Saturday, June 02, 2007

Town or Country

Am I a city girl or a country girl? Gee, I really am not sure.

Having lived so many years now with almost every convenience one would probably put on a "wish list" for the ideal place to live----from an international airport to a performing arts center with several venues to multiple huge shopping malls within a 45 minute drive, excellent authentic food of almost every ethnicity, grocery stores selling almost anything I would chose to try to cook, varied and competent medical services within 15 minutes drive, a plethora of gyms, dance classes and fitness programs, in addition to superb weather and a vast arena of employment opportunity---I would certainly have to admit, I am spoiled. It would be very hard to consider giving up these things, especially now that I seem about to have the time and the money to enjoy them more.

On the other hand, I hate the traffic and it just gets worse and worse. I despise the unchecked growth and development that progressively makes our roads and our water supply more and more inadequate, which removes our huge old shade trees and tree-lined 2-lane roads, which excises more of our flowers and shrubs, our groves and pastures, to fill up all those pieces of land with buildings and pavement. We have watched our general area go from one house per 1 to 1.5 acres to 2 or 3 houses per acre to new developments which plan 5 to 8 houses per acre. Water pollution is rampant---in our rivers and lakes, even in the bay. Air pollution is hardly worth mentioning because it is in all cities and ours is not as bad as some. Noise pollution and light pollution (I heard just a week ago that lightning bugs/fire flies may be dying out because they may need a certain amount of darkness to activate and regenerate the chemical in their bodies that causes their tails to light up) are ones I am becoming more aware of and appalled by recently. How I miss the dark nights of my youth in the country where the night sky sparkled with stars and we could lay on a blanket in the grass and find almost all of the major constellations, and where a full moon was almost like a lantern to find the way from the back door down to the dock on the our lake.

Where we live now has been a bit of having my cake and eating it too. Tho' we are bare minutes from grocery stores, gas stations and general shopping, our once bedroom community for the big city, still has some rivers and pastures and groves and woodland areas within a 5 mile drive from most of our homes. I cannot tell you how I love it that at the end of the street where I live there is a cow pasture. Not many cows live there (fewer than 15) so there is never an odor problem. But at least twice a year there are 2 to 4 calves playing, nursing, and generally frolicking there that brighten and lighten my spirits as I drive home at the end of a work day or if I want to walk back down there after I change out of my work clothes and shoes and just stand and watch them play. But at the far end of the pasture there is now a strip shopping center and some newer signs indicating a huge condo or apartment complex planned for those acres. My pleasure pasture may not be long for this neighborhood. So, selling the house and moving to somewhere less busy and burgeoning is probably in the cards for us within the next year or two.

When we choose again, we will probably look for somewhere "2 turns off the main road" as JR is fond of saying. I'd like to live again, like when I was growing up, on several acres, with neighbors, yes, but none who will see if I walk out to the garbage can in my underwear or nightgown. I'd like a bit of woods to go walking in in the autumn, maybe even enough to be able to cut down our own small pine for a Christmas tree. I'd love to see stars and fireflys in the sky at night instead of the reflection of city lights. I'd like to hear frogs and crickets and owls and whippoorwills through open windows as I lay in bed at night.

So am I a country girl or a city girl? I still don't think I am sure. But I think I want to live a country live style within 40 miles or so of a big university town---for the arts and the medical availability and the education-important atmosphere. If we select well, maybe we can live out our lives there before the city expands to usurp our little bit of country.


Blogger gautami tripathy said...

That eternal dillema! Both have pluses and minuses. Only you can know what you are!

6:18 AM  
Blogger brokenawake said...

Pleasant Pastures. That sounds so good! Kind of like, "Pleasant Peasants Sleep Well/Pleasant Peasant Sleep."

I was born a country kid and survived through some tough times which have made me appreciate the plethora of resources available as a city boy.

In the end though, I will embrace the day when the skeletal structures of once magnificent skyscrapers become overgrown with ivy and all various types of green.

A world free of Blackberry, iPod and email. I wonder if my cell phone will still work though? ;-)

3:19 PM  
Blogger forgetfulone said...

I agree! I want it both ways, too.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Remiman said...

It sounds like you currently live in as idyllic a place as one can find,,,,with the best of country/city life nearby.
I didn't mention in my post (it was long enough as it was) but to the southof our home, just 30 miles or so is St Lawrence U. Clarkson, Potsdam State, and Canton tech. $ schools of higher learning.
I love the amenities of city life but crave the interpersonnal relationships of smalltown living.
C-rations! Do I remember them. I actually didn't mind Ham and Lima beans. LOL ;-)
Thanks for the reminder friend.

2:33 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

How easily we can find the pros and cons... I think finding some peace in the middle is best!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Like you I really like the conveniences of the city but abhor the excess development and pollution. Luckily our city is fairly green and the new administration has cancelled some of the inappropriate developments that the last administration had planned. Where you live sounds good!

1:13 AM  

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