September 27, 2016

Town Girl, Country Girl

Living in the city has its perks. Our garbage gets picked up for free(ish. Not counting taxes). We don't need special sewage or water tanks. And best of all, the library is only a walk away. Want to know what's even nicer? Living in the city, and having a barn in the backyard.

That's right guys. I am literally living on the edge. The edge of town, that is. In some ways, it's awesome. But it brings up a bittersweet identity crisis: am I a town girl or a city girl?

First, let me explain about the barn. My house was built at the time all of our great-great grandparents were young, and when it was first constructed, it was a decent carriage ride away to the center of town. So naturally, the original builders were in the country, and planning to farm. And farm they did, I'm sure. They built a marvelous little carriage barn, enough to keep a few horses, cows, and chickens, and a carriage as well, to take them into town.

Image result for carriage barn red
This is pretty similar to my barn. Minus the carriage.
There's a funny thing about towns, though. They grow. Before long, the town had reached that farmhouse, and made it become a townhouse. The farmland got parceled off to surrounding neighbors. But those farmers (or farmer's sons) held on to that little red barn.

Long story short, the barn stands today. City ordinances deny my wish to have a beautiful horse inside. But there are only a few more houses on the one side before one can follow the road into the countryside. And the country is nice.

Little stream in a meadow:

The country is lovely, in fact. Where else do you find fresh air and simple living and wildflowers? Where else do you find lush forests and nature trails? Where else, my friends, do you find herds of cows and horses, and fields of corn waiting to be harvested?
No matter how hard those urban farmers may try, the answer is nowhere.
So some days, I feel ready to pack my bags, marry a farmer, and live a simple, natural, wonderful country life.
Where else can you find the culture, elegance, and sophistication of a city? I know of no marble farms or barnyard orchestras. How could I live without access to pillared concert halls, art exhibits, and museums? I would long for the glamorous, glistening rush of city life.  I would miss the chance to glide up escalators and shop in stores with chandeliers.

La Coulee Verte, Paris:

So as you can see, I'm in a little pickle here. I've been envious of both the farm girl and city darling growing up, and now I'm pulled by the two forces as I begin planning my future. Perhaps I could give my condition the formal name of Edge-of-Town Syndrome, and classify it as "a longing to participate in both country and city life".
Now that I've huffed and puffed and ranted at you all 'till you're bored as buttons, I don't know how to end this except by stomping off in a fit of frustration. (I have no compassion on my own nerves!) But every blog post needs a happy ending, so I'll suffice it to say that whether I live in the country, city, or somewhere in between, I will be happy. Fortunately for us, God is with us, no matter where we live.:)


  1. Ahhh! This was a lovely post, Abby. The pictures you chose are scrumptious! THAT CREEK!! Ohhhh!! Me wants it. :)

    I'm sorry you find yourself facing such a dilemma. It really is a hard decision, isn't it? There's definitely a part of me that longs for a country life, but at the same time living in a town (or city) is so very convenient. I'm sort of an in-between person, too, I guess. (Oh, I've got it! You'll just have to get yourself two houses, one in the city and one in the country. And then switch back and forth between them. ;))

    That's so cool that the old barn is still standing! And just out of curiosity, when was your house built? We live in an old farm house that was built in 1902.

    Oh, do have compassion on your nerves, my dear, and try not to worry about it yet a while. It will all come clear in good time, I'm sure. And yes, that is SO true. God is always with us, and therefore we have every reason to be happy, wherever we are. Excellent reminder. Thank you. :D

    1. Thank you so much Miss March! I wish I lived by a creek like that; pretty as my surroundings are, they don't hold a candle to that! I think I shall need 4 houses, in fact; a forest cabin, a seaside cottage, a city apartment, and a farmhouse! ;)
      I think my house was built in the 1890's? That's cool that you know what it feels like to live in an old house like that!
      And thank you for your advice. I will take it to heart!

  2. I like this post a lot... and the story about the barn is so cool... and I LOVE red barns. :-)
    I really do relate to your struggle, actually - Country is the bestest feeling, but then I do like having a city to explore and use at my doorstep. :-P Yeah, I relate.

    1. Thanks Naomi! Red barns are the best, but I can't hide my envy when I see barns with Pennsylvania-Dutch designs on them. (Do you know what those are in Belgium?) They're like quilt square patterns, painted right on there!
      Glad I'm not the only one with Edge of Town Syndrome! :)

  3. What a pickle. doesn't seem like such a bad thing! It sounds like you live in a beautiful place, and you have a lot of both kinds of advantages, which is nice. I live in a teeny, tiny, rural, country town, but I've lived in a bigger town and a city before. I like the country better, but it's dreadfully inconvenient to have to drive 20-50 miles to get to anything besides the grocery store or library.
    Nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading this! You wrote it in such a lovely, poetic way that I was drawn in! Beautifully done, and I love the pictures!

    1. Yes, living on the edge of town comes with a lot of perks! As I get older and move out, I'm sure I'll find another good place that's the best of both worlds. And that's too bad about having to drive so far for things!
      Aw, thank you for your sweet comment Rae! :)

    2. (By the bye, I tagged you for this Blogger Recognition Award: )