… on small town allowances


Morning Light at Woodward’s Mill Pond; Dunstable, MA

One of the reasons we moved to Dunstable, back in the early 90s, was that the town was made up of such a mix of people. There were (and are) operating farms, folks who work in manufacturing, technology, in the schools, in all phases and aspects of construction and service. There are folks from all sorts of religious, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. Cat people. Dog people. Horse people. Cow people … just a phenomenal mix of humans in one town.

Also, once a month, we still get a copy of the Neighbor to Neighbor, which my around-the-corner neighbor (not kidding) Anne creates. It is made up of about fifteen pages or so (printed on both sides) of news and information. There is the ‘In Memory of’ section on the front page, that lists folks from Dunstable (and those important to folks from Dunstable) who have moved on from this world, so we know, and can pay our respects. The Town Clerk has her announcements on the front page too. The Chief’s column is inside.

There are no politics or arguments, just straight information from the Board of Health, local Lions and Rotary Clubs, and churches. The Seniors, the Library, and our elementary school share their happenings too. And there are ads, and yard sale announcements, and helpful articles from the local veterinarian, pre-school provider, and estate planner.

My Neighbor to Neighbor arrives every month as it has, for every household in town, for the past thirty one years.

My most recent Neighbor to Neighbor, on top of my mail pile. Delivered by the Old Yankee Man, who has included a newspaper clipping of a wind power project, because Old Yankee Men have newspaper clipping compulsions (more about that another time)

It shows up with a staple in the corner next to a small drawing of a man with a hoe talking to another man with a mustache) over a picket-y fence.

I don’t have to go on Facebook, or check my e-mail, or look for a tweet or chirp or screech.

Is that backwards?

If it is, it’s my kind of backwards.

Sure, so many different types of people living in one place can make for one Hell of an interesting Town Meeting (bring snacks).

But we all get by unscathed on most days.

Case in point?

Earlier this week, when I hurled my car into a small gravel parking lot by a pond, because the morning light was just right… and leapt out and started running, in my pajamas, bare feet and hair so messy that if the light hit it right it would have looked like it was on fire?

No one.


An eye.

And me? I got the photo at the top of this post.

For which I thank all of the passers-by who saw me, including one rather bewildered looking bicyclist.

Thanks for readin’.


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