Thursday, May 08, 2008

Country roads / take me home

You’d think, living in the middle of one of the most backwoods cities in the country, that I’d have just about enough of the country here in Pittsburgh. Also, considering that our fair city is one of the most tree-lined in the nation, I really do have a lot to be grateful for when it comes to shade and freshly made oxygen balancing out the oppression of the urban jungle.

But somehow, it just ain’t enough for this country girl. On our way home to Dillsburg last weekend to visit with friends and family, Lewis the mutt and Mr. Incredible just about got drunk on fresh spring air flowing through the car as we passed into Central Pennsylvania (it smelled good to me, too, but I was the designated driver and had to control myself).

We love our neighbors, the diversity of the people around us, the many events and opportunities the city offers (especially for foodies like us) . . . but this is what we miss:

The willow tree in our old backyard. It was probably destined to die sometime soon anyway, but the way it swayed in the breeze, thrashed in thunderstorms and provided a 15-foot diameter of dappled shade—I will never stop missing that.

Driving down the road in the dark. The city never sleeps, so they say, for which I’m grateful, when I’m a pedestrian after dark. But on the other hand, it never really gets dark. There’s something seductive about driving down a main country road in the dark: it makes you want to run away with the person you love and follow whatever crazy dreams you’ve always had, but never acted on.

Having a yard where our dog can run around and poop. That’s probably enough explanation for that topic.

Seasons in the country. We have spring in the city, yes, and it is stunning in its own way, as flowering trees and shrubs lend extra grace to century-old architecture that you’d never find in the country. But spring in the country means that when the trees begin to leaf out, you see masses—even mountains—of bright green tips against dark bark. And when trees bloom, there are clouds of white and pink blossoms filling the sky. You can’t miss it, and you can’t help being overcome by the drama of country seasons.

That’s probably only the short list of what we miss. We also miss our friends and our family . . . although in some cases, moving away has only shown us how strong our relationships are.

We’ll move back to the country someday to start our commune (any takers? I’m serious), and when we do I’m sure we’ll miss the comforts of city life, like only filling up our gas tank once a month, only needing one car, not having a yard to mow and living on the same block as our friends from church. We’ll miss Trader Joe’s and the other three grocery stores within a mile and a half of our house. And the convenience of the farmer’s market.

But overall, when we move away from the city, I’m pretty sure that those country roads are going to take us home to the place where we belong.

(Not West Virginia, though. I hope.)


Laurie said...

Country roads take me home too. I miss the smell of rain on trees and grass instead of the smell of rain on pavement. I miss laying in giant fields filled with wildflowers. I miss horseback riding and getting lost on the pipelines. I miss four-wheeling and mudding and getting drunk in the woods. I miss finding an abandoned trailer in the woods and "discovering" it as a hideout.

I don't miss the bigotry, small-mindedness, and incapacity to change that seems to come with these smaller towns. These are things I'll never miss. I wish I could find the balance.

brannabee said...

the house next to us is for sale. good spot to begin stong-baker wold. :/

the country misses you. when i perched on the wold, watching the rain move from carlisle to dillsburg and seeing the mass of it pelt to the right in the vast of air between our front step and south mountain, i heard it whisper about you guys. and it really

made me miss you.