Thursday, December 11, 2008


ru·ral - adj
1. outside city: found in or living in the country
2. typical of country: relating to or characteristic of the country or country living
3. agricultural: relating to, characteristic of, or involving farming
[15th century. Via French <>

(Why am I disturbed now that 'rural' is French?)

When we first moved out here, the concept of 'rural' only seemed to relate to the fact that you had to purchase land in only four-acre parcels or more.

Then 'rural' became as buzzword around here for classy and 'expensive housing down Three Canyons.'
Then people realized that 'rural' encompassed all the manufactured homes out here in the main valley, and suddenly it wasn't quite as cool.

But for me, 'rural' has always been associated with horses - cows - pastures - barns. And after living out here for going on eight years, it's expanded to include coyotes (human ones also - another element of living on the Mexican border), hawks and gazllions of bunny rabbits, field mice that take up residence in your house for the entire winter, and ants which, thankfully,so far have keep their residences outside.

And now the term 'rural' is becoming a battle-cry. A Californian company (and I cannot tell you how much it bothers me, as a native Californian, to use that term in the derogatory tone that Arizonans use commonly and that I am using right here) applied, and almost got, a county permit to put (get this) LIT BILLBOARDS on one of our main county roads (if you want to get to Tucson from Sierra Vista, you take this road or go a long, long ways around to get to any other connecting paved road).

Suddenly, the 2009 calendar of the county Planning and Zoning Commission has become an essential item of knowledge. Millions... well, maybe thousands... okay, dozens - maybe - have resolved to keep on the agenda of the P&Z and make certain that this desecration NEVER is attempted AGAIN.
Come on, lights - we're ready for battle. We're fighting for the dark side.