I live just outside a small village that I am going to call Train Track Village. You know how, when you play with wooden train tracks, you make a village by taking a few random buildings - some wooden houses perhaps, a church maybe, or a post office - and set them on either side of the track? That's what this village looks like.
I live on one of those country roads where you must drive slowly so that you don't hit a deer or a wild turkey or one of my kids with his skateboard. The road is pretty quiet because it deadends into the railroad track. During hunting season, men with guns leave their pick-up trucks parked down near the railroad track while they head into the woods to get a deer. I've lived somewhere near this railroad track my whole life, unless you count sojourns to go get educated. When my house is very quiet, which is hardly ever, I can sometimes hear the trains going past, carrying passengers west to Chicago, or east and south to New York City. That rumbling sound that makes my home vibrate connects me to friends and relatives in both cities and to places along the way. Whenever a friend moves to a new city, I have to rearrange the train track inside my head to connect that friend to the real train track just down the road.
I work on an urban campus that is only nine miles away, located in the middle of Snowstorm City. Snowstorm City is big enough to have a symphony, a big university, a hockey team, a science museum, an art museum, and .... well, not much else. We get a lot of snow, and that's pretty much it.
I blog from my desk at home, in a room that faces west toward Chicago, with a view that includes pine trees and often a flock of wild turkeys. I am surrounded by shelves overflowing with books and a scattered assortment of feathers, rocks, and seashells. The floor of my home office is usually littered with stacks of books and folders full of important stuff that I will get to someday. I often share my chair with a cat, which causes yowls if I lean back too quickly. So I write from the middle of nowhere, connected to the outside world by books, telephone, internet, and the train track down the road.