Crowds, People, and Strangers?

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I’ve often been told and have heard this self-perceived proud gloating about remote, rural country-living:  “Living out in the country away from huge crowds, rude impolite strangers, horrible traffic and congestion, and high crime-rates are the best reasons not to live in the big city.“ Where I am currently living, in the central Hill Country of Texas, I am often offered this sort of bragging. I find it a very odd mindset and perception by “sweet ole” country folks. Almost naïve, if I must admit.


I was born and raised in one of Texas’ largest cities, Dallas. From only 682,000 people inside the official city-limits, Dallas has grown now to 1,300,092 in 2016. That number is strictly within the narrow city-limits. Today, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex has a 2016 population nearing 7.2-million! Though not as large as say New York or Los Angeles, DFW is not moderately sized by any means. And with that size and diversity comes a plethora of wonderful benefits, like the Fine Arts, endless huge libraries scattered about, auditoriums, theaters, museums and sports stadiums, a very wide job-market, and in particular the means and resources to be environmentally responsibly Green! Huge perk there! Nonetheless, yes… Dallas-Ft. Worth does have its drawbacks like crime and traffic just like any major city in the U.S. and around the world.


Dallas Skyline before Sunset 612 3


But are those drawbacks due to a location or region, or are they results of crowds, people, individuals and strangers in a strange or familiar home or place? Is it related to a number of people squeezed together or is it a fluctuating degree of people-skills, education, collaboration? Here’s the million-dollar question:  What is really implied by gloating about one’s geographical home/house or culture? I’d like to honestly understand.

As some/many of you know, I am currently displaced from my big city home and culture of Dallas, Texas. Due to family (mis)givings I am in that heaven-like(?) rural, remote small country town getting my elderly widowed Mom’s house emptied and her moved out of this large 10-acre ranchita home. We are a minimum of 66-miles from the nearest city. With that privacy and peace-of-mind, as many “round these parts” would boast, there are also some significant DISadvantages to this lifestyle. First and foremost, fast emergency attention from EMT’s! When Mom’s late husband had a critical heart-attack in 2006, it took the ambulance and EMT’s nearly 30-minutes to arrive out here, partly because there were only two ambulance services here serving about a 25-mile or more radius.

Second, and as we discovered last year needing to dispose of an old cathode ray tube (CRT) 24″ television, not only did the local garbage pickup company not accept these TV’s for the landfill, but all local businesses or recycling centers would not either. It took near two weeks to finally find an off-the-beaten-path junkyard business to reluctantly take ours, for free!

One year later we are back here again. Now it is her 44″ CRT television that weighs about as much as a small elephant! I would know, because I am the one who strained my legs, arms, and back just to get it out of the entertainment cabinet and onto the tow-dolly in front of the cabinet — only to move it 50-yards to the back patio out the wide sliding-glass doors; the only exit it would fit through. Getting out of bed the next morning I’m sure I looked like a drunk turtle on its back, legs barely swaying in the air looking for something to grab! Hell, if I had needed fast emergency care for paralysis, I’d be waiting for at least 30-minutes, which in that painfully forsaken time I could have hot tea and toast… country-style!

log cabin livingWithout delay I get on the internet and search for some business, some Green recycling establishments nearby to come and pickup this dead goliath-of-entertainment and dispose of it properly. Snap! I find no less than three! I continue reading all the various junk-items that they happily come and pickup — just type in your zip code it says and they’ll arrange for pickup. Wow, I am totally stoked about this solution! Three minutes later, “I’m sorry sir. We do not service that area. It is simply too far, too remote.“ Talk about total deflation. We ask if they have any recommendations. “Go onto the internet and Google TV removal/disposal.” As I already discovered, all the other recycling establishments were in the same large city… yes, 66-miles away.

It begs the question: What is it again you remote country folks love about being so secluded out here away from the crowds, people, traffic, strangers and individuals — and their oft needed help and businesses — that makes this sort of living heavenish!? Where do all of you take or place your trash that landfills won’t accept? What exactly is being burned — once the burn-ban is lifted locally — around town and its outskirts? Because I always see white, blue-ish, or black smoke billowing up into our atmosphere? Oh! Another question:  When the poor or homeless or lower-middle class here cannot afford (by law) automobile* liability insurance, or driver’s license fees, or even gasoline to put IN the automobile,* is there any (very affordable) public transportation available? Which by the way, greatly cuts down on carbon emissions if utilized by more and more caring citizens! And one nationally growing medical healthcare concern is rising dementia and Alzheimer’s disease among our retired and aging. Medical research has shown that if a brain remains actively stimulated and challenged, especially during the last half of life, dementia and Alzheimer’s are noticeably reduced! Ahh, large cities and the hustle-n-bustle of many diverse people certainly offer healthy brain-game exercises! So again…

What is so grand about living far away from crowds, people, and (temporary?) strangers of whom you might one day require their kind assistance or ideal business? Tell me again?

Should we rethink this mentality? Should we better define what “community” means… fairly and accurately on several scales?

(paragraph break)

*Sidenote — when on the streets of this small country town, it becomes glaringly obvious that 75% – 80% of vehicles on the roads here are big trucks or SUV’s.


Ric Wells Added May 19, 2017 - 12:09am
There are pros and cons no matter where you live. It's what you make of it. I've lived in all types of environs.
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 19, 2017 - 3:54am
Country people's definition of rude is laughable.
Sitting staring at someone because they're "not from around here are ya" isn't rude to their country asses, minding everyone's business rather than just tending to their own isn't rude to their country asses, having no place to go and all day to get there right in front of you isn't rude to their country asses, ignoring you while taking care of every one of their country assed friends before taking care of you isn't rude to their country asses, Wasting valuable time adding all sorts of unnecessary proclamations of false modesty to a conversation isn't rude to their country asses, never ever accepting you because your granddaddy didn't go to school with their granddaddy isn't rude to their country asses, acting like you're insulting them by speaking in the non-country assed manner you learned isn't rude to their country asses.
Yep, city folk are just plain rude. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 19, 2017 - 3:56am
If'n ewe don' lahk et why'n ewe kin jus' git tha fuck ouwt!
Thomas Sutrina Added May 19, 2017 - 9:58am
Texas has only a few cities taken over by liberal government, Democrats.  Most of the coastal cities and rust belt states to the Mississippi have Democrat liberal government especially in the big cities.  They give out welfare like candy and disarm the citizens.  So the criminals which by definition do not follow the law, armed up.  And Obama put down the police which raised the criminal.  Come enjoy their cities.  
I found a balance is needed in the size of the city.  Look for a city that just can afford a police and fire departments.  
Gerard Oosterman Added May 19, 2017 - 7:57pm
Thomas Sutrina;
The US giving out 'welfare like candy?' Are you sure you talk about the US and not most European countries?
The US expenditure per capita on welfare is very low and certainly not in the league of 'candy.'
Jeff Michka Added Jun 17, 2017 - 8:12pm
The Sutrino decays quickly as a subhuman particle: Look for a city that just can afford a police and fire departments.- Move there Sutrino.  A subhuman particle doesn't need water, sewers or any other public infrastructure. I JUST THOUGHT YOU A TYPICAL WB RIGHTIST, BUT READING YOUR COMMENTS HERE PROVE YOU ARE BASICALLY A LOW-GRADE MORON.