One of the assumptions that might be made about living in the middle of nowhere is that it's a harsh, simple life. Limited entertainment, limited options, etc. This was true when I was growing up out here. Televisual entertainment was limited to three, or sometimes four or five, channels. Where we were at in Northern Illinois we could get the three major networks out of Rockford - ABC, CBS, and NBC. Occasionally we would get a couple of additional channels - 9 out of Chicago 9 - WGN - which carried the Cubs games, I guess, but more importantly carried The Bozo Show - and channel 32, which featured Son of Svengoolie, among other televisual delights.

If this sounds like I'm trying to make something big out of something pretty limited, you're right. It was what we had.

What made access to those far away channels even worse was that they made us aware of exotic possibilities in far away lands - the Old Chicago amusement park, shopping at Insurance Liquidators, or buying carpet from Empire. There was always the promise of things I could have, if only I lived in a more urban, more cosmopolitan location.

A delightful reality of the modern age is that most of those limitations have been eliminated. Want something? Order it from Amazon - it will be here within a couple of days.

Yes - things are different now. This very evening I'm playing Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie with LB and her cousins. They started out on the XBox One and then moved on to the iPads so that we could play a cooperative game together. Delightful.

The game is afoot

The upshot of all this? It's no longer the major sacrifice it once was to live out in the country. It's true that our home is still well off the beaten track. Still, with the Internet in its various forms, and delivery services being what they are now, it's not a life where the trade off for peace and quiet is deprivation (we can even get a pizza delivered out here). Rather, you can access the things you want and the big city - if it really seems necessary - is an hour down the road (Rockford) or an hour and a half away (Chicago) by rail.