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Lost in the woods, or stolen?

I've long been a proponent of our North Country way of life. It remains a slice of small town America at its best. We live in a familiar place where we know our neighbors.

It's a good feeling to walk down Main Street and say "hello" to the people you meet on a first name basis. And if you don't know their first name, you probably still know their parents.

It's a staple of our existence, we look after each other. We eagerly lend a hand when needed. And it goes without saying, that for such simple favors, nothing is asked nor expected beyond a hardy thank you or a kind pat on the back.

The notion of accepting a monetary reward for shoveling a neighbor's car out from under a snowdrift is unheard of. I guess this is due to the understanding that someday the favor will be returned, whether with a tow out of the mud or a jump-start on a cold winter's morn.

We remember, what goes around comes around. Good deeds or bad deeds, they always return to the owner.

In that same vein of reasoning, many local folks still leave their house doors unlocked and their keys in the car. Often an empty car is found running in front of a local post office or a purse is left behind at the grocery store counter.

In most cases, nothing terrible happens. Someone will turn the car off or call about the misplaced purse. As a group, we don't live in fear of such things as identity theft; why would we? Up here, everybody knows each other and we like it that way.

Maybe it's because we're a sentimental lot and we want to hold onto the innocence of that old familiar, small town charm. It used to be that way; but times are changing. Sadly, we're going to have to change too.

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