I live at the edge of the city limits of Wimberley where my neighbors are out of sight and the nearest store is a couple of miles away. The four chickens who live in the chicken coop down the hill are cranking out so many eggs that my spouse and I are supplying all the neighbors with free eggs. We feel live we live in a rural community with all the benefits of quiet surroundings, wildlife with four legs,  and friendly neighbors sharing a modicum of frontier spirit.256px-Grant_Wood_-_American_Gothic_-_Google_Art_Project

However are we really in a rural area? Austin is 45 minutes to the North East and San Marcos (20 miles East) may be re-classified as a “small urbanized area” and that would disqualify them from funds set aside for rural transportation, like the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) buses.

Might we become a “small urbanized area” too?

How to know?

There is an on-line resource center for rural programs for the elderly. It’s called the Rural Assistance Center.  It’s not a new operation nor probably unknown to the majority of our regular readers.

To digress for a moment, this is what the center does. “A product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Initiative, the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in December 2002 as a rural health and human services ‘information portal.’ RAC helps rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents.” (From the RAC About page)

Now back to the fun and relevant feature of the web site. Ever wonder if you actually live in a rural area? Well, if like me you do, then you can check your address at the Am I Rural feature of the RAC. Enter your address and it will check a bunch of Federal databases and tell you under which Federal classifications your one acre falls.

I put in my address and after much whirling of gears and clacking of electrons I learned that I’m rural in every category and a Medically Underserved Area as well.

Join us for a real-time discussion about questions raised by this essay on Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/cjfx9ag.

Today’s image is of American Gothic a classic painting of rural Americana by Grant Wood. This image of the painting is in the Public Domain.