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City Mom, Country Mom

By Holly Hester

Do you ever find yourself scanning real estate on the Internet for that perfect little farmhouse where you can leave your insane city life behind?

Yeah, me too. I went so far as to actually move to the country. I only wish that someone had told me a few things before I decided to turn from city mouse to country mouse.

1. You will never have food delivered to your house again. This is sad. I know. I thought I should tell you right up front in case it's a deal breaker.

2. You will run outside for airplanes. In cities you never notice airplanes. But in the country an airplane flying over your house is an event.

3. Spiders. They're everywhere. After a while, one will crawl on you and you won't even flinch.

4. You will complain about small amounts of traffic. When you first move to a small town, you will be delighted by the absence of traffic, but after a while something happens and you will get annoyed when there's even a single car ahead of you at a stop sign.

5. You will discover how capable you are. If a tree falls in the middle of a city street, people will quickly arrive in uniforms to fix it. If a tree falls across your driveway in the country, you are the one that fixes it.

6. You will wear overalls. Non-ironically. They will not be paired with hipster eyewear and chunky heels, but instead with rain boots and a knife.

7. You will miss the city. And that's okay. I've lived in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles, and I miss them all for different reasons. But they're always there for me, and when I go back to visit it's like seeing an old friend I still love, but I just don't have that much in common with anymore.

8. You will watch the sunset. A lot of them. Sure, you watched sunsets in the city, but not all the time. But a country sunset raps you on the shoulder and says, "I will not be ignored." And for good reason, they are majestic.

9. You will love parades. Half the town is in the parade, the other half watches. The next year, everybody switches.

10. Your car will be ugly. The whole purpose of your city car was to impress people. The whole purpose of your country car is to be as hearty and functional as you are now. Your car will always have a Mad Max level of dirt on it and the inside will be filled with things that seem like you're preparing for an apocalypse.

11. You will not regret moving. Oh sure, at times you will regret it. In the beginning you will hear about a gallery opening or a play or a new restaurant or a party that you're missing in the city and you will look around at all your quiet and start to tear your hair out. But listen to that quiet. Because inside that quiet is you. All that time you were searching online for that perfect little farmhouse? Well, you were actually searching for yourself and the city is sometimes just too distracting for that journey. Remember, Thoreau went into the woods not the subway.

And you will find exactly what you are looking for--you--out here, in the country.

Along with spiders.

Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

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