Wide Open Spaces

I tried to be a city girl.

A year after my high school graduation, when  two semesters at college had come to an end, I was stuck. I felt penned in by the spaciousness of my hometown.  Unsure of where to go or what to do, I signed with a nanny agency, and found myself on a plane to New York City.

In between my responsibilities for the girls I cared for, my new friends and I would take the train into the city  to explore.  I loved the tall buildings, the way they swallowed me whole with their oppressive height.  Narrow streets that bustled with people and yellow taxis moved me inside and out.  The stores were expensive and glamorous.  I bought pretzels on the corner and blushed at the catcalls of men as we walked down the filthy sidewalks.

New York was busy and full, completely opposite of the life I'd left in small-town Idaho.  There were people of all shapes and colors, unabashed and forward.  I thought I wanted to be one of them. I imagined myself in a loft with roommates, living a colorful, exciting life. I dreamed I would take taxis, ride the subway, and date men with dark hair and complexions, who spoke with exotic accents.

The 'city' has been my home a few times over the years.  I do love the culture, the restaurants, the museums, the availability of 'something to do'.  But, the truth is, I'm a country girl at heart, and when it comes to home, well, you know.

I have too many memories of wide and open.  I am inseparably connected to the soil of my youth.  I have spent days wandering country roads, picking flowers and breathing in the air that is untainted by exhaust, or fumes of any kind. I've shared my backyard with cattle, and skinny dipped in rivers and canals, where none but the catfish would see. My spirit longs for trees and mountains and spacious fields, where I can lay and watch the birds trace patterns on the clouds.

The town I live in is an absolutely perfect place.  We have good restaurants, my children attend great schools and the 'city' is just a short drive away.  The best part is the country feel.  We have farms and fields, and, yes, my beloved mountains that I can see everyday.  There are trees that house hawks, and the air is fresh and clean.

While I love returning to my childhood home, visiting the farms and river that hold cherished memories,  I am happy here.  Happy to have my heart firmly rooted in this place.  A place where my children are growing up with connections to both the town and the land it's built on.  They may not look back on farming or (gasp) skinny dipping.  They may venture out and find themselves in a busy city.  But, hopefully, they will know where their hearts are, and, they will have a little bit of country imprinted on their souls.


  1. Replies
    1. My sister had her 'Paper Roses' album when we were kids. I so wanted to be her!

    2. Donny's mine. Just sayin'.

      Beautiful post - there are so many times I wish we could chuck city-living and move somewhere with...air. And space. And no alley rats.

      You paint a beautiful picture, as always.

    3. Just the other day, my son asked, "Is Donny Osmond famous?"

    4. NOOOOOOOO. Say it ain't so! That's blasphemy (which I'm not sure if I spelled right because I'm a bad Catholic) around here!

  2. Sounds lovely, Jewels. I'm not sure what I am yet ... but I'll find out someday and let you know. :)

    1. It took me a really long time to figure it out. I look forward to your discovery!

  3. "This piece" is to "gorgeous," as "food" is to "the body." Meaning that it is so insightful, so well said, that I don't know how to describe my reaction to it except to make it all more confusing than it really needs to be. Very nicely done.

  4. I love my hometown, and I couldn't imagine raising my kids elsewhere. My kids look south and see the lights of Seattle and dream of living there. They love the city life! Since I lived all over the country as a kid and young adult, and they have only lived in this one place, I understand their desire to get out and see something else. I can't help but wonder if they will want to come back here like I did. I have a secret hope that they will!

    1. My kids have only known this place, as well. A couple of them swear they'll live in California or some other far away place. Like you, I hope they'll come back home.

  5. I love living in a place that is close to the city, good shops and places to eat. But I love it even more that I can be in the open countryside within ten minutes. It's nice to have the best of both worlds ;-)

    I love being in the city and loved my time there during my Uni days but I think I always knew I would come home.

    I am sure your love of the place you find peace will be ingrained in your children and they will come home when they want to rest their wings.

    Beautiful post!

  6. I feel like I am a city girl through and through. And yet, I am so happy to be raising my kids here in west Kaysville...and I have to admit, I do love all those cows in the field behind my house. So maybe I don't truly know what I am yet. And maybe that's the great thing about living in suburbia...the best of both worlds.

  7. Though we moved around a lot when I was a kid, most of the places we lived were either very small towns or completely out in the backwoods. There were a few larger towns/small cities, but nothing that would qualify as the big city, for sure. It's never really interested me. I especially love that my kids have been raised here in a town population 6000-ish--I'm not sure how much they LOVE about it, but... ;)


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