When I was 11 years old, I started the yearly tradition of spending two weeks every summer with my maternal grandmother in in the “city.” Having grown up on a farm without running water or phone service, staying with my grandmother was an adventure in more ways than one. At Grandmother’s house, you could use the restroom without going outside; taking a bath didn’t involve heating water on the stove; and, rather than sounds of cows and tractors coming from the window, there was a train whistle and the screen doors of other houses slapping closed – which leads me to the biggest difference of all: the presence of other people. Lots of people. Lots of different people.

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