Longing For The Country

(10/21/2003)

Dear Bob,

I was just sitting here thinking about what is going on in my little hometown. It's seven-fifteen in the evening, not nearly dark here in my big city yet, what with all the street lights and traffic. It's mid-October and I'd love to see the trees as the leaves begin changing color.

I just finished reading the Herald, as I try to do every day. I usually get up half an hour early for work just so I can sit in the relative quiet and read what you've got to say. Even at five -thirty in the morning it's hard to hold the city at bay. Sometimes, like this evening, I get on the computer again, just to take another look.

I told a friend the other day how homesick I get for the lovely hills of West Virginia and she laughed as she asked, "Are you kidding? There's no comparison."

Well, I thought about it for a moment and then I realized...she was right. There is no comparison.

How can you compare the quiet of a country evening, watching the lightning bugs float by against watching my local news to see if they caught the serial rapist whose been running loose for the past three months?

Or perhaps those noises at night? Instead of the constant barrage of sirens and traffic, I'd like to hear the occasional cricket chirping, or at the very most, a neighbor's dog howling at a stray rabbit.

I also miss that little country store. You know the one, with only one line. It didn't matter if you had one 'item' or twenty 'things' or even if you just wanted to take a minute to check and see how Ms. Shirley was doing. No fancy grocery scanners. Just Ms. Shirley reading the little white sticker on the package. No price checks there.

And what about sitting on the front porch with your grandma? Sometimes you'd shuck corn from the garden you helped to plant. Sometimes you'd just sit and wave at the occasional car or truck that drove by. And they always blew the horn, because everybody knew everybody.

What about listening to your uncle tell the story of the big buck that got away? Again?! groannn...and how many points did it have the last time? Ten? Twelve?

What about going down the road? No paved four lanes in my hometown. No need to worry about someone running the red light. When I lived there, Grantsville didn't have a red light!

When someone passed you on the street and asked how you were, they actually meant it and waited for you to tell them.

I admit, I do appreciate all the conveniences of living in a big city. Plenty of grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, two malls, gas stations on every corner, and plenty of work for everyone who lives here. But now that I live here, I have come to realize that nothing beats sitting under a shade tree drinking lemonade with your loved ones. As a kid it was boring, now it would be a 'luxury.'

I consider myself a pretty smart woman, until I think about how foolish I was as that kid growing up in that small town. I had it made and I didn't even realize it. So, I have adopted the following motto:

"Living in the country and longing for the city beats living in the city and longing for the country.... hands down... "

Sincerely,

Debbie Bush, 24 Kingsbury Circle

Warner Robins, Georgia 31088