City Mouse, Country Mouse.

Are you a country person, a city person, a suburbs person? All or none of the above? Or something else entirely?

Yesterday, I wore short shorts and heeled sandals to a farm. Yes, I was totally that mom and I’m almost positive I got some strange looks from other, dowdier moms. And friends of mine, I’m not talking about you. Your friendly and complimentary teasing did not bother me at all. I enjoyed it. To answer your question, no, I don’t own sweatpants. Yes, I could have worn better shoes but a hot day on a hot farm with hot cow poop does not equal flip flops or socks and sneakers to me. It equals comfortable, old, worn sandals and dark rinsed jean shorts. In my defense, I was dressing down. In my defense, even my old, worn sandals all have heels and are kinda cool. Also in my defense, I’d rather be too cool for this tractor, than not:

I’m not really a farm girl, despite having grown up on farms with horses and having ridden and shown on horseback for a few years. I have some ribbons to prove it, but it didn’t stick into adulthood. I got other interests. I no longer felt like riding an unpredictable, 1,000+ pound animal that might, and some even tried, to throw me off at any time. I prefer moose. I’d rather spend my time in the country, looking for another kind of unpredictable, 1,000+ pound animal that I may never find. Although, I’m not really any kind of country girl, farm or moose or anything. I really like coffee shops and traffic lights and seeing other people. I like my long New England winters spent in walking distance of life, glorious life. I don’t want too much quiet.

And I don’t want too much noise. I’m not a big city girl, despite having flirted with the idea during the more boring parts of my childhood and into my early adulthood. Of course, NYC scares the sh*t out of me always. San Francisco is more my speed but even a mellow city like that leaves me shaking in my boots after too many rambling nutcases on the city buses, and too many people asking me if I want to buy drugs. It got old fast for me and I ached to see stars at night.

I’m not a suburbs girl either, if you go by the true definition of suburbs, as being residential areas outside of cities. I didn’t grow up in the suburbs and I don’t think I live in them now either. Although true confession: I don’t think they’re as evil and personality-less as people seem to say they are. They serve a purpose for people who need all that they have.

So what am I? I guess I just don’t like these three extremes – the definite big cities, the definite small towns, the definite cookie cutter suburbs. I like the rest of the world places. I like the places that can’t really be labeled only one of city, country or suburbs. They’re all or none. They’re half and half. They’re in between or outside the edges. The fringe.

I’m a beach town girl. I’m a ski town girl. I’m a west coast wine country girl. I’m a lively college town girl. I’m a country-city girl. All I see around me in my current home are farms, mountains and open fields. Yet a mile away is the bustling downtown city of Northampton. What exactly are we? We are the Pioneer Valley. I don’t know what that means but I like it.

And according to wikipedia:

“Today, Northampton is known as an artistic, musical, and counter-culture hub. It features a large and politically influential LGBT community, along with numerous alternative health and intellectual organizations.[4] Based on U.S. Census demographics, election returns, and other criteria, the website Epodunk rates Northampton as the most politically liberal medium-sized city (population 25,000-99,000) in the United States.”

Yup. I’m proud of all of those statements. It’s my place to call home.

It can be done, finding your own special place. Any direction I drive in gives me some of the best city cultural access I’ve ever seen. Any direction I drive in gets me to suburbs and big box stores, should I need that for the day, which I sometimes do. And any direction I drive in gets me to wonderful farms like the one we spent yesterday at. McCray’s Farm in S. Hadley.

My favorite quote of the day, that I don’t remember who to attribute it to, said, “What the heck is that? Some crazy form of cow or something?” Yup. Or something.

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Hungry, hungry noses at every part of the fence. And what did Scarlet think of all of it? Well, she likes “aminals” and all, but preferred to hug me the entire time we were there. Ok.

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I don’t know why but llamas always remind me of someone’s awkward, buck-toothed little sister. I guess I used to be someone’s awkward, strange-toothed little sister myself. I feel for you llamas, even if you don’t at all care or need me to.

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The best part of the below left shot? The “Let’s Party” balloon coupled with the non-“Let’s Party” expression on beautiful Amanita’s face.

I can finally use the term “Wild Goose Chase” in a blog post! (Always wanted to)

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I was really torn between calling these next pictures “Deep Duck Thoughts” or “Farm Angst.” The ducks move. The girl doesn’t.

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This was a mean, little bugger.

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Potential BFFs?

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I uploaded that last photo while listening to Bruce Hornsby’s live version of “End of the Innocence.” The serene looks on their faces, their obvious and beautiful youth, the country background of the photo. Made me a little weepy to think about where their lives may take them.

What will be her place to call home?

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What will delight her senses and soothe her soul?

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And will there be more than one, and even several, as there have already been for me at only 31?

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No one knows yet. Not even her.

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One Comment

  1. Our home on Mooney Mountain was in rural burbs so you could say you grew up in rurbs…horses and corn fields, kids camping on the mountain, day camps near enough to be a rural area, big lots for houses, farm houses nearby still intact, a pond kids skated on during the winter…yeah, definitely not the cookie cutter suburbs we hate!

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