Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a little bit country

as some of you may know, i grew up in a very small town in the upper midwest. i know i seem like this dazzlingly cosmopolitan, sophisticated, traveled european woman (NOT), but really, i'm a small town girl. so it's not all that surprising that i find myself twenty-odd years after leaving for the city (if Iowa City counts - ha!), back in the countryside.

but having lived in orange county, phoenix, chicago and copenhagen for two decades, there are some things i forgot about country life. things like...

~ flies.

~ livestock grazing in fields (see flies above).

~ wind sweeping across with nothing to stop it.

~ that comforting sound of a horse crunching its grain.

gratuitous jumping shot, because i love this picture.
~ neighbors dropping by to chat - and to try to sell you a tractor.

~ riding lawn mowers.

~ trading for things instead of buying them.

~ having a BIG vegetable garden - instead of a dozen strawberry plants, we've got more like 150.

~ birdsong filling the air. and i mean filling the air.

~ the general intensity of the presence of nature. and spiders.

~ deer darting in front of your car on a winding country road.

~ people driving like complete maniacs on winding country roads.

~ getting stuck behind a tractor on the winding country roads.

~ a feeling of having loads of space - both physical and psychological.

~ pollen allergies from hell that turn to sinus infection and then a sort of asthmatic bronchitis which only more steroids than lance armstrong used in the last tour de france can cure. (i know, i know, he supposedly doesn't use any. yeah. right.) case of pneumonia which leaves you feeling even worse than you did because now it's been assigned that word.

life in the countryside generally has a completely different rhythm. after dinner, we go over to the horse - to ride her and groom her and spend time with her. as a result, we're watching far less t.v. this can only be a good thing. there's always something to be done outdoors - weeds to pull, seeds to sow, lawn to mow, a walk which beckons. we definitely feel much more the pull of nature. it feels healthy and good for us. it clears our heads of a day spent in the office or at school. but i guess i appreciate it that much more for having been away from it and lived in cities for a time (half my life, actually). it's nice to feel things slipping into an easier rhythm, one that feels more in tune with nature.


Elizabeth said...

Are you sure you are living in Denmark? Neighbours dropping by!!!!

Jodi Anderson said...

Aw, I just love this post.

For one thing, I didn't realize that you're from the midwest. (I'm in a rural farming village about 20 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin.) I've always been a bit enamoured with the fact that you're an American living in Denmark. I am Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, so it's long been my dream to winter here and summer in Sweden or Denmark. :)

Beautiful photos. I really love that shot of what I think is a spider web.

Unknown said...

I have never lived in the country....my grandmother id though and I relished the time I spent with her.....smiles.

mrs mediocrity said...

Yes. There is nothing like being outdoors. In the summer I live outside as much as I can. I love, love, love that spider web. But then I love spiders, too. It ll sounds wonderful. Except for the pneumonia. And I hope that gets better, soon.

M said...

My grandmother lives in the country (Georgia), and the things on your list remind me of spending time there... we all drive fast on the roads, and I have passed a tractor many a time. Flies and cows bring it all home... I am terrified of spiders, however, so no joy there ;)

Erin Wallace said...

This is such a nice post. While my mom and stepdad live in the city, my dad and stepmom have always lived in the country. They aren't farmers, but you fall into the rhythm of life in the country regardless. Slower, with time to breath fresh air, sit on the porch swing, and swat away the mosquitos. Brings back memories.

xo Erin

Sammi said...


Feel better my dear.

Isn't the country beautiful- except for the flies.

Anonymous said...

When the garden vegetables begin to produce, you'll know why you live in the country.

Barb said...

I love this post. I hope some day we will live in a more rural setting. For now, burbs. Hope you're feeling better soon.

kristina - no penny for them said...

this sounds wonderful - apart from the pneumonia bit... get better soon!!

p.s.: the tractor thing reminds me of keillor's lake wobegon stories! :)

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Lucky Girl said...

wonderful pictures, i enjoy your thoughts.

paris parfait said...

It sounds like a beautiful place to be (minus the flies). Love that you have a horse; what a wonderful thing for S! Great shot. As for your illness, so sorry to hear this. Hope you're soon feeling worlds better. Will be in London next week and let's catch up after that. xo

Bee said...

"the general intensity of the presence of nature" -- love that!

Aren't you glad that you are settling in during the summer, flies, spiders, and allergies aside?