Town or Country?

Are you a town mouse, or a country mouse? That’s the question posed today at Sunday Scribbling.

I could say either…I love the city, the lights and the vibrancy and the diversity and the culture. I lived in San Francisco for 7 years, and never thought I would leave. I loved the restaurants, the shops, the odd people on the bus (though not always their smells or habits), all of it. Of course, city living has its downside…parking is an issue, hard to find a place with a washer and drier hook up, and to buy rather than rent requires the kind of income that I will never attain.

Country living…I lived in the country, the woods really, as a child. I loved the trees, the streams, the berries…loved the quiet (if you can call it that…nature isn’t exactly SILENT) of not hearing cars and neighbors and such. Loved not being able to see who lived close by, because no one did…loved it all. It’s a wonderful life. And, like city life, it also has its downsides…if you need milk for a recipe, it’s a pain in the butt to get to the store to get it, vs. city life where you walk half a block. And, I’m sorry to say, the neighbors tend to be a bit less the kind of folks I want to hang out with. More likely to be conservative, believe that our children all need to learn and believe the same way, that I need to believe and think the same way that they do…that’s not really for me.

So you’d think the perfect answer would be the ‘burbs. Close to the grocery store, plenty of trees, washer and drier hook up in our place, no REAL problems parking our car. Good schools and safer neighborhoods than the city, libraries and ballet and plays and museums that you don’t find so much in the country. And yet, the suburbs don’t have the real benefits of either. They’re stuck 1/2 way between, and you feel it. At least, I do. I feel like being in the burbs isn’t the real answer…and yet, I’m not willing (and truthfully, could hardly afford) to go back to renting in San Francisco. I’m not convinced that the benefits of the country outweigh the drawbacks. So, for now, it’s neither for me…neither country mouse, nor city mouse. Suburb mouse. Whatever the heck that means.

This entry was posted in Musings.

12 thoughts on “Town or Country?

  1. Every little once in a while, you find a place like Juneau — liberal for the most part, lots of trees and water and birds and beauty. Some degree of culture. Better than most cities, although also expensive.

  2. I’ve spent most of my life in small towns, though I’ve lived WAY out in the country and also in the heart of the city.

    I like the beauty and quiet of the rural life, the emphasis on nature and basic values. In small towns, I’ve loved the sense of community, and the surprising dramas that unfold there. In the city I loved the fact that I could be among people and yet anonymous. This appeals so much to my inner loner, who likes to have people around but doesn’t necessarily want to be engaged with them.

    I think I can be happy anywhere, but with children still at home, I gravitate to the suburbs–to a world with garages and SPACE.

  3. I’m a ‘burbs person, myself: just enough of the natural world to love, (somewhat) small town, with its shops and history, and 45 minutes from the heart of Manhattan. Perfect.

    The only cities I could see myself living in would be San Francisco or London, for much the same reason as V-Grrrl said: anonymity.

  4. The suburbs are great if you can afford it. I live in the heart of the city (although Omaha isn’t really that big) and I love it. However, I love to get away to the country. My favorite vacation destination is the Black Hills of South Dakota. There is no lovelier spot on Earth.

  5. Down here, the suburbs are a lot like the city, in my opinion. More concrete than trees, overall.

    I have never lived in the country.

  6. Well, I’m pretty sure we’re going to remain suburban people for the next 10 years or so…

    There’s no perfect place, but our little corner of the Bay Area has more benefits than drawback — in my opinion anyway. 🙂

  7. I’ve always thought of myself as a city mouse… but with my new found allergy in both urban and landscape settings… I realized I’m just domesticated.

  8. I did the San Francisco living, and I loved it, but I found myself drawn to the sunshine of the burbs. With kids now, I find the burbs of the Bay Area almost the best of all worlds.

  9. I love your masthead!

    And I wish I could afford to live in the city too. For now, we’re small town mice… I used to live in the city and loved it, but it’s all about compromise.

  10. I have written many a piece on the sterility of suburbia. What a frightening dreadful place it is! I want to either be knee deep in ferns surrounded by towering hardwoods or knee deep in the Farmer’s Market surrounded by culture. Far, far away from any sign of a Wal-mart!

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