We are tucked into a relatively remote pocket of a densely-populated state. People who live outside our state -- and quite a few who live inside its borders -- are quite surprised by how rural our location is. We certainly don't compare to life in places like Kansas, Oklahoma or Alaska, to name just a few. But despite the fact that we are only a few miles from dead center of our state, we do not have certain services and amenties that the vast majority of the residents take for granted.
For example, it blows the mind of my friend Peg, who lives in a very different part of the state, that we don't have municipal police services in our township. Instead, we rely on the state police to do all the necessary policing that needs to be done. Presumably, this is because not much policing, apart from the occasional call to my house, is required.
This has created a kind of alternate universe for my kids.
On a recent jaunt with my kids and a friend of Primo's, we became stuck behind a garbage truck in a small town some distance from ours. This wasn't just any old garbage truck. It was a recycling truck. After watching it for a minute or two, the lightbulb suddenly went off in Primo's brain. "Wait a minute. Is that truck actually picking up the recyclables at each house?" We have to drive ours five miles to the township building, on either Monday or Saturday, which as you might imagine can cause quite a bit of recyclable pile-up at times in our house. His friend, who lives in the town next to ours, replied, "Yeah, so what? Ours is picked up every week, isn't yours?" Primo couldn't even respond, so stunned was he by the concept of personalized municipal services.
And still further: while sitting on the deck of our vacation house, we heard a familiar (to my LSH and me) tinny jingle coming closer and closer through the development. Terzo, however, was completely mystified. He finally asked us what the sound was; he was shocked and amazed to learn that there was an actual truck that drove around with ice cream in it and would sell it to you if you just waited at the curb with money in your hand.
Talk about blowing someone's mind.