Jul 22, 2009

Reflections on the country life

For years, I used to get up and run/jog two miles every morning. Then my knees started talking to me. So I bought some low-impact workout DVDs and worked out in the house. Over time, the DVDs began to bore me out of my mind. So recently, I've started walking instead. I like being out of doors in the morning with the sounds of nature and my own thoughts - no headphones and muzak for me.
It's .13 miles from the house down our driveway to the road. This picture is of part our driveway - beautiful morning, eh?
This morning, as I took my morning walk along our dirt road, I was passed as usual by several vehicles. Everyone waved at me and I waved back. I'm sure they're neighbors we've not met yet, but waving is just something you do.
DH and I grew up in a medium-sized city next to a very large metroplex. We've never particularly liked the city. During my marriage to DH, we've moved farther out into the country with each move.
We first lived in the country when we lived in Kansas. We moved to a 100-year-old farmhouse on the edge of a very small town about a half-hour away from the city of Wichita. We had the town ball diamond on one side of us, a huge wheat field behind us, and the world's greatest neighbors - Mr. and Mrs. Bailey - on the other side of us.
We were astonished to find that EVERYONE waved to you in town and out on the roads in the country. They did this whether they knew you or not. Once you got into the city (Wichita) no one waved anymore. We immediately got into the waving habit.
We also found out that everyone in and around town soon knew all about us. Everyone knew we had bought the "old Neiman house" and that we worked in "the city." They knew we went to church "in the city." They knew we shopped at Kevin's grocery store in town and had only one vehicle, a maroon truck, and that we had moved from "the city," but we came from Texas. Oh, and we had a pit bull dog, but he was really friendly with a loud big dog bark.
Once, when I stopped at Kevin's for some groceries, I accidentally left some of my canvas shopping bags there. (Yeah, I've been green for years; the bags have Skaggs Alpha Beta stamped on them. Anybody remember that store?) The next morning, they were hanging on our front door knob.
Once, my mom said how she worried about me driving out in the country after dark. What if the truck broke down? What would I do? (Note: this was before cell phones and we had only one vehicle.) I replied, "Mom, I'd walk to the nearest farm house. They'd invite me in to use the phone to call DH. The farmer would go out with his truck or tractor and tow my truck back to the house. He would try to fix it. If he couldn't fix it, he'd tow me home. If the family was having dinner, they'd invite me to have dinner with them. I'd get home one way or another. It's just what folks do. There's no way I'd wait in the truck for help." (Now, let me say that I wouldn't do that on a big interstate highway or in the city. My parents didn't raise a fool.)
For now, I'll keep waving at folks on my walks. Yesterday, I met a neighbor up the road when she stopped in her car to introduce herself. "Oh, y'all are the folks that bought the old Henry hunting cabin from Lance." ☺


mark said...

OMG...I need new glasses...lol. I could only read about half of your blog. Are you testing us??!!

Anyhoo, as soon as my foot is back to normal, I plan to start walking. I don't take anything as I feel there is more in my surroundings to observe--neighbors, yards to admire (or to tell myself to NOT do), etc.

How's "The Alamo" coming along?


Rachel S said...

I sometime wonder if the people in our town who've been there forever think of us as "some of those people who live in the houses on the Atlees' old farm." The neighbors refer to us as "the ones who live in the house with the Mustang and the big truck" LOL.

I love living in a small town, though. So much quieter. And friendlier. Not that people in the city weren't nice, they were just less able to show it.

Cindy F. said...

I had to read this on google reader...it's all squished together??

We love small towns too. San Antonio was friendly, but no one had time for their neighbors.

Your story about Kansas...I guess people sat at the local diner and discussed everything they knew about you. Kind of creepy...lol...reminds me of a movie, not sure which one...maybe a few...lol! Still, you're right. People tend to look out for one another in a small town:) And that isn't a bad thing:) (unless it's like that movie...jking!)