Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Living in the Country" is all relative...

The area where I grew up is serious agricultural business. From my mom and dad's place, I can stand in the yard and count 10 other farms. It really isn't an isolated area at all. In fact, we can start driving in two different directions and in less than ten minutes, be in a town.

If Jethro really pushes it he can get his Tim Horton's fix in less than ten minutes!

At church on Sunday I was chatting with a guy who drives truck for a living. (Notice I said "drives truck" not "drives A truck")
He's familiar with the Sprawlville/Affluencia area in which I make my home. We were discussing how much Newsmallburg is turning into Affluencia with its new subdivision full of luxury homes, being bought up by wealthy folks who think they won't mind commuting, and have no idea as of yet what we do around there every spring.

When Jethro was a kid, there was a barn in his neighbour's yard. Now it's a grocery plaza parking lot.

So my trucker friend mentioned the time his young cousins came from Thompson, Manitoba to visit Ontario. They wanted to know when they'd be in the country. At the time, they were driving down the highway, past all the abundant and prosperous thriving farms.

Out in Manitoba, all the way out to BC, you can drive for an hour without seeing another car. Or truck. You can live on a property where you cannot see your neighbours.

On the other hand, people who move up here to Affluencia from the Big City think they've moved out to the country. They figure if there's a field within a 15 minute car ride, they're in the country.

If I had my way, truthfully, and could live anywhere in the whole entire world, I would live on the west shore of Lake Huron. That's one of my favourite places in the world to visit. The beaches are excellent. What does the Hick know about beaches? Well, if you're a farm kid from southern Ontario, you should have been the Grand Bend at least once in your life, and been back on time to milk the cows in the evening.

The country up there is so beautiful. And the real estate prices. Stunning. The way prices are going up in the Newsmallburg area it makes me think...

I'd move up there in a heartbeat if I could solve two technicalities: My family/his family/our church aren't up there, and there's no music industry up there to provide us with a living.

Meanwhile, Jethro goes to work and gets teased by the city folk who ask us if we even got that Lectricity up there in Sprawlville, north of the 401...if we got teeth and such...

And I'm still trying to figure out how all those houses got in my pasture field!


Kari said...

The same thing is happeing here.

Timmy said...

whats the difference between "drives truck" not "drives A truck"

and why are you such a Madonna hater? hahaha!

Smartypants said...

Heidi hates Madonna?

No. I don't believe it.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

I love the country. I used to stand on a hill on our farm on some quiet mornings come Harvest and listen to distant tractors. It was a mezmerizing sound, like waves of pitch that really relaxed me for some reason. The distant sound of tractors working.

That memory just came up reading your post. Very fresh. I love it!

pluvialis said...

It's scary, isn't it. Fields just down the road from here are now absolutely covered in houses. I was hawking partridges with a peregrine on them five years ago. Arrghh. No partridges now. Nothing at all, really, just cars and gates and yellow brick walls.

Reid Farmer said...

Well, I live in a town that hates growth. New building permits are set to a total limited number of square feet per year. When buildings are torn down, you can "bank" the number of square feet and use it to build new.

Ralph's just opened the first new grocery store in town in 35 years. And had to fight to do it. They made them build an underground parking garage. Ever see a grocery store with underground parking?

We can't expand south cause the ocean is there. We can't expand north cause it's Los Padres National Forest. We can't expand east or west cause the county has zoned the land agriculture only.

If you don't want things to change much this is a good place. Of course there are consequences - the median home price here is $1,000,000

Covenant Giants said...

The property Canada’s Wonderland occupies used to be home to some of the prettiest dairy farms. I mean, they were right out of a Herriot novel. Field stone milking parlors and beautiful field stone and red brick homes. We were coonhuntin (not hunting) one evening, swung by a dairy that we had permission to run on and knocked to let him know we would be out in his back pasture. It was incredibly sad to see the gentleman hang his head and say “fella’s, enjoy it while you can, I just sold the place and so has two of my neighbors. They just offered us too much damn money.”
Now I hear the Wonderland is moving.
The 400 all the way to Aurora was ‘outback" then and driving into Hamilton from Guelph on 6 was a shock to my system this past winter; hit the brow and it’s city as far as you can see.

Ok, I’m depressed and I'm dating myself. Which is probably why I'm depressed.

I always wondered why the grade nine football team from Waterdown sported beards and mustaches back then while I was still praying over peach fuzz every morning.
I just figgerd it was the abundance of fertilizer out there.

Heidi the Hick said...

Kari, it's happening everywhere!!!

Tim & Smarty- I actually don't hate Madonna at all. Sometimes she bugs me but in general I am in awe of her work ethic and her imagination. I LOVED her when I was 14!!! I'm just mad at her because she got a publishing deal for kids picture books and dammit, it's not that easy!

Oh, and the truck thing: If you drive A truck, you are in the physical act of driving something which is a truck. If you Drive Truck, you are a Truck Driver.

Red, I totally, completely know what you mean. Dad used to love being out on the tractor all day.

Even in Cambridge, eh Pluvi? I might now recognize it next time I'm over there...

Reid- it's like you read my mind...I intend to write about this too.

Gregg- again, mind reading! I have just come back this afternoon from a trip along the 400, past Wonderland. when I was a kid I wanted to go there so bad. Then I read that it was built on farmland. I was only 12 and I felt sad. People need a place to live but now I can't look at that park without thinking about how much money we waste on a day full of being amused...It has been sold to an American park corporation, but it's been owned by Paramount for over a decade. And can you believe the housing around there?

Didn't Dolly Parton say she was the girl next door, if you grew up next to an amusement park???

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh yeah, Waterdown...you gotta love the farmboys. I know I do!

CindyDianne said...

Urban sprawl is terrible, I hate it! And, I take advantage of its conveniences daily...it's a quandry!

Heidi the Hick said...

I know. Can't live with it, can't live without it.

N I F T Y said...

I live out of town, not "in the country". Sure, I can't see the people who live beside me but I can hear them. We have only 5 acres, and are a mere 10 minutes from town. I like where I live, its country-ish.

I would rather live up the highway in a place called Pink Mountain. Its amazing up there. Elk and moose are everywhere, and there are herds of half wild horses living in the hills. The farmers keep to the valley and out of the wild animals way... Its a beautiful place, with a river and tall hills and mountains... I'd live there in a heartbeat, in my little cabin with my little pony all by my lonesome with the hills and the wind to keep me company.

Heidi the Hick said...

oh Nifty, that sounds beautiful! It's interesting how you made the distinction between "In the country" and "out of town" because it is different.

I think I"d like to see Pink Mountain some day!