The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Signs You Live In A Rural Community

As I have moved up here to the Great North Woods, I am slowly compiling a list of things that indicate that you live in a small, rural community. I may add to this list as the days go on, but this is a pretty good start, I'd think. (EDIT: Added items are in italics)
  1. There are chicken feeding along the side of the road - not less than a block away from the city limits.
  2. The ratio of bars-to-churches in town is remarkably close to 1:1.
  3. You can count the number of stoplights in the city on one hand.
  4. The largest store in the city/town's downtown area is a hardware store.
  5. The largest store in the city - is Wal-Mart.
  6. The post office closes early on Saturdays.
  7. Houses in town have at least one pickup truck, boat or motor home in the driveway.
  8. Entertainment includes going to the part of town that was damaged in the last tornado, or the last big fire that happened to that one house.
  9. Even though the city isn't all that big, you can't physically get from one side to the other directly - either due to a man-made (railroad, freeway) or a natural (river, lake, mountain, whatever) feature.
  10. Your primary hospital is a clinic for a medical group based in another county.
  11. Nothing is open 24 hours - not even the local Walgreens located near downtown.
  12. Your local newspaper is a one-page sheet that covers the front page of another paper from a nearby town.
  13. The closest fast food restaurant to the middle of town is either a Hardees or a Dairy Queen.
  14. The Dairy Queen closes in mid-October. 
  15. You have a 30-minute or more drive to the nearest Starbucks.
  16. There is no Menards, Lowe's, Home Depot nor Farm & Fleet in the city.
  17. You have to dial the area code to call a local phone number.
  18. You have to use satellite radio to listen to practically anything in your car, since there are about three radio stations in the listening area. 
  19. The side roads aren't even touched by plows or salters/sanders after a snowstorm. 
  20. The local municipality uses sand on the roads - when they use them. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Great North Woods

I'm not 100% moved up here, but I've got about two-thirds of my stuff here in wonderful Merrill, Wisconsin.

A few things I've observed en route:
  1. The primary difference between here and SE Wisconsin is that there are more driveways between patches of trees downstate. Here, there's nothing but road and trees.
  2. I've always joked about the weather here in Wisconsin, but Tuesday was the day I actually experienced snow flurries in the morning and sunny skies and (relatively) warm weather in the afternoon.
  3. I have seen the devastation from the April 10th tornado first-hand up here. There's still balled-up sections of steel around the industrial park, and the MARC's Smith Center is still damaged (though nothing like this one building that looked like an explosion had hit it).
  4. I've come to realize two things about my choice of residence:
  5. First, I decided to live on the wrong side of the city of Merrill, as it will be an adventure to get to LHS from where I live. I will have to drive (at least part of the way) through downtown Merrill to get there. Second, my commute is going to be disrupted by bridge repair work on one of the seemingly hundreds of bridges over the Wisconsin River. Seriously: one lane with a stoplight? What, the three stoplights this town has isn't enough?
  6. The Wisconsin River is now going to be my "guidepost" for which direction I'm headed. Unless, of course, I head down to civilization (aka "Wausau").
  7. I honestly forgot how much moving COSTS. I'm keeping receipts and am planning on deducting EVERYTHING on my taxes next year, unless my employer finally breaks down and reimburses me for a few things. Of course, this IS the State of Wisconsin we're talking about.
  8. This town seriously needs a Starbucks and an Aldi's.