Today: May 22, 2024

Enjoying some little town living

Jessica Giannone, General Assignment Reporter-

Moving from a town praising “guidos,” sports cars and fast-food to a place that values homemade pie, pick-up trucks and pigs kind of makes you stop and think. For me, the fast-paced, superficial tanning-filled days of East Haven turned into the laid-back, country-style hiking-filled days of Durham. 

Last spring, my family and I moved to a rental home in the “good ol’” farm town following a house fire. I guess it didn’t matter how many clothes were lost, because my wardrobe would have had to do a complete 360 anyway to fit in with the “crop crowd.” However, I didn’t give in to the lifestyle just yet. 

A town with no franchises? What were my parents thinking? You have to drive 15 minutes into the next town just to get a double-cheeseburger. Durham does have a Dunkin’ Donuts, but it looks like a bird-watchers cabin, with no drive-through of course.

The funny thing is, the townspeople could tell exactly who wasn’t from there. When my friend and I strolled into a market with Uggs, Northfaces and Coach purses, they looked at us like they’d never seen girls before; like we were lost or something. I guess their status revolves around how many cows you can milk in one sitting, as opposed to how many Hondas you go through in one year. 

On top of it all, the first thing I asked for was Nutella. I mean, there was a “Lino’s” deli down the street, how “non-Italian” could they be?

Anyway, I can’t really object to the impression that we did look lost. For Christ’s sake, the only place to go food shopping in the whole town is the size of Porta-Potty.

The worst part is, everything is closed by nine. The first three weeks I was having late-night junk-food withdrawals.

Not to mention, the house is surrounded by trees, along with just two other houses on the street, which doesn’t even read on a GPS. It’s safe to say my friends weren’t driving up late at night on the chance they might have passed a hitchhiker with an axe along the side of my driveway.

I can’t complain though. The people here are friendlier and more welcoming than any place I’d ever been, and they have so much pride in their town. Everything is so simple, just about as conservative as you can get, in my opinion – a real difference from my hometown.

It is actually kind of nice and quiet living in the boondocks, (except when the bullfrogs are going at it). You find a sense of peace you wouldn’t find elsewhere, especially not in East Haven. 

There may not be any modernized stores or tanning salons (or civilization every 100 yards), but there is homemade applesauce and freshly baked bread every day. You learn to appreciate the wild possums running across your front lawn. 

Ironically, I have learned to love the town. It brought out my true “nature-girl.” 

When we finally settle into a new home, I am going to miss those days of lake-swimming, trail-hiking and farm adventures. I just hope our new location is within at least five minutes of a McDonald’s.

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