When people find out I grew up in the country they usually say something like, "Oh! I would never have known!" or "You don’t look like you came from the country!" I always wonder what these people think a country person should be like. Maybe they think I should be walking around wearing overalls with a stalk of wheat sticking out the corner of my mouth, perhaps dragging a burlap sack full of potatoes.
At any rate, I’ve now been living in the city longer than I lived in the country. I think of the city as "home" and I say things like, "I couldn’t live in the country anymore." And then, as this past weekend, I’ll go up north for a family affair and am reminded how beautiful it all is. I feel a kinship with the place and I think, "No, this is home." This particular trip I was thinking fondly of all the bike rides my dad and I used to take, conquering hills that I would never make it over now. I thought especially of the one time I was going so fast down a gravel side road that when I wiped out I slid, tangled up in my bike, most of the length of the fairly steep hill on my right leg resulting in a super cool injury that was fun to show off – after I stopped crying. That road is paved now and probably not as dangerous or as much fun.
I stood in the very pretty cemetary in Sundridge and I thought about these things and I thought, "The country is not so bad, I do love it here after all."
About the time I was romanticizing my old stomping grounds, we were descended upon by black flies and we became a black fly smorgasbord. Oh yes! How could I forget about the bugs! There was much swatting of ears and flapping of arms and we town mice were not-so-silently mocked by the country mice for our lack of preparedness. "You should know better, you once lived here!" they exclaimed, and we could not really argue with that.
Driving to the luncheon later, we passed a gathering of Black Fly Hunters in South River and we all inwardly came to terms with the fact that we are now, definitively, town mice.