What's your community like?

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
What's your community like?
Fri, 07-15-2011 - 12:16pm

Reading the Potter thread got me thinking about how different our residential communities are.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Fri, 07-15-2011 - 2:47pm
tiny villages, mountains and lake

in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 07-15-2011 - 5:30pm

We live in a very large and diverse county in the USA. We have beaches on one side of the county and mountains on the other. I live in a rural town that is sort of at the base of the mountain range. We are one of the few "towns" left in the county. We're not small in population (about 60,000)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Fri, 07-15-2011 - 10:13pm

We live at 6200 feet in the mountains of trans Pecos Texas in a neighborhood of around 80 people in 30 or so houses and trailers. The nearest town (pop. 1000) is 16 miles away; the nearest McDonald's is 41, the nearest Wal-Mart, 100 miles, after citizens in the McDonald's town said No Way. Everybody here, regardless of political affiliation, is opposed to La Entrada de la Pacifica, the plan to bring 4000 to 6000 Mexican trucks with goods from Topolobampo to warehouses in Midland-Odessa, a plan made without regard for the environment or culture of the region. (Adding insult to injury is the fact that there's a perfectly good rail line, which could easily be upgraded to accommodate that amount of freight.) Our public schools are extra conservative, the university, a mix of liberal faculty and conservative administration. We lots of retirees, lots of tourists....which has led to real estate prices in the nearest towns that are totally beyond the reach of people with the median area income. The three nearest towns have 1000, 2000, and 6000 (not including students) people. There are lots of community events: barbecues, raffles, dances, auctions...fund raisers for scholarship funds, for families coping with illness or property loss, for the Humane Society, etc. Half of the town's high school students are in the band, half of the boys are on the football team. Friday nights in the fall are reserved for six man football. As almost the only string players in the county, dh and I have plenty of chances to play, but lessons on other instruments for our kids have been a complete bust. (Today I was discussing the possibility of lessons for dd17 via Skype with the teacher we left behind.) People generally feel pretty secure here...kids run around freely and most people don't "lock up", but bad stuff happens. For example, two three phase generators (total value $60,000) were stolen from a spot about 1/4 mile from our house, and common sense says it had to have been an inside job somehow...it seems unlikely that someone who knew the value of those generators would just happen by when they happened to be parked there. And there was the incident of the SUV that didn't belong, the woman who drove it, and the man who extracted a pillow case from underneath and took off into the underbrush. Yeah. We're too close to the border and the border is too porous to not keep our eyes open and our wits about us.

This email exchange shows a bit of the general tone "on the mountain":

Subject: I take full credit
Date: Thu, July 14, 2011 6:34 p

Yahoo! A real rain. This quasi-deluge is probably due
to the fact that I spent the afternoon loading the
mule (and its trailer) with limbs and yard refuse from
around my house. Now I have a load of wet stuff to take
to the tree limb dump and it is still raining. I will
keep the mule and the key to the community tool shed
overnight unless there are objections. I'm sure I
can finish up my yard work in the morning. If you
experience a burning desire to use the community
yard tools tonight, give me a call and I'll set
you up.

and a reply:

Subject: Re: I take full credit
Date: Fri, July 15, 2011 10:53 am

Dear Sam,
We need more rain. Please do our yard too.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
Sat, 07-16-2011 - 10:09am
We live in a small town bordering the a city of 5 million, so it's basically a suburb. It was a very small town of 2000 up to fifteen or so years ago, but has grown to about 18000, most of the growth occurring over the last ten years. It's very green here and there are plenty of forest paths within walking and biking distance. I regularly run or bike to the local lakes. People swim there and they are beautiful, but they can't compete with lakes in North America.
The people here are orderly, reserved, quite often ambitious. this goes as well for their children. Field hockey, horseback riding and soccer are big here and nearly everyone plays at least one musical instrument. Because the big city is so close, there is a huge selection of kids' activities. My kids do gymnastics, violin, orchestra, choir, and Odyssey of the Mind within biking distance. Most kids here bike to school, which is probably nothing unusual to the rest of you who have already posted.
The advantages here are that we have both nature and the city close by. The disadvantage is that there is little sense of community. The town is seen as an extension of the city, and the people here are too different and hectic to form real bonds. Kids here are pushed to achieve early on. It's seen both as an advantage and a real problem that many bright kids live in the area, because it leads to too much pressure from parents wondering if their kids will measure up. You can't send your kids to a high school that prepares them for university unless your child is in the top twenty percent and earns nearly perfect grades. The reason is that our town has more children than available schooling places. As a result, parents really worry when a child brings home a C around here, which seems unnatural to me. The flip side of there being so much pressure is that there is a cultural taboo concerning giftedness, especially academic giftedness, so it's not common to provide accommodations for gifted children. Exceptions are made for sports and the arts. Classical music in particular is big, big, big here.
On the up side, there are so many kids here it's easy to find playmates with common interests. And there's a sizable international community here. I'm hoping that when the dust settles, we'll find a way to mesh somehow.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sat, 07-16-2011 - 11:16am

We live in a suburb of 140,000, about 30 miles from a city of 2.5 million. Our only regret is the very conservative nature of people here - let's just say that we're not surrounded by a lot of other liberal, vegetarian, eco-conscious folks. ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Sat, 07-16-2011 - 8:19pm

We live in your "typical" New England small town... think town green with stone library, white church buildings, 4-H center, etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Sat, 07-16-2011 - 8:48pm
well, that brings it all back...

Just four years ago dh and dd (now 13) were preparing to drive to his new job, our one little car loaded with household basics (inflatable mattresses, folding chairs and table, kitchen kit and some clothes, eight musical instruments, and a cat. His job was to start on August 1st, but I'd had surgery for appendicitis less than a week before and I'd switched the moving date so that I and our two older kids could get more (not all) done and fly to meet him in time for our eldest to start his junior year in public school. We lived in a "typical New England town", too...only...a down at heels rundown former milltown, a town of 17,000 whose roads were informed by the waterways that snaked through and around town, the various bits connected by busy arterials that make walking and biking unappealing...a town with only 40% home ownership (more like a big city than a town) and over 50% of public school students eligible for free lunches. But...it was home for a decade and I still miss it sometimes. I wonder if I'll go back...we still own our house, should the economy get so bad that we lose our jobs here, and with them our rental house. But my parents infected me with the wanderlust early...and I hate the cold. Carpe Diem!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 07-17-2011 - 12:12am
Well, like we say, wait 10 minutes and it'll change. And what we're supposed to get next week better change, PDQ. My LAWN is just a big, brown, pathetic, crispy critter, where the occasional weed stands out in bright green bas-relief. Thank God I still can use my well to water my gardens, altho the stuff is so iron/sulfur concentrated, it comes out of the hose looking and smelling like spoilt tomato soup.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Mon, 07-18-2011 - 7:55am

Didn't realize that my post failed to post--here goes again.

We live in what is probably the most diverse county in the world.

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc248/gwennyc/b6yfcl.png<A href="http://s218.photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2002
Sat, 07-23-2011 - 11:56am

We live in a small town with lots of churches and a very nice football field.