Saturday, February 2, 2013

In Which The Author Is Reminded That She Does Not Entirely Belong Here

For three years, I was a member of our town's Preserved Farmland Commission, the goal of which is to work with state and county funding agencies to purchase and preserve farmland in the area so that it will not be developed and the rural character of the area will accordingly be maintained.  Leaving aside the heretical notion (to them, if not to me) that some development is actually good for the tax base and for school funding, I was not an ideal member of that commission, and for a very simple reason: I only moved here about ten years ago.

The chairman would invariably introduce a new property for consideration by name: for example, "the old Wilson farm."  And the other members of the group, all of whose families have been here for forty-two generations (I exaggerate, but only slightly) would all nod in acknowledgement.  And then I would invariably have to ask the location of the property in question, since I knew of neither the Wilsons nor their farm.  The initial answer would always be something like "down the road from where the old schoolhouse used to be," which of course didn't help me either.  It got to the point where the chairman just started bringing the town's tax map to meetings and preemptively pointing to the piece of property in question on the map.  

I was reminded of that whole situation the other day when I stopped into the feed store up the street to buy The Hound a peanut butter bone.  (Ye gods: how my life has changed in the last ten years!)  While waiting in line, I was casually perusing a line of shampoo and conditioner bottles on the shelf behind me, and the customer ahead of me, noticing this, commented that they are very good.  I, thinking back to the Mane and Tail product craze of a few years ago (horse grooming products that crossed over to human use), assumed that she meant that she used them herself.  She looked at me as if I were utterly insane and then told me that I should try them on my horses.   

Bearing in mind that one 50-lb dog and the (marauding and thoroughly unwelcome) herds of deer that wander through my backyard together constitute the entire livestock population of my property, guess I won't be buying any of that stuff anytime soon.  I can't even begin to envision a scenario in which I would be washing any part of a horse.  You can take the kid out of the city, but there's only so much city you can take out of the kid!       


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