When I read this week's Sunday Scribblings prompt, "Town and Country," I was most captivated by Laini and Megg's mention of the "Town Mouse and the Country Mouse." I've always loved Aesop's Fables, especially this tail - oops, I mean 'tale.' So this evening I sat and doodled awhile, before beginning to scribble.
Where I was born and raised, would probably be considered more 'country' by many townspeople, but then again, most country folk would probably consider it more 'town living.'
We were at the edge of what would someday become an actual suburb, in what was known as "the county" (as in, "not the city") - where the lots were about an acre (sometimes more, some less) each, and many people, as we did, had lots of fruit trees - kept vegetable gardens - chickens and other farm animals - and a lucky few, horses (alas! not us...we had to be content with occasional rides on the neighbor's horse - sigh).
There were still lots of open fields within walking distance, and orange groves within bike-riding distance. There were also stores within a mile, so it wasn't like we were really way out in the country, either. But there weren't sidewalks, nor (in those days) were there streetlights, cul-de-sacs, or much traffic - or most any of the things we associate nowadays with urban or even suburban living. Until after I was out of high school, we had both a partyline for our telephone, and a skeleton keyhole on our door. So did most of our neighbors (and I'm not as old as this might make me sound, lol. Those things in our area became more 'modernized,' only within the last 20 - 30 years, as the city grew further and further into the county - bringing both conveniences and crime, a lot closer).
We seemed to be neither totally town nor completely country, nor even simply suburban - but some hybrid state in between them all. Though there were times growing up, I wished we were one thing or another - as an adult, I find that's where I feel most comfortable, the in-between places.
In big cities, I often find myself overwhelmed - there are so many people, moving so quickly. Hemmed in by such tall buildings, you can hardly see the sky - let alone the horizon. There's so much noise - all of the cars and radios, people talking all at once.
Don't get me wrong - it can be fun in small doses. When I was much younger I often craved the hustle and bustle, the myriad of choices city life presents - and occasionally, even now, I still crave some of that excitement. All the choices of entertainment - theaters; museums; concerts...Shopping! A variety of restaurants, exotic, domestic or haute cuisine. But after a day of it, I'm cured for awhile. I'm ready to crawl back into my house, at the edge of my quiet little hometown.
The country - what I consider to be really the country - I can handle in longer visits. I still sometimes even fantasize about living in the country. But I know from previous experiences, after a week or two (or three or four :-) -- but still, eventually, I find myself wishing for a supermarket within a reasonable distance. A movie theater. Somewhere to hear other people talking. To eat food made by someone else. Go listen to other people making music....look at someone else's artwork. Shop at art supply stores! Book stores! Coffee shops! (well, I don't drink coffee, I drink tea - but still, that's where they sell it). And I want all these within a reasonable amount of driving time after deciding I need those things...
I am contrary, I know - I want some peace, but I want other people, not too far away. I want to hear the birds sing, but I want to be at the store to buy their birdseed in 15 minutes or less. I want the safety of being far away from where crimes are more likely to occur; but I also want the safety of knowing emergency vehicles will be at our door within a few minutes, if we need them. I want to grow my own tomatoes - and yet, have my choice of stores to shop for the salad dressing. I want to see the sky, and I want to go see a movie when it first comes out.
I want it all!
So, to the question, "am I a town mouse or a country mouse?" - I'd say the answer is -- I'm neither. I guess I'm some sort of hybrid mouse, that's in-between. I suppose the closest species - if they could be said to exist - would be either the suburban mouse or the county mouse. Living somewhere at the edge of the two...in the space that's somewhere in between. Trying to have the best of both worlds.
To read more tales of 'Town and Country," click over to Sunday Scribblings.
Sorry you can't see all of the doodle at once - because I didn't measure before I started doodling (aargh!! I'm mad at me - I know better than that!) - I couldn't fit all of my doodle onto the scanner at once...which is just one of many things right now, that are proving to me what I already know - I'm out of practice. So if I'm not around for another day or two, it's because I"m practicing doing some art again...oh - and because I couldn't fit it all on the scanner, the reason why the city mouse has her nose turned up, isn't because she's snooty, it's because she's looking at the fluffy dandelion seeds blowing above her head, that were just out of the scanner's view. I have no idea whatsoever why she's apparently a member of the Red Hat Society, however. Sometimes things just happen when you doodle! She's holding a cookie...and the only reason I can think of why that appeared, is because of some association with the children's book, "IF you give a mouse a cookie," must have popped into my head. I don't know why I do half the things I do...
Also for some reason I can't post onto the Sunday Scribblings site tonight to add my link there - I've been trying off and on for two hours! I'll try again tomorrow.