Last week a friend asked me, “Do you just love living out here?” I have to admit that I hesitated. After she left I felt ashamed. We really do live in a beautiful place. A stream running in the front, a pond with a bridge across, red rocks and a butte behind, a pretty house nestled into the hill. So why on earth could I not answer with a firm YES when my friend posed this question?
It started out innocent enough. I was just looking “for fun.” You know, maybe 10 years down the road. It was a year ago this month that I found the listing and fell in love. When my husband walked in from work that night I had it printed and stretched out for him to take a look. He gave it one glance and said something along the lines of, “That’s great! Make a file and write down what you like about it. Maybe here in 10 years we can find another similar to it.” A few weeks later an incident that made us a little nervous brought me back to the ad. An open house the very next day, what do you know! So we decided, just for fun, to check it out. That was it. The entire drive home we brainstormed ways that we could make it happen. It all hinged on whether or not we could sell our house fast enough. The next week it was up for sale, and within 24 hours we had three offers all over asking price. It was amazing how it all fell together. We were moving to the country!
The next month we spent thinking about the changes this would mean for our little family. My husband spent his summers growing up on his grandparents’ ranch, so this wouldn’t be a big change for him. For me on the other hand, little did I know what a city girl I really was. Looking back I guess I didn’t quite realize just what becoming a country girl would mean. Seriously, how hard could it be? I grew up in a small town, didn’t go shopping for new clothes hardly ever, didn’t mind a little hard work. I already was making some pretty darn good country breakfast fixin’s like pancakes and eggs, and most importantly John Denver was my all time FAVORITE singer. I was meant to be a country girl, right??
Well, I’ll be honest. I didn’t bet on coming across rattlesnakes in our back yard while my husband was at work. Or worrying about my kids being out of my sight for two minutes because we’d seen mountain lion and bear scat by the pond. Or having to talk to my sister in a little corner next to the window and not move because we had really bad cell service.
I often think about our sweet neighbors in town. I miss stopping by on the way to the park to say hello and hearing about their grandkids. The boys talk about their super-cool tree house that Dad built for them in our “Doctor Seuss Spruce” and the sand box underneath. It almost makes me ache for those days that I could watch them out the window while I washed the dishes as they played pirates. We would walk or run everywhere. To the grocery store, the hardware store, the park, our friends’ houses, the car shop… I kinda miss that. I kinda miss a lot of things about our old life in town.
Then I think about those pretty awesome moments we’ve experienced here and I remember why we tried so hard to make this country life happen. Like when the boys and I spent a half-hour watching elk walk across the mountain in back of our house. When we spent our afternoons for a week picking chokecherries by the stream to make our own chokecherry syrup. The countless days spent fishing in our front yard, playing in the paddle boat, reading books under the big tree by the pond waiting for the muskrat to surface, or pretending pirates or mountain lions in the long grass below the butte. I’m definitely reminded on the nights we spend sitting and looking at the stars. Out in the country there are millions spread like a blanket across the sky. And best of all, I now have a pretty good excuse to only make it to the grocery store once, maybe even every-other week. 😉
Over the last year I’ve had a mix of emotions. But in all the mix of emotions, I’ve decided that it’s ok. I’m glad we lived in the house in town, but I’m glad I stumbled across the listing for our house here in the country. I’m glad that we were able to make the friends we made in town. We still see them when we get a chance. I miss our tree house, but because we built one there we know how do build an even better one here. Our old house will always hold so many great memories in my mind. But over the last year we’ve made so many more wonderful memories here in the country. What’s so great is that there’s a lifetime more to make no matter where we are. And as long as we’re here in the country, I just might really become that country girl after all.