The Quiet Perks of Living Nowhere

There are times I miss living in a city, like when I just want someone to vacuum my car for me, or when I'd like a wide variety at a consignment store. Forget mall Santas or mall Easter bunnies. But there are many perks, like seeing real Easter bunnies, or the excitement and awe that overcomes all the children here when out of nowhere they turn around and gasp, "LOOK! A PLANE!" And there it is 20,000 feet up, probably on its way from Canada to somewhere more important than here. This particular morning, with mud boots on and a trunk full of camera gear, the children and I headed toward the coast to escape the last of the snow, stopping along the way for astonishing landscapes, ultimately in search of bunnies. Most people would see dead grass and an almost unnoticeable roadside sign "bunnys for sale." But I see long heather grass rising in the wind, triumphant in patches and strands. The Earth is breathing again. And newborn bunnies are finally here. Spring is here.

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I asked the man his name.

"Ah-thah." (Arthur. It took me a minute, though.) They sell the bunnies for meat and for breeding and some for pets, too. His best breeder was a really mean bunny, so she was in a separate cage outside. (I never thought of bunnies as mean before.) In the back were many raised beds, where he told me his summer income is excavating landscaping rocks from the mountain as well as from selling his 30 rows of tall gladiolus. People stop and buy them on their way to the coast and back.

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They fed every bunny in there and loved playing with the corncobs, too.

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The pigs he keeps for meat for his family as well as for profit.

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The hunting dogs he told me he'd been offered $5,000 for one of them. But he won't sell. In the winter, they are their livelihood; the dogs hunt bobcats, and he showed me some pictures of some impressively large kills. You could eat for a month or 6 weeks on just one animal. Then it occurred to me; the nearest grocery store was probably pretty far. I guess during the winter you've got to be prepared. It's a different life out here.