Friday, November 4, 2016

Simply Simplistic...

The other day I was talking to someone and she called me a "country mouse." Now, it was said in a joking manner and I know she didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but the implication was that I'm "simple". Simple in all aspects of my life, including simple-minded. And that pissed me off.

When did being from the country or liking simple things begin to have a bad connotation?

If you've read my previous posts, you know I'm a country girl living in a big city. When I tell you that my hometown was Norman Rockwell-esque, I'm not kidding. Taking a stroll down Main Street will end with you stopping multiple times to talk to several different people. If you would have walked a two block strip of Main Street with my grandmother, it would have taken about an hour because she knew everybody and everybody knew her.

I'm also a woman who is up between the hours of 5 and 6 every morning. I get almost an entire day's work done before I have to actually go to my job. I come home from work and I don't simply sit down and put my feet up. I make dinner, sometimes I bake a little, I walk the dog, do the dishes from dinner, sweep up the floors, all before sitting down to write before bed. Then, I get up and do it all again the next day.

I don't buy cookie dough, I make it because I don't know any other way. I bake bread the way my mom taught me, by hand. No machinery necessary. I seldom buy convenience meals because I don't need all the added junk they put in those things. I have a garden when possible and hit farmers' markets when I can't. I make jam and put up veggies. I prefer jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and boots to suits, skirts, and high heels. I love hanging my sheets on the line in a summer breeze and I'm not scared of bugs or snakes (mice, yes, but that's different :) ) I love to get dirty and I love the sound of the frogs and crickets singing me to sleep through my open windows. I'm not a fan of air conditioning and I don't care if my hair gets messed up when I drive with the window down (that's what ball caps are for).

This same person was telling me how much she loves taking pictures of the architecture in the city and how you can't find that stuff in the country. I love taking pictures, too. And architecture is one of my favorite subjects. However,you won't find me taking pictures of brick buildings and polarized windows. Clapboard farm houses, old churches with the original stained glass windows, porches where people used to sit and visit, memories of a life long gone in so many parts of this world.
My pictures, more often than not, are nature based. Leaves, water, trees, critters, things that I think most of us take for granted.

My grandma used to sit on her porch every night in the spring and summer. People would drive by and wave. Some would pull in and sit down for a visit. Sometimes it would be a relative out for a drive in the country. Other times, it was a friend/neighbor...because where I come from, those two things were the same. I knew all of the people who lived on the road I grew up on. I didn't get away with shit! If I tried, one of them would be sure to call my parents or grandparents!

So, yes, I'm looking to get out of this big, overcrowded city with the buses and trains going through on a constant basis. I long for a simpler way of life. I want to know my neighbors. If I have to live in a town, I want to live on a tree-lined street where I feel safe. I want the sound of crickets to sing me to sleep on a warm summer night. I want to go to the grocery store and they recognize me. I want to be able to take a walk down a country road on a spring morning and take in the nature that is waking up.

Simple living doesn't mean that I'm simple-minded. It means I can survive without all the noise and crime that comes with city-living. I just like the slower pace of the country life. I'm an old-fashioned country girl who longs for the simpler ways of life, ya know?

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