Living in a flat, or even in a city house, we do not know, nor care to know, who the people above or next door to us may be; and they are in precisely the same position with regard to us. Mere adjacency gives us no claim upon their acquaintance, nor does it put us at the mercy of their insistence. Our calling list is not governed by locality, and we can cut it as we wish without embarrassment. Choice is not so easy in the suburb. There, willynilly, we must know our neighbors and be known by them. Fortunately, in most instances they will be found to be of the right sort, if not fully congenial.
The theater, too, must become rather a red-letter diversion than a regular feature of our existence, if it has been so. Whatever enthusiasm we may possess for the opera, an occasional visit, with its midnight return, will soon come to satisfy us. Our pet lectures, club life, participation in public affairs, frequent mail delivery, convenience of shopping, two-minute car service, and freedom from time tables - these suggest what we have to put behind us when we pass the city gates.
It is also the part of wisdom not to forget that, though the country is alive with delights for us when all nature is garbed in green and the songbirds carol in the elms and maples, there cometh a time - if we are of the north - when fur caps are in season, the coal scoop is in every man's hand, the snow shovel splintereth, and the lawn mower is at rest. Then it is that our allegiance to conn-try life will be strained, if ever - particularly if we have provided ourselves with a ten-minute walk to the station. Wading through snow against a winter wind, we see the "agreeable constitutional" of the milder days in a different light.
We should think of all these things, and of some' sacrifices purely personal. It is better to think now than after the moving man's bill has come in. Reason as we may, regrets will come, perhaps loneliness. But the compensations, if we have chosen wisely, will be increasingly apparent, and we shall be the very exceptions of exceptions if, before the second summer has passed, we are not wedded beyond divorce to the new home.
Once determined upon forswearing urban residence, a multitude of considerations arise. First of these is "Which place?" Our suburban towns have been developed in two ways. Some are
"made to order," while others were originally rural villages but have come under metropolitan influence. Living in the latter is likely to be less expensive, and local life may have more of a distinctive character; but the husk of the past is almost certain to be evident in the mixture of old and modern houses and in a certain offish separation of the native and incoming elements. The "made-to-order " town is likely to exhibit better streets and sidewalks, to be more capably cared for, to be freer from shanties, and to possess no saloons. Land and living may demand greater expenditure, but they will be worth the difference.