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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life in the Country

Ok - I don't live in the "country" per se. I live in suburbia in the country, where they tear out the trees and name the streets after them. But I do live OUT of the big city in a small town, with a buffer of farms and fields between me and the city. Now, the closest "field" to me is the cemetery on the other side of my back fence, but at least the neighbors are quiet.

I just don't know how anyone can live in the city. I lived in Houston at one point and I cannot fathom how people can be happy there. All the noise, smog, crime, homeless folks, traffic, people....ugh. I could never do it again. Admittedly, I do drive to the "city" to work everyday, about 30 miles, but half of my drive is through agricultural area, so I'm only traumatized for about 15 miles each way.

Here's why I love where I live. The other morning I had to go to the store. On my way to the store I saw baby bunnies, chickens walking down the road, schools of quail running around, a couple of goats sleeping in someones front yard, and even a couple of red tailed hawks (probably waiting to eat the bunnies I saw). I passed pastures with horses running around, fields with llamas and cows, and even smaller yards with sheep and goats. I had a male pheasant fly up from a field and directly over my car. The farmers were already out turning on water or riding their tractors with their dogs tagging along behind them. It was peaceful and beautiful. In the morning it smells like dew and sunshine and growing things.

I went into the grocery store in my town where I was greeted by people who recognize me, was asked about my week and my plans for the day, and exchanged a recipe with the cashier. In the parking lot an elderly gentleman complimented me on a car that wasn't mine and then he took my shopping cart back into the store for me.

I stopped at the local Farmers market on my way home where I paid $1.40 for a four pack of marigold plants and learned how to make cupcakes that look like daisys
using slices of marshmallow and gumdrop centers. Btw, they're really cute.

This summer I'll buy peaches and cherries directly at the orchard, corn off the back of a farmers truck at the edge of the field, and attend the Old Time Fiddlers Festival. I'll serve strawberry shortcake with my homegrown berries and veggie trays picked from my garden. And this winter there will be homemade spaghetti sauce made from my own tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil.

Friday night in my town is Sunday night quiet anywhere else. I can sit on the porch and listen to crickets and frogs instead of traffic and sirens. I've had coffee with the elderly gentleman who takes his 5am walk every day, rain or snow or shine, carrying a giant flashlight. I've chatted with the other gentleman who walks his dog and waves to every car that passes. Turns out he's not crazy, just really friendly.

I'm sure there is a place in this world for big box stores, night clubs, pizza delivery, shopping malls, and tourist attractions. It's just not MY world.

Well....maybe the pizza delivery.

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