Census takers who work in the city walk block after block knocking on doors, carrying all of the forms and manuals along with them. They sometimes feel like beasts of burden, but at least the houses follow a predictable pattern, and more often than not are right where one would expect them to be.
Not so in the country. We have the luxury of carrying our offices (the passenger seat) with us while driving down charming winding roads. Finding what we are looking for though: that can be difficult. People sell off pieces of land, houses get sandwiched in, and it seems like addresses get slapped on willy nilly, with no real master plan. Trailers or sheds get turned into living quarters, whole properties get fenced off with no way to know what is going on back there, and not everyone is thrilled to be asked a few fairly unintrusive questions, even with the promise of federal dollars being pumped into the community in direct proportion to the numbers counted by us, the always polite, unfailingly friendly government workers who dare to set foot on their sacred ground.
Don’t get me wrong. People are people, no matter where they live, and these McMansions on the hill have more than their share of folks who treat them as fortresses and us as marauding invaders out to strip them of…what? And just as many warm welcomes and offerings of ice water and a seat in the shade. I am sure that you, gentle readers, would all fall into the latter category.