Monday, September 27, 2010

City or Country Instincts

I just got back from visiting my daughter and her family. They live in an actual city. My instincts are tuned for the country. It's an adjustment.

Traffic is the first thing that impresses me. Totally different rhythms for city driving. Also doesn't help that I'm driving a "country" truck: Extended cab F-250 with a full sized bed and a tall roof rack. The length and width of the truck makes for tough going in narrow streets. The high roof rack keeps me out of parking garages -too high.

When a car drives by my country place, I most likely know the person -if not by name at least by sight. No such luck with the thousands of cars constantly driving right by my daughter's house. In the country, I can hear cars coming for miles away. My ears are tuned to listen for them. In the city, that kind of attention would drive a person mad. Too much is going on. My instincts are to pay attention to things far away, as well as close, but it's system overload in the city.

Then there is the light. When I wake up at home, and it's light in my bedroom, it's time to get up. This past weekend, I'd wake up in the middle of the night, thinking it was time to get out of bed. No, it was just the lights from the city, tricking my country habits.

My daughter doesn't even live in a very big city. It's not like when I once visited my sister-in-law in Manhattan. Early in the morning, I heard gun shots fairly close by. At first, I wasn't concerned at all. Back home it was deer hunting season. Gun shots at the break of day was no cause for alarm. I'd been listening to them all week. Once I woke up fully, however, I realized no one was hunting deer in Manhattan. Duh!

To live in a city, a person needs different skills. Over time, I get used to it, but it never really becomes second nature to me. I'm like a man living in a foreign country who understands enough of the language to get by, but has to translate the words back to his native tongue to really understand.

On the flip side, I've city friends who have trouble sleeping in the country. It's too quiet. One couple brings a fan to generate white noise so they can relax.

Tonight, I walked outside in the dark to get something from my truck. I head a sound and froze. It was the sound of a leaf falling to the ground and bumping into still attached leaves on the way down. Would not have heard that in the city.



  1. I know exactly what you mean. The biggest dissapointment in my way of living is when I had go on oxygen at night. That dang oxygen generator makes a lot of noise, even when I put in the bathroom and shut the door. In the motor-home it is really loud. Just one more dissadvantage of getting old (grin)

  2. Most of them get weeded out before then.

  3. I guess I've always been a country boy at heart. I've lived in the "city" (a suburb anyways). But I've always required two things to sleep: dark and quiet! Which we pretty much had here, until they connected my dead end street to a main road. I am at home at my folks' place in the country...

  4. I'm glad so many people actually enjoy living in the city. If they didn't, they'd be all over the countryside and there wouldn't be any country.