We moved 15 miles outside of town. Now, when we were living inside town it took us 15 minutes to get to the nearest grocery due to traffic, lights, pedestrians, etc. It still takes us 15 minutes to get to the nearest grocery 15 miles away because unless someone is trying to move a house with a pint sized pickup and a fork lift (yes, this has happened), there is no traffic and most of the trip is on a highway. In spite of the fact that it takes as long to get 5 blocks in town as it does to get 15 miles outside town, once you move to an unincorporated area you have essentially fallen off the edge of a flat earth as far as the utilities are concerned.

Along with the waits on various aspects of construction due to weather, schedules, Coors and such, we also had to wait for the various utility companies to show up to check wiring, trenches for wiring, connections for wiring, boxes for wiring, changes to the main box a mile away, changes in the substations, and waiting for the surface of the flat earth to extend to encompass our property. Each tiny step forward with phone wiring and electrical wiring required a wait for some sort of check or inspection or work elsewhere. This would have ordinarily been a good thing due to the heavy Coors consumption on the part of the fellow in charge of actually building much of our house. I know I certainly felt better knowing that a utility company employee had to go behind our builder (not picking up empty cans mind you, we had to do that later) and make sure no previously installed lines were trenched through, lines were installed where they were supposed to be installed (well, they missed one which irks me to this day), and the boxes were wired correctly (perhaps they’d started sharing the Coors by that time). Unfortunately, we moved out into undeveloped desert, which meant we had some pretty nasty wildlife residents who were here first, staked their claim and weren’t about to give up that sunny spot just because there was a patio on it now. I needed to be able to dial 911 if necessary.

All told, it took almost 8 months to get a telephone, Quest didn’t care about our rattlesnake problems, and 8 years later the service still isn’t the best even though there are several thousand more families living out here at the edge of reason and thought. I shouldn’t complain, it took 6 years to convince the post office to deliver mail to my house at the end of a gravel road because the mailman hadn’t bothered to look around a mesquite tree to see that the road continued another 1/4 mile. More on the mailman later.