headlamp at 11:00 at night checking out the wires that had been ripped from my house. These kind of people are my people.

I live in a place where we are still considered “the new family” after 11 years.

People around here have a lot of land, a lot of trees and a lot of privacy. I literally have no idea what my next door neighbor looks like.

I share my yard (and deck and garage) with a plethora of species. Once I saw a deer that had just given birth in my backyard nursing her newborn. We have a quail that spends a week here each spring, and resident rabbits, hawks and fisher cats.

I live in a town with a nasty heroin/opioid epidemic.

My neighbors across the street consist of at least 5 siblings, houses all in a row, living in land passed down through their family for generations. I don’t think any of them has a job. They are in a family feud and call the cops on each other regularly. Obviously, these are the same neighbors that shoot the guns.

You can find a million dollar home in my town. You can also find a one room shack made out of tin. Some people live in the woods at the end of my road – because they prefer it.

If I want to go to Target, a mall, a clothing store, Starbucks, or a fancy restaurant, I have to drive for a minimum of 30 minutes.

We live on the East side of the Connecticut River and every time I come into our valley, every single time I come to the four-corners where my town starts, I swear I can breathe a little easier. Everything looks prettier, seems slower. When I get a full-frontal amazing sunset every night from my kitchen window while cooking dinner, and while I have coffee on my deck looking out over the field of wildlife, I know that there’s nowhere else I’d rather live. People come to places like this to relax, or have a little vacation. It’s where I always live. And for that I am grateful.