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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Crazy Men, Behemoth Dogs, and Suicide Slides!

Some good friends of our just moved to a very small town in the country. There are maybe 25 houses in this town and it is a cute little farming community. While driving the 60kms to visit them yesterday Trevor says,
"They really do live in the sticks, except there aren't any sticks!"
This was our first time out there, out of many I'm sure, and here are some interesting initial observations.
Across the road from these friends is a man who is definitely not "all there upstairs", if you know what I mean. The other day, for example, he hauled out and started up his lawn mower. Okay, "boring" you say, people with yards mow their lawn all the time so what's the big deal. Here it is, this man then proceeded to mow two strips of his lawn, cross the gravel street with the mower still running, mow two strips of another lawn, and then do the same to one more neighbour's lawn. Then he turned off the mower and put it away. He was done.
You know you're in a small village when they have what appears to be a community trampoline and a 12 foot high slide that some adults wouldn't dare go down. Can we say "law suit waiting to happen" if this was in the city?
At one point we were staring out their patio doors observing the yard when our friend exclaims,
"Look at that kid driving the truck!"
Sure enough, a boy, no more than 8 years old, was driving an old truck that had to be a stick shift. He wasn't just releasing the gas and allowing it to idle forward a little while sitting in a parent's lap or anything. He was alone and backing it up to a wood cutter. I can't back up as well as he did and I've been driving for 15 years!
He attempted to start the wood cutter, but was unsuccessful (doesn't everyone allow their 8 year-olds operate wood cutters?). It apeared that his job was to cut some wood and load up the truck. So he got back in the truck, shifted into gear, and very capably drove around and into the farm yard a little ways away. He soon returned and we could just imagine his father saying,
"You get back out there and get that thing started, just give it a little muscle!"
The last unique aspect that I'll tell you about was that with the house came a dog. Not just any dog, but an enormous white sheep dog of sorts. She could easily pass for a small horse, I imagine children had great fun riding her at one time. She apparently grew up at their house and is fed and cared for by some poeple up the street, but she basically resides at her original home under the front porch. She is old and docile and friendly and apparently keeps the coyotes at bay.
Where else would all this be accepted as non-chalantly as our friends did than in a quaint little in-the-middle-of-nowhere farming community?
It looks like it'll be fun place for them to live and for us to visit.

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