1. You can actually see the stars. The first few months I lived here, I baffled my New Hampshire boyfriend every time I looked up and exclaimed, “WOW! THE STARS!” I still have moments where I’m taken aback by clear night skies. (and I hope this will never change.)
2. Your neighbors watch out for you. One day last year I came home and my key wouldn’t unlock the front door. There was grease on the doorknob and a window on the first floor looked suspiciously tampered with. Confused and a little creeped out, I went to my neighbor, who fiddled with my lock, then gave me the number to a locksmith. Sensing that I’d like the company, he waited with me for the locksmith to come. While I bit my nails in my front yard, he reassured me with a story that ran in the newspaper about three teenage kids who broke into someone’s home to drink gin from the liquor cabinet and have an impromptu dance party. “When the cops came,” my neighbor told me, “The t.v was on HBO and there was an empty bag of goldfish on the coffee table.” For the next few days, my neighbor checked on me periodically.
3. You don’t have to pick up your dog’s poop. (Kidding!) You absolutely do. Unless it’s in the woods. Off the trail. Under a pile of leaves.
4. Networking is easy. Towns like these want connections to happen. Everybody knows everybody. My friend once posted a status on Facebook asking if anyone had an extra queen bed for her guest room. Within 3 hours, she was pulling a mattress across someone’s yard – it was a friend of a friend’s in the neighborhood. In general, I try to steer away from the word community because it makes me think of liberal arts college tours and extra curricular high school essays, but in this town, there’s a real sense of it.
5. You can’t go shopping, ever. This is a very helpful thing. My bank account likes Woods Hole. Occasionally, my friends and I will plan a Saturday afternoon “trip to the mall.” I’ll buy a shirt from the Gap and have some fries at the food court and it is all together a special occasion. Bonus: not being able to shop makes grocery shopping very fun.
6. The library knows what you like to read. The restaurants know what you like to eat. The sandwich guy at the market knows about the “extra pickles” thing….