"I'm not a hillbilly, I'm a hillwilliam"
"Lotta cows" is the first thing I say to people when they ask about where I live. You say Connecticut, and what people think of actually looks more like Martha's Vineyard.
It's not like that here.
We're getting close to 1500 people, but there's cows mainly, and in the spring, when the honey-wagon goes by, it gets all over the road and on your tires, and the air is redolent of water, wet dirt, and cow-poop.
We have small government. I'm all for that, except that means when you want to pay your taxes, the tax collector is in only a few hours a day, 3 days a week, and since she walks her dogs on my road, I have to be careful to not run her over. When I went to vote in the local elections, the woman taking street names commented loudly (by name) on who hadn't showed up from my street.
We have one stoplight - left to the church, the library, and the primary school, right to the package store, or the inn/bar/restaurant.
Since we are still shaking off our blue laws, the package store is only recently open on Sundays from 12-5, but I leave town to buy booze because golly, word does get around here.
I lived on one of the main roads with my family from age 3 to age 25. After two years of house-hunting all over the northwest corner of Connecticut, even extending into New York state, I wound up buying a house 6 minutes from my folks. My brother moved in with me. After we lived there for a year and a half, I found out a bunch of my neighbors thought we were a couple. We bought a Christmas tree from them anyway. You have to drive slow on their corner because their old dogs like to lie out in the sun right by the road.
Henry Kissinger lives nearby. I have a sneaking suspicion he might have been dead for about 20 years and they just fly his sarcophagus back and forth by helicopter. My house is in the flight pattern. When there's a lot of activity, I remember to check the news.
Wildlife? Yup. I was running some errands the other day, and the traffic (3 cars) stopped to let a rafter of turkeys (about 30 of 'em) cross the road.
Deer are a nuisance, hawks are everywhere, large/medium/small-sized owls, bobcats on my road regularly, foxes, rabbits, and other miscellaneous varmints, and you can hear the coyotes out in the fields in the wee hours.
We're SO rural, "nuisance bears" (which are bears that've had the audacity to show up in a city) get relocated here.
Last time I checked (because Connecticut uses taxpayer money to track the movements of nuisance bears,) we'd had the legal maximum of 28 re-homed to this town. 34 sightings in the last year. Might just be one bear that gets around a lot.
They don't look like movie bears, they look like a very leanly muscular large man wearing a bear suit and walking on all fours. It's unsettling, and beautiful.
I drive 40 minutes to get to my church. I pass a bunch of churches. The Congregational one in town is fairly well attended for services, and remarkably well attended when they host a "supper". This is the other side of the coin. For all the gossip and politics, if you can get in with the right group of old townies, everyone loves you. Your first 20 years in a town may be ignored, and you might be okay with that. I live a half-mile from the guy that babysat us as kids, and HIS brother lives with him, and delivers our UPS packages. You'd feel like the sky was closing in, but there's enough trees and negative space to keep it pushed back.
There's no high school. You go a couple towns over to the regional high, shared by 4 towns. My graduating class would have been about 50 kids. I was homeschooled, and it was good, but it wasn't hip then.
We don't have our own post office, the mail gets split between two other small towns. I'm currently locked in a feud with my passive-aggressive mailman, who won't stop delivering mail addressed to the previous homeowners (who haven't lived there in 4 years).
My best friend briefly dated the son of those previous owners, a fact we didn't discover until last year, when I got a piece of mail addressed to the son and put the pieces together.
We've got about 28 square miles in this town. There's a reservoir, a couple parcels back behind my house, that provides water to a city of 110,000, which also covers about 28 square miles.
We have 1500 people, again. I share a driveway with some deeply crazy neighbors, and it's a stretch sometimes. Our sense of space is tied so deeply to where we're from. I like open space and at times would wish to be far more isolated. Gas = 10 minutes away, expensive groceries = 15 minutes away, affordable groceries = 45 minutes, Target = 45 minutes, my favorite bar = 30 minutes, the mall = 45 minutes (but I hate the mall, so I can live with that), the nearest airport is almost an hour and a half. You get to be good at driving.
Some of it sucks. I like Indian food (one hour), record stores (at least an hour and a half), live shows (at least an hour, up to two hours). A really good coffee is generally near the live music. You get accustomed to this, and you can plan around it. I don't mind driving to visit my friends, but some people are actually SCARED to drive into the woods to visit me. Heh. If I've learned anything from post-apocalyptic dystopian movies and TV, it's that the woods is where you want to be when the world is crumbling.