dimanche, avril 15, 2007

Country roads in a lost paradise

A few days ago Wallace Township residents got a present from the Postal Service.

Stuck in along with the junk mail was a red envelope asking if we wanted to order our stamps through our mail carrier. Because we are in a rural area, he or she would drop them off in our mail box-we would not have to make the trip to the Post Office.

There's a delicious but poignant irony here. Wallace probably was rural twenty years ago-with a few developments here and there among the farms, the beautiful old houses, the hens and the trailers. While some residents still had to suffer views of the Turnpike in their back 40, it was an oasis of quirky loveliness just outside the sprawl of such townships as (we say this name so complacently here) Upper Uwchlan. Much of the township is still quite wonderful, offering picturesque vistas of sheep and spires. But though a lot of the land will remain undeveloped, it is by no means a rural area.

Even our postman, whose large Nordic build makes him look like he could have stepped right off a Viking ship, has a hip aura. Greeting him a day or so ago when he beeped the horn of his van in my driveway, I asked him about his girlfriend the artist. Turns out they are both artists. He pays the bills by driving the "rural" mail van, and she has an art gallery in Narberth.

As it happens, I live right up the street from our Post Office, so there is no real need for me to order stamps. But I still might do it for the thrill of pretending to be a natural fit with Wallace the way it was instead of the city girl who finally got the opportunity to have the best of both worlds, out here where the deer dare the SUVS and the lights of turnpike dance on the waters of Marsh Creek Lake at night, tomb of lost houses, and farms and fields.

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