• Cheryl

The Country Life

When I say I have cows as neighbors, I mean that literally - I have more cows as neighbors than I do people. It wasn't always that way. I grew up in the suburbs, worked for 10 years in Washington, DC while living in a crowded apartment complex along a street with multiple apartment complexes. My hometown of Johnstown, PA isn't big, but it's not rural, either. I never experienced rural living till I moved onto my love's family farm.

City life never bothered me much - when I lived in DC, I learned to accommodate rush hour traffic and accepted that if I didn't get out and about before 9:00am on Saturday mornings to run my errands, I wasn't going to make it home before noon. I didn't like all the traffic, didn't like all the crowds and how nothing was quick and simple, but I got used to it. Johnstown is big enough to have its own version of rush hour and plenty of people who pack into she shopping areas. But country life . . . I hadn't realized until recently how quickly and easily I'd adapted to such a completely different lifestyle.

When I was growing up, and even for several years after college, I was a night owl - staying up till 2:00am or later was nothing. Now I'm old, and 9:30pm is a super-late night for me. I've become a morning person, to the point where if I stay in bed past 7:00am, I feel like I've wasted half the morning, and my whole mindset is thrown off. I work best in the morning and like to have as much done by lunchtime as possible - that's just how I am these days. So when I need to run to Johnstown for appointments or errands, I like to do it first thing.

Recently, however, "first thing" couldn't be accommodated until early afternoon, and I found myself in Johnstown several hours later than I'm used to being there. And it felt to me like EVERYONE IN THE JOHNSTOWN AREA had decided to go out and about at THE EXACT SAME TIME. That's when it struck me how spoiled I've gotten to living among cows, in a place where five cars on the road at the same time makes you wonder, "What's going on??" Mornings in Johnstown aren't nearly as crowded as afternoons, when everyone's awake and busy and maybe on their lunch breaks from work, and so the culture shock doesn't strike me as much. Being there at the height of activity made me realize how much I've come to appreciate life as I know it now.

I love the solitude I find in the country. There is no noise. There is no hectic hubbub of people bustling about, chattering away, no constant crush of cars and trucks and traffic. Aside from the occasional passing car, the only sounds I hear are the cows mooing, and roosters crowing farther down the road, and birds and locusts in the woods, and the wind in the trees, and sometimes a distant tractor. I work in my home office with the windows open and revel in the peace and quiet. I take walks and enjoy the beautiful sights of the mountains in the distance, and the setting sun on the fields, and listen to the nature all around me, and smell the fresh-cut hay (and sometimes the cows), and just BE, rarely encountering another person. My love goes to church every Sunday, and sometimes I go with him, but as I've told him, the outdoors is my church. Especially here.

Don't get me wrong - it was an adjustment for me at first. We're a good twenty minutes away from ANYTHING, so not having the modern convenience of grocery stores - or ANY stores or services - close at hand can sometimes be an issue. But it's been two and a half years now, and the benefits have come to far outweigh the missing conveniences. Country living is, without a doubt, everything it's cracked up to be.

Have a great weekend, and I hope you get to enjoy some "country" time wherever you are!


Pennsylvania in the summer is one of the lushest, greenest places you'll ever see!


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