Yesterday my husband and I were heading home from town and when I looked out at the highway it seemed crowded and I said, "There are sure a lot of cars on the road today." My husband laughed. "Yep. Six cars on a four lane highway."
I immediately recognized my inaccurate perception. I've grown too accustomed to country living. We left the city thirty-three years ago to experience a different kind of life and to offer something special to our children. I am so glad we did . . . most days.
I'm thankful for the four-lane highway between town and the hamlet I live in. Of course it was built back in the timber days when logging companies were making money, which meant a hay-day for the county coffers. There was plenty of cash to build roads for the log trucks that made their way down from the mountains to the mills. That was then, this is now, but the highway remains.
I got to thinking about our family's change from city life to country life all those years ago. We had all sorts of plans for our new place nestled in the forest. But we had no clue what country living was really all about. My husband and I didn't know how damaging a two mile gravel road could be on cars. We'd given no thought to the amount of mud it could splash up on our rear window in a winter. And in all the places we'd lived prior to our move water came out of the tap . . . every time you turned it on. Here, we had to drill and pray for water. God was gracious and we managed to hit a productive enough well, but it took a lot of trial and error to figure out how to remove the iron in it before it reached our home. Living in the country means there's always work to be done--driveways need rock, outbuildings need repair, firewood must be cut and stacked, and fences must be built . . . and the list goes on.
We were young and even with all the surprises and hard work we were happy to be here. I used to drive to town praising God all the way as green hills rolled by with lambs skipping and cattle grazing. And then somewhere along the way I got used to all the specialness and for a while I didn't see it. I was in too big a hurry to look.
These days, I see the beauty. And days like yesterday remind me how lucky I am.
This winter brought gorgeous white landscapes, blustering winds and enough rain to create fertile ground for the spring bloom.
And there are as many deer as there are people here. I never tire of watching these beautiful animals.
We can still climb on a motorcycle and be on a trail in thirty seconds. My hens are plump and happy, ranging our property and producing more eggs than we can eat. Wild flowers are blooming and the wind is sighing, carrying the sweet fragrance of fruit tree blossoms. And I am once again praising God for giving me the gift of living in this place.
The road is still hard on my car, and this time of year there's lots of mud. There is always work waiting to be done and the trip into town sometimes feels too long, but none of that really matters because nature rests all around me, reminding me of God's kindness to me.
The years have flown by and I'm no longer a young woman, looking down what feels like an endless road of precious country days, but I am a gal who is thankful that all those years ago I decided to be a country girl.
No two of us are exactly the same, and that goes for where we like to live. Some of you reading this could not abide leaving the vitality of the city or the culture of the suburbs. You might find country living a bit too quiet or too slow and most of the culture here comes in a more natural format. I'd love to hear what you like most about the place you call home.
Grace and peace to you from God,