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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

City Mouse, Country Mouse...

You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl.

Mmmm, partially true.  I grew up in and and around the city most of my life.

Not NYC...  If you're from North Jersey and you say "The City" most people automatically think you mean NEW YORK CITY... Manhattan.  No, I lived in the Paterson & Clifton area of New Jersey most of my life, living in the nicer towns in the outskirts before and after my teens.

Throughout most of my childhood, it was normal to think that if I didn't lock my doors someone would break in and rob us.  We locked our house, we locked our car - we locked everything.  We kept things out of plain sight so that no one would smash a window to take whatever it was that looked tempting, even if it was just some change in the ashtray.

It was normal thinking to look over your shoulder, to be aware of your surroundings.

At night, I didn't walk alone because there were creepy people lurking the streets.

Every night, I heard sirens - police, ambulance - whatever.

Even thought it wasn't totally awful,
It was really a piss poor way to live, as far as I was concerned.
I hated it!

On weekends, my dad used to take us to Greenwood Lake, NY to visit his friends.  On the drive up, I was always in awe of all of the lakes and trees - the beauty and the quiet.  It was pretty desolate.  I loved it, and swore that some day I would live there.

In my late 20's I made that a reality.  I moved to Greenwood Lake AND then I moved out of Greenwood Lake.

It's funny how you get used to certain things.  Even if they're things you hate, it's your "normal."

I can clearly remember my first night sleeping in my house in Greenwood Lake.  It was SO QUIET. Too quiet.  All I heard was the babbling brook. Doesn't that sound lovely??  Well, I couldn't sleep.  The quiet actually kept me awake.  I could hear EVERYTHING - creaking floor boards, the house settling, an animal walking through the yard.  I didn't hear one siren.  Instead of loving the peace and quiet, it became absolutely jarring.
The culture shock totally freaked me out!

Funny, isn't it?  Thing things you want so desperately you can't handle all at once.

Inevitably, life took a few turns and as I said, I moved out of Greenwood Lake.
I didn't move completely out of the area, mostly because I didn't want to keep switching my son's schools, but out of Greenwood Lake.  It was a good move.

There is nothing in the area that was close to being in the city - and really, I was OK with that.  I always wanted my children to grow up where there were lots of trees and roaming animals.  Someplace safe, where if I left my door open - no one was coming to rob us.  Besides, it's really pretty up here and I always loved that.

Yes, it's safer here.  Maybe I've created a false sense of security, who knows.

Due to my upbringing, YES - I always lock my doors.  You never quite get over the fear that someone may violate your space, but I think absolutely nothing of pulling into my driveway if I've forgotten something, leaving the car running with my purse inside and the doors open to go into the house which I leave wide open as I search for what I'd forgotten.  I would NEVER have done this growing up.  NEVER.  My car would very possibly have been gone.

I've become very accustomed to the area we now live.

I love the quiet, the roaming beasts - even the bear.  I love the feeling of safety and the non-city environment.  Deep down, I will always have that built in caution button.

Every so often, I need to drive down to the "old neighborhood".  Nothing looks the same.  Even my OK area seems so much darker now and extra busy.  Maybe it's always been that way.  Maybe I'm just so accustomed to the area which I now live.  A place that's quiet.  Traffic is only on the highway heading to work.  Crime is limited to stupid stuff and not muggings and regular burglaries.

I don't miss living in the city.

Things may have been much more conveniently located, but I'm OK with the little drive I need to make.  I'm OK with knowing if I forget to lock my car door at night - my GPS will still be in the dashboard in the morning.

Many things from my previous life have sunken into my soul.  The watch outs, the lock ups - better safe than sorry.

I don't miss trading in city life for being someone who lives "in the sticks."

I made the right decision.  Guess I'm a country mouse now.  I wouldn't change a thing!

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  1. I always lock everything it does get drilled into you. If I lived in the country I would still lock up at night, and probably keep a shotgun handy...

  2. I live in Chicago and this reminds me of when I was visiting my aunt and uncle in northern Oregon. They live out in the country, and we were going hiking every day. My uncle and me were hiking up this giant rock, and when we got to the top this guy got up right after us. He started up a conversation with us, which for some reason made me a little nervous. Then the guy said, "Hey, do me a favor..." and put his hand into his jacket pocket, and I assumed he was pulling out a gun... my heart totally dropped! Like, we were way up at the top of this rock, a great place for a mugging, right?
    He wanted my uncle to take his picture with his cell phone camera.
    I was telling my uncle I thought the guy was gonna mug us, and my uncle said, "You're NOT in Chicago right now, Angel!" LOL! Only a city person would expect to be mugged in the middle of the woods!


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