I grew up in a decent size suburb, under 40 minutes from two major Texas cities.
In college, I lived in a big small town, and if anything was further than 5 miles away we made quite a fuss about the terrible inconvenience.
After college I spent a few months in a lovely small suburb of Melbourne, Australia, within walking distance of an adorable town square and a mouth-watering bakery.
Then I moved to Dallas for a few months, falling asleep to the never-ending buzz of traffic and overall sensory overload.
For almost two years now, I have lived in east Texas. The country.
Yes, I call it the country. I am well aware there are many more further-removed places to live in the world, but this still counts. Also, don’t let Pinterest fool you. It’s not all mason jars and cooking like the Pioneer Woman. Here are my true-life observations of life in the country:
- It always smells like smoke. Not so much cigarettes, though I’m sure they are around, but fire. People rake their thousands of leaves, then burn them off in slow controlled fires in their front yards. All day.
- Often in the mornings and evenings, the “air is just right,” and I can hear gunshots. Apparently they come from “across the lake.” “Duck hunters,” they say.
- Everyone has a dog, no one has a fence. People run with big sticks.
- It’s so dark the stars are visible even while driving!
- I’ve started saying things like “I need to go on a town run today.” This consistently make all my non-country friends burst into giggles.
- I’ve also discovered that the only way to really get anything done is to strategically plan out said town runs. Otherwise I’ll run out of gas.
- There are no gas stations on the way to work. Plan that for a town run.
- There also isn’t a Starbucks on the way to work.
- Or a Chick-Fil-A.
- There are iPhone apps for everything under the sun, NASA sent people to the moon, but they say it is impossible get WiFi to my house.
- The closest place to get free WiFi is the new Dairy Queen down the road, so there have been a few times I have gone to “hang out and get internet” at Dairy Queen.
- We also cannot get cable or satellite at our house. I found the Super bowl commercials extra good this year.
- I “watch” most sporting events through the scores on the ESPN iPhone app.
- I haven’t seen sidewalks in years. I’m beginning to think they are neighborhood myths. Neighborhoods are beginning to sound like myths too.
- When there’s a thunderstorm, I call my dad (in Dallas) and have him see if we’re going to be hit by a tornado or something. Just in case. I’d never know.
- I have legitimately been late to work because I was stuck behind a tractor on the two-lane road.
- I have also been late to work because the horses in the front pasture were in the middle of the road.
- I see an average of 5 deer per week within a mile of my house.
- On the ride home from town one night, I spotted 5 huge ugly wild hogs on the side of the road. The car in front of me turned around to drive by them again.
That said, don’t be worried about me. I still don’t listen to country music, I can usually find one or two bars of 3G in the house to load my twitter feed (aka my outside-world lifeline), and I manage to “strategically plan” more town runs than might be necessary. I think I’ll survive. I might even like it…