Tonawanda News

Columns

August 28, 2013

CONFER: Farm living is the life for me

Tonawanda News — I quite often get into discussions with folks from the Big City who wonder why I choose to live in rural Eastern Niagara County which is, in their eyes, so far away from everything.

Those folks from Amherst/Williamsville cite how they are just blocks, or a couple of miles at most, away from every store, restaurant, theatre or any other amenity that young families would ever want. “Quality of life” is their recurring mantra.

They see my rural way of life, and that lived by residents in neighboring small towns like Middleport and Newfane, as almost alien.

I see theirs in the same light and wonder what sort of quality of life can be appreciated solely on the basis of consumption. Millions of Americans dwell in densely populated suburbs and cities. What good are all of those places when the average family might be able to afford to visit them once, maybe twice, a week, or delve into debt to do so more often?

To country dwellers, quality of life is more than just the immediate and accessible consumption of a bunch of fancy dinners, consumer goods or the hippest movie. It’s about appreciating the simple things in life, mostly making memories with family and friends in the out-of-doors.

I look at the postage stamp lawns and jail-like fenced-in properties of the Williamsville types and wonder who would want that. Those of us who live out in the country have lawns and properties larger by multiples, where we can appreciate regular close encounters with wildlife and let our children roam, playing and learning in great amounts of wide-open space, rather than the confines of their living rooms and in the constant company of the latest video game.

Similarly, I look at the lack of public play space in the Big City and I take pride in our abundance of ball diamonds, soccer fields and playgrounds out in the country. While kids in our neck of the woods get together by playing sports, the suburban kids hang out at the mall.

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Columns
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  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

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  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

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  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

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  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

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