I’m about to enter the market for a new place to live. About is relative in a college town: with the freshman search for housing and the departure of graduates there’s a cycle that requires a decision on staying or leaving seven months before it happens. So I’m in the market for July. Everything happens in an atmosphere of imminent change.

So far, I’ve been spending a small amount of time wandering around a very small rural community about 25 miles from the roar of State College. I’ve had coffee in their coffeeshop, attended a wonderful event at their art gallery, and sketched on the street. They have internet access, they have a library, they have a bank, a craft brewery/restaurant, some cozy music venues, a laundromat, and one traffic light. One.

I’m not planning on basing my decision on the laundromat. It’s hard to tell if it will be around. But everything else, even the occasional horse and buggy, seems permanent. There’s much more to look at, certainly—an actual apartment, for instance—but so far, everything, including me, seems to be in a good place.