Saturday, February 9, 2008

Just a country girl



Now that hunting season is over, I’m sighing with relief that the only people who will be knocking on the door are the fuel delivery person and the Schwan’s man. Both of these individuals are accustomed to my usually disheveled appearance and have become rather good at disguising their reactions.

Hunters from the city, however, seem taken aback when I answer the door in my flannel pajama pants and baggy sweatshirt, my hair pulled back in a ponytail with chunks of it falling out where the baby has been practicing his pincer grasp.

When we were first married, we lived in town, and one of the most disturbing aspects of living on Main Street was that anyone could drop by at any time. On Saturday mornings, when I really wanted to remain in my flannel jammies and wait until after brunch to comb my hair and brush my teeth, I reluctantly got dressed in case someone happened to pop by.

It was also difficult for me to pull the curtains closed. Growing up in the country, I had only used curtains when the sun was making the house too hot. After moving to town, I had to frequently remind myself that it’s best to close the curtains before emerging from the shower and walking to the bedroom to get dressed.

Some people list obvious nuisances such as noisy traffic and the danger of break-ins when they consider reasons to avoid living in urban areas. I tend to think of issues such as every time you step outside your home, people are watching you. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, painting the deck, or just getting some fresh air, you are an object of people’s attention.

Now that we live in the country, the only eyes on me when I go out the front door are equine, feline, bovine, or canine, and they don’t much care whether or not I have combed my hair yet.
Out here, no one judges me for my pathetic yard and shriveling juniper bushes. The deer are happy so long as I plant a few edible flowers each year, and the kids are just as happy playing on kochia and crab grass as they would be on a lush, irrigated lawn.

Living in the country makes you a better person, too. Not only is it more relaxing, but it also makes a person take more responsibility. Kids who grow up in the country know that they had better make it to school with everything they need, because if they forget the bottoms to their basketball uniform, they can’t just run home and grab them.

It’s easier on the budget as well. When you live in the middle of nowhere, you save money on takeout food, and when you go to town to buy groceries, you don’t have room enough in the cart for many bags of chips.

Admittedly, when I’m lugging four kids to the bus stop an hour before school starts in the morning, I think longingly of the home we used to have across the street from the school. I am jolted back to reality when I remember the motorcycles at 2 a.m. and the neighbor’s dog who took off with the tennis shoe that was drying on our deck one summer day, and suddenly the city life loses its appeal.

Besides, anyone who has breathed the crisp evening air on a starry country night knows that in the country is the only place you can truly live.

1 comment:

kymom said...

Erin - I love this one. It definitely reminds me of where I live now, in the beautiful green country hills of eastern Kentucky. Country life is the best!

~j.

 
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