Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Country Life

Above are the Chesapeake Bay Children on a recent outing to Aarons Beach. It was a gorgeous day, albeit a bit nippy.

That nippiness (it's a word, at least in my house) didn't stop Chesapeake Bay Daughter from taking off her shoes and socks for our stroll down the beach.

Chesapeake Bay Son and Daughter were born when I lived in Northern Virginia. After they came along, the urge to make more money, to work fancy schmancy jobs and to live in a place where the neighbors can see your every move really started losing its appeal.

When I thought back on my own childhood, which was full of long, lazy days exploring and playing outside; with little to no contact with civilization; where the friends you had in kindergarten were still your friends in high school; and where much of the landscape is untouched and undeveloped; I realized I wanted my own children to grow up in a rural environment away from the hustle and bustle and the fast, hurried pace of city life.

Don't get me wrong - I am not trying to disparage city life. It's just not my cup of tea. Just like living 40 miles from the nearest Kohls or Rack Room Shoes or Target or Best Buy or Costco may not be someone else's cup of tea. It's a matter of opinion and personal preference, although sometimes there is no choice in the matter due to employment, proximity to family, etc.

Anyway.

This angst about my children growing up in an urban environment coincided with a call from my parents who very generously said that if I were interested in moving back home, there was an empty house waiting: the same house I grew up in, right on the water. They were going to live next door at my grandfather's old house.

They didn't have to ask me twice. The stars and planets aligned, I landed a job within commuting distance, and we came home to Mathews.

And now my kids can stroll barefoot in January down an undeveloped beach. They can hop in the canoe and explore Miller's Cove; they can go off for hours to play in the woods across the creek where they most definitely are trespassing on someone else's property.

OK, that last one makes me nervous, so let's not talk about that.

Am I sheltering them too much? Am I encouraging them to play in the woods on other people's property? Am I depriving them of the social and cultural experiences only available in urban areas?

Perhaps. But they're OK with that. And so am I.


26 comments:

Pueblo girl said...

Actually, in many ways it's city kids who seem to be over-protected: can't go anywhere alone, grow up nervous around animals because they have no experience of them, etc etc. Whilst a at the same time, being exposed to some of the worst aspects our society.

Anonymous said...

Felt the same exact way as you alas my arrival from the west coast home to mathews with my child to a house my parents had open for me!!!


Kitty Litter

maria from nj said...

You know there is no wrong or right, there are just choices. You grew up there and seemed to have turned out alright, so will they. Albeit with a bit of the trespassing gene in them ;)

Hope you are enjoying the city food!

WV:drapsess - in the city you need heavy drapsess on your windows to keep the nosey neighbors out of your life.

Mathews Mark said...

Pueblo girl you hit the nail on the head.An exchange program were they could get the best of both worlds would be good.However both my sons turned out great (thanks to their mothers). Like the song says: A country boy will survive:. I'm not worried about my Boys in the big city,they will survive. So will yours CBW. Have a great Day,and remeber if you can't beat them shoot them in the foot and run. lol MM

Mathews Mark said...

///phosaph: Mathews Mark is a phosaph///// ghostless, CBW said you were some what of a ghost expert, what does it mean when the ghost has no eyes?

Ann Marie said...

and all i can think about is I GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!!
I would do just about anything to get back to NoVA.

Ann Marie said...

Mark .. in my experience it means they are blind. hehehehehehe

Actually it would more likely mean that they can't see what has happened to them or where they are now. Like what they see is only a memory of how things were before not what is there now.

Mathews Mark said...

AM I guess My Country boy side is comin out BLIND why did'nt I think of that. ha ha ha But that is what I have all of you wonderful people (bloggers) for,to smartin me up. Ya'll better pack a lunch if you think you can. I think sometimes I have 2 brain cells left and both are blinking. Gotta swim to work have fun. Todays word is scumbucket!!

ghostless said...

MM, I don't know about the expert part. Ghosts, for a lack of a better word right now, have made contact with me on and off through out my life. I don't go looking for it...thus the tag name Ghostless...which is what I would like to remain. However, I do not see them, they tend to move things or touch me...which is a bit unnerving. To those of you who don't believe in this stuff...I don't blame you...please don't judge me...I don't like to talk about it too often.
MM my interpretation would be if you are seeing a ghost without eyes, it would be just that the "veil" or the thing that keeps us, the living on this side from seeing those who have passed away on the other side, is just not clear enough for you to see the person's complete face. There are apparations of just shadows, vapors, and actual full body images where you can see the people and recognize them. So you were only seeing a partial view of your ghost's face.
I would like to say to MM, and anyone else who visits his house, please remember that if there is an entity in this house, it was at one time a person (hopefully) and deserves respect, be he or she good or bad. This is a realm that I personally and spiritually (religiously) do not believe in "messing with". Sorry if I sound like a stick in the mud. I was touched by an angry entity once, I was simply walking thru a house for rent. The realtor knew the house was haunted and didn't tell me til later as it never affected her, you don't forget it!

big hair envy said...

My almost-eighteen year-old cannot wait to flee the boredom of the country for the bright lights of the big city. I know that feeling well. She will go out into the world and find her way, THEN she will return to our little slice of heaven when she needs to rest;) Or, when she needs laundry washed! From what I've observed, the CB Children are fantastic!!! Mum's the word on the whole trespassing thing;)

Breezeway said...

Ghostless - I find that whole thing very intriguing, and agree with you on the "not to be messed with" part. Never have seen a reason not to believe in it. CBW - can not imagine raising my girls anywhere other than in the "country". As it is, I worry that they don't get to experience the outside world the same way I did at their age. I think kids should get dirty, sweaty and scabby. You spend enough time clean and scrubbed as an adult! Hate to see kids who aren't allowed to take off their shoes and dig their toes in the sand. Nothing makes me happier to this day than to thrown on a pair of old jeans and a tshirt and sit on the beach. Or to get home at night with sore muscles and grubby hands from a great day at the barn. Not a city girl, but everybody can't be the same!

Mental P Mama said...

I happen to know that the CB Children are fantastic! And lucky as all get out!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I was like BHE's kid after 18 years on the farm and 4 years in a small college town: Get me to the city! And honestly, I still get a little bit jazzed when I walk down Connecticut Avenue, so I know it's not time to go.

I like to think my kids have the best of both worlds - our suburb is woodsy and backs to a state park. Our development has a 75-acre space with a lake. (Really, a large pond.) The kids are safe here. But, we are close enough to the city to take advantage of all it offers.

Your musing about this makes me think it may be time for me to write about the time we moved to PA and then moved back to DC within 6 months. Talk about learning the hard way!

Caution Flag said...

I actually long for the life your kids are living. I used to think it would happen here, too, but now I know it won't, so we're making the most of being suburbanites. It's okay. Sometimes.

dianem said...

All that matters is that it works for you. Really, that you found a way to make it work! And they sure look happy!

Jamie said...

I long to live in Deltaville... some day. For now I'm happy I am able to spend so much time in the area with my kids so they know what small town life is like. I remember playing hide and seek and capture the flag on the whole point... wasn't ever thought to be trespassing... probably would now with a lot of the old families selling their places.

While Gettysburg isn't the big city, I'm thankful my parents have 6 acres where we can play "farm" with the horses (I'm working on selling my dad on chickens, but after the ducks disappeared one by one he isn't buying in)

ghostless said...

Meg, long ago I dated a city guy, me being a country girl. We loved each other dearly, what was in our soul though was there to stay, he had to have the beat of the city to be alive (D.C.), I had to have nature (farm land) to stay sane. So to all the young kids, I tell them sometimes love does not conquer all!

Julie said...

I'm actually ready to leave the big city for some place smaller. I'm tired of all the traffic and smog that is in and around my city.

Daryl said...

I have been a city mouse all my life but I do adore going to the country and spending time away from the hustle and noise .. I sure hope the 20 hrs you will spend in NYC in 16 days is not too much/too overly hectic ... good thing we're going to CT after so you can chill ...

Any spirit I have ever encountered has been treated with respect... especially the one that 'lives' in our basement which I am convinced is not a good spirit at all.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I have lived all over. I like the city and I like the county. But what I like best is home!
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Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

THE CITY FOOD IS KILLING ME!

AND TWELVE DOLLARS FOR HALF AN HOUR ON THE INTERNET IS HIGHWAY ROBBERY!

GET ME OUTTA HERE!

Hope y'all are doing well and steering clear of Vietnames, Mexican and Thai restaurants where you over indulge because you know it will be centuries before you have it again.

I won't be able to walk out of this place on Friday.

Have a great week.

p.s. Love reading the comments and had to laugh at Breezeway talkinga bout putting a crop upside MM's head.

Mathews Mark said...

Thats right CBW laugh at the dumb guy!!! OH and can you give me your credit card number we ran out of beer.Your MOM said it was ok.

MommyTime said...

I don't know if I've seen a full-on pic of CBD before. She is lovely! And I think that the freedom that kids have in the country now (much like the freedoms we had growing up) is hard to make any better.

Grandma J said...

Your kids are very fortunate to have the lifestyle you have chosen. They aren't deprived in the least. I can tell.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Mathews Mark is cracking me up!!

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

This post is yet another perfect example of why the hubby and I are not, nor will we ever be, city folk.