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Amazon Prime: the rural escapee’s best friend

When we moved to rural West Virginia last year, we knew the remote location would pose some challenges. There aren’t many doctors nearby, for example. It takes an hour to reach the nearest hospital. We drive twenty-five miles just to get our oil changed.

But the biggest headache? Shopping. Like all good Americans, we had grown accustomed to certain “retail conveniences.” Groceries stores with decent produce. Outdoor stores catering to our taste for adventure. And, of course, Big Box Mart for everything else. But our little mountain town boasts none of these niceties. It takes forty minutes to reach the nearest shopping center.

Amazon Prime to the rescue. For $79 a year, we can have just about anything delivered—for free—to our doorstep. We’ve ordered household items (e.g. an adapter for our grill), food (especially dry goods, like cereal and dried cranberries), clothes, backpacking gear, car parts, vitamins… and all that in the last few months. Most of these items simply aren’t available anywhere near where we live.

We could make rural life work without Amazon, of course. Build up a shopping list, then buy our crap when we’re out of town. But with Prime, household life rolls on here, pretty much like it would anywhere else.