Yesterday was spent in the company of friends who live out in the country. They are a few miles from a quaint village and there are farms around to provide a faint (or more) whiff of animals. And eggs and corn and fresh tomatoes. There are neighbours close by, but the trees and hills provide enough cover that you may completely forget they are there. Straight down the road about 20 minutes away is a city that is one of the fastest growing in Ontario. And from there it is a short commute into the largest city in Canada.
Except for the cicadas and crickets and a few frogs, it was eerily quiet. A whole different world existed beyond the suburban crawl. I got almost giddy at the thought of coming back for their Fall Fair which is 160 years old this year. There is an annual Christmas Tree Lighting that attracts thousands of people! It all sounds so quaint. Bucolic. (though, doesn't that word have an awful sound to it? more like some kind of nasty disease instead of a pastoral poem)
These friends are moving next winter and have sold their house to people they suspect will not last long. They have no idea what living in the country will be like. I know that I would hate it, no matter how lovely and inviting it seems on a visit. I know that deep down, I am a city woman. I am also a bit lazy. I like not having to drive 15 minutes or more just to get condiments or coffee. Although, it has been pointed out that walking the 15 minutes to the stores is not lazy. I think it must be a perception of distance thing. I can sit and stare out a window with the best of them, but after awhile I need the stimulation of shops and street life and theatres and galleries close by for my amusement. It is fun to people watch when when you never know who you are going to run into and then there is the surprise of running into someone you know. In a village, the chances of running into the same people day after day might get a little claustrophobic. I like not having to worry about curling shingles, burst pipes and septic tanks. And snow drifts blocking a long unmaintained lane. And the worry of bears.
But every now and then, I wonder... if I had the money to buy exactly what I wanted and to maintain it properly... if I had a live-in gardener and a riding snowblower and a few chickens and a dog to scare the foxes would I change my lifestyle? Would I be happy with the constant quiet, or would I sink into a depression from the isolation? Would I feel a desolation wash over me when I realized the main street of the village was empty streets with shuttered stores at 5PM. My turtle might be happy to have a pond instead of an aquarium, but would he get along with the frogs?
Where I live now is not perfect. Most of you know that I live in a highrise. I may not have a yard, but I do have a rather large balcony. And a great view! The advantages are that I can call management to fix the plumbing. I can lock the door, give the key to a neighbour to watch the cat and water the plants and she does not even put on a coat (in winter). I am mere minutes from the lake and the downtown core, yet is very quiet. The traffic would be my number one complaint - it is there and constant, even if I don't hear it. And I would like to walk out my door and be outside, not in a hallway waiting for an elevator.
But these are minor quibbles. I would like to know what you like and dislike about where you have chosen to live. And if you had the chance, would you move into the city from the country or out to a farming community from a urban area?