Having spent my whole life in the city, everything I know about country life is from what I’ve seen in the movies.
This, I figured out, is not an entirely accurate representation of country living. These people are not small-minded or uneducated. They aren’t unusually wary of outsiders. Country people, like most places, have a legitimately strong sense of community. Last February, my girlfriend and I stayed at her parent’s ski lodge in the mountains. We were both a little nervous about being so far removed from civilization. We couldn’t even see the nearest neighbors. There was nothing around us but trees, mountains and wilderness. We did remember to bring some provisions, but we didn’t feel totally prepared. We quickly got into trouble when we realized there was no gas furnace or any type of central heating installed in the lodge. We spent way too long searching around for a thermostat before coming to the conclusion that there wasn’t one! The only heating in the house was from the fireplace. This was not a natural gas powered fireplace. It was a legitimate wood burning fireplace made of bricks. We were expected to chop and drag wood inside. This was rather intimidating because neither one of us knew how to go about making a fire. We were only familiar with a central furnace for heating. I knew there would be a flue in the chimney and we’d need to make sure it was open or we’d smoke ourselves out. Beyond that, we were both completely clueless. Fortunately, a neighbor showed up at the door and said he figured we’d need help getting the fire started.