I have a lot of city friends who wonder just how on earth we don’t all die of boredom, living out here in the sticks like we do, without benefit of museums and concerts and shopping centers and all. I have to say, I am generally so busy I don’t get to take advantage of everything my little town (800  folks) has to offer.

If the world slows down the way I expect it to, we may all be going back to this kind of entertainment so I thought I would share just how we spend our free time. We actually have a museum. I think a lot of small towns do. Historical museums are a lot of fun and if you have one, support it. Ours has bunches of old time tools. It is interesting to see how families did things 150 years ago and figure out how you could do those things again. I am paying close attention to the tools that were used to harvest ice. If we had no refrigeration, ice houses would come back into fashion pretty quick. I visit our museum a couple of times a year. The kids love the general store and the old toys.

We have a lot of terrific amateur musicians and concerts are pretty common. I am a big fan of Dick Kitchen and the Appliances. Not only is the music wonderful but Dick Kitchen is an amazing artist. He welds old farm and kitchen equipment into the most amazing creations. He has an exhibit on the library lawn right now. I wish I could afford to buy one of his pieces but they are way out of my price range.

Auctions are another fun diversion. A lot of our local organizations hold them as fund raisers. People donate the most beautiful and original stuff. You can bid on a quilt or locally spun yarn, syrup, art, furniture or a load of compost( the biggest bids go for the compost). Our local cooks bring platters of their best goodies, peanut butter bars with gooey chocolate sauce, lenom bars with confectioner surgar topping and home made eclairs. There is no alcohol served but we always have gallons of cider and pots of hot coffee.

Contra and square dances are the most fun you can have without breaking any laws. 3 year olds dance along side of grandmothers and teens. I have never noticed a generation gap at a contra dance.

If you have a town softball league you have all the Sunday afternoon entertainment you need. Add in a couple if fire department pig roasts, home coming picnic, agricultural fair and a church sponsered ice cream social or two and it’s a wonder we ever get our gardening done.

I have just scratched the surface. We have book clubs, play groups, knitting guilds and 4-H. Ten Our little grocery store and deli, the Creamery, holds and open night mike on Tuesday’s, monthly tastings of chocolat, vinegar or olive oil. Just going for coffee is fun. We get to sit a bit and catch up with local politics, complain about the government and check the bulliten board to see if our neighbor had their baby yet.

Most everybody who lives in the country likes to watch birds, hunt, collect mushrooms, garden or find some way to spend a lot of time outside. We go for a lot of walks.

Tonight, a bunch of us from the Sustainability Group are getting together for dinner. It’s just soup and bread and we will all contribute something delicious.

I hate the whole idea of “going out”. Most times, the noise is unbearable and there is this frenetic energy, like people have spent all this money and they are determined to have a good time. The laughter feels forced and the smiles look pasted on. It is too much for me-too much make up,too much alcohol,too much food, too much screeching laughter, too much money. A peak oil world will be hard for a lot of people and I don’t want to be insensitive to the people who have been hurt by this economic crash but there is another way to live. It’s slower than that other life. It may lack the big HURRAH factor of  a night in the big ciy but it’s a good life. It works for me.