When I was 24 years old, my husband convinced me it was a good idea for us to move to his homeland. His ‘homeland’ being that foreign place known to this city girl as the country. The sticks. The ‘it’s not even on a map!’ place I now call home.
I wasn’t overly keen on moving to the land of cattle farms and hay fields, nor was I thrilled with the idea of living so far away from a Taco Bell or a slushie dispenser but I loved my husband and I was a dutiful wife.
I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.
Okay, so perhaps his successful persuasion was less dependent on the fact I was a dutiful wife and more contingent on the fact I found a property for dirt-cheap.
It’s been more than 12 years since we packed up our smalls, our belongings and our dreams and headed out to our 20 acre slice of heaven, conveniently located five kilometres east of my mother-in-law’s house.
Take your time. I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.
The transition from the convenience of city life to the peaceful, completely inconvenient and possibly more expensive rural life we now live wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Or perhaps it was and I’ve only dulled the painful memories with copious amounts of alcohol and maple syrup.
(I wouldn’t recommend imbibing the two of those liquids together, for the record. Ahem.)
My point, and yes, I do have one, is that life out here in the sticks has been fairly idyllic for our small family. While I may not be able to see my neighbours from my house I generally know what they are doing anyways. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. It’s like Desperate Housewives out here, only minus the suburbs, the botox and fake boobs and the poorly scripted murder mysteries.
There was once a time I found the idea of knowing so much about my neighbours absolutely horrifying. Clearly I hadn’t discovered blogging yet. I’ve since evolved and life has changed.
So when our small farming community recently held its Family Fun Day celebration, I admit, I got a tad excited. Not only was it an opportunity to spend the afternoon with actual grown ups but it was a chance to show off my family while visiting with the people who have known my husband, myself and now my children our entire lives. Our roots out here run deep.
It was a day filled with face painting, inflatable bounce houses and wagon rides. There were gunny sack races (I totally won), three-legged sprints and laughter. And the entire day I didn’t once have to worry about where my children were or whom they were talking to, because everyone knew everyone else and the newcomers were welcomed into the fold like old family members.
Grizzled farmers and old women made time for my children. Activities were made just so that my youngest son could participate in the festivities. Babies were held and swapped and at the end of the day, everyone pitched in to clean up.
I’m sure there are communities like this in urban areas as well, but out here, past city limits where hay fields run for as far as the eye can see, there is a tiny community comprised of a hodge podge of people that feels like family. My family.
It’s a place filled with history and magic and the roots of affection binds us all. I finally understand why my husband so desperately wanted to move back to this place. It’s our homeland.