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Old 04-20-2009, 02:52 PM
 
78 posts, read 199,228 times
Reputation: 70

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I am enjoying the writings of all who responded to 20 yrs in Branson. I think I understand what you are feeling Branson. My husband and I have a vacation home in Nova Scotia. It is located in a very rural area. The nearest city is Dartmouth/Halifax. We recently sold our home in the States and have been living here for three months. I made a decision when we arrived that I would seek out places to go and people to meet. I left my friends back in New Hampshire, retired from a demanding career and came to a quiet place on the ocean. I have been struggling with the change even though I have met people and I am involved and I'm painting and taking walks and reading. I'm studying tai chi and resurrecting an old flower garden.

I understand the serenity from sitting by a creek and the stillness of nature and the glory of a country walk but what Branson said about being seen grabbed me. There is something about walking away from that place in the world where we are seen and recognized, where we became accomplished and successful. Now we are in a quiet place.

I have studied some form of spirituality most of my life but I now know I never really got it, even though I taught art, yoga, meditation, mindfulness.
For a brief time in the 80's a religious man came into my life and though he did not know, I never forgot the impact he made on my life. I met him at a pivotal point in my life. I recently met up with him again. When I met him the first time he was a vibrant and spirited man. When I saw him again his body was broken but not his spirit. Again I was at a pivotal point and again he had an enormous impact on my life. He died just a few weeks ago. I am reading his books. You may wish to take a look: Being Priest to one another by and God-Birthing, toward sacredness, personal meaning, and spiritual nourishment, by Michael Dwinell.

In the 60's I was involved in consciousness raising groups for women. Very powerful. This thread is very much like that. Women talking to women. Very powerful.
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:37 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 3,620,034 times
Reputation: 646
Quote:
Originally Posted by roots'nbulbs View Post
Napstowner, It's the fact that the majority of the population lives in cities that puts rural on the defense. That's true in most situations where ratio is at play. Bigger tends to have the cultural resources.

I think that if you research SCGranny's posts, you will find her experiences to be far beyond somebody's pasture. She has merely chosen her spot on this earth and has the wisdom to know it. Too bad for both you and I that we have to rationalize.

I've been wondering, aloud, whether or not 'place' matters and posts on this thread have suggested how we can all have the best of two worlds.

It's my insecurities that make me bristle when someone reeks of "city is better." I guess if I owned the kingdom, I wouldn't care what you called my country palace. And, if you were first consul, you wouldn't care what I thought of--let's say, Paris, from my spot at Versailles.
I didn't mean to take a shot at SCGranny, although I see that it looks that way.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:21 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
8 posts, read 18,136 times
Reputation: 21
Oh, I know just how you feel! I grew up in a rural area outside of Cleveland. It was great because of the metro-rail transport it was really easy to get into the city for plays, museums and food. It was a beautiful area (Geauga county) and really had the best of both worlds. When I turned 16 we moved to a decent sized city (South Bend) and lived in town. There weren't many museums to speak of and the civic playhouse couldn't compare to the one in Cleaveland. But still, there were lots of great restaurants and we took in the occasional play. Then a few years ago I moved out into the country, about an hours drive away from the nearest city, and 2 hours away from the nearest museum.

People from South Bend really turn their nose up at the county I live in now, which I think is a bit unfair. Though it isn't high culture, that doesn't mean it lacks culture... it's a different kind, but not worse or better. I do miss going for walks along the river and going to the farmers market in South Bend, and I really miss the rail system in Cleaveland. But like other posters have said, other things more than make up for it. When I wake up early and see the sun rise through the oak trees, or see a flock of turkeys, indigo buntings at the feeder, or see a gray fox lope through the field I don't miss the city so much. Also, now whenever I go to the city I can't believe how bad it smells. I never noticed before.

Starting a book club is a good idea, if you meet others that are interested in the same things in your area, and I'm sure you would, you could always carpool to museums and such. Maybe I'll try that too
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 32,197,182 times
Reputation: 15560
I think it is soooooo interesting that so many women from so many places have responded to this thread.
I find it very powerful also, like a previous poster said, that women are empowering other women, and we seem to be from all walks of life.
I feel that part of going back to Mother Earth is to get back in touch with our compassionate selves, and stop all the competition.
Thanks for so many different, but positive frames of mind, its very encouraging!
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,538,452 times
Reputation: 9580
LOL Naptowner I don't expect you to understand or know me from one thread.

But yes I have seen far more than my pasture (check out my profile). I have been the VP of a State political party (twice), I wrote newspaper political editorials for 20 years, have been an elected official (the second time w/o opposition), owned several businesses (one which planned, organized, and advertised events for 500-5000 people), have been involved in legislating massive multimilliondollar property developments, worked for EMS and the fire department (not as a secretary ), been President of a Rotary club, Media rep for several years for a Relay for Life, and chaired several organizations that assisted parents and children in education and opportunities. I have attended operas and sang first soprano in the Messiah in public productions, have traveled the country, and can describe the best places to go in Washington DC, Seattle WA, and New Orleans to eat or drink or enjoy life and good music like a native.

Do I miss it? No. The country is my heart. The people in the country have better acting skills, a more honest and open way of life, and more musical talent and class than most of the people I hung out with to 'make a difference' or make a living. They read more, they discuss more, they debate more, and they think more about things from a whole world aspect than most city folk I had to deal with. Most importantly, they do more, and don't expect anyone else to do for them. Because I believe in getting involved where you live, I did all of those things - and because, where I was, I needed to do all of those things to make a living. I chose my pasture. I chose my life. Everyone does, whether they want to admit it or not. I made a conscious and purposeful decision to live my life for me the way I always wanted to, to make enough money to get to where I ultimately wanted to be.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to the Future Farmers of America banquet tonight. I need to put on some nice clothes and go watch some of the smartest and most centered teenagers I have ever been privileged to meet show off what they have accomplished this year, share in their pride and joy, and eat some grassfed Angus beef that they raised and slaughtered. This, my dear, is what I call living! What I did before was simply making a living.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:07 PM
 
Location: South Coast of Nebraska
252 posts, read 642,269 times
Reputation: 182
Lord. I love it when you're riled, SCGranny. Hope the banquet was a good one. Makes me hungry for steak and we're having chicken, tonite.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,538,452 times
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Thanks roots'nbulbs, it WAS good. Not just the food but the teens who were speakers, who received scholarships and awards. The best part I think was when they told us about FFA - what it stood for, what they'd learned, like proper farm business management and how much honesty and integrity mattered, not only to them personally but in the day-to-day business of farming and ranching. Boys and girls alike can rope and ride, castrate and brand, as well as care for and butcher animals. Yet they also are well-dressed, clean, and polite, with an air of being centered and self-knowledgeable. Very nice to be around! (Oh yes and the food was GREAT!) These young people made sure to recognize everyone who had helped them and supported them throughout the year, especially their parents. And at the end they proudly led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

I wasn't riled, really! I just figured that Naptowner needed to know that I wasn't someone who had never left the farm, that I wasn't speaking from an inexperienced prejudice against 'da big citee'.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,803,493 times
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Just to kind of follow up on my original post with a comment.

Yesterday, just for the fun of it, I called the Tower Club at University Plaza in Springfield. The Tower Club is probably the most lah-de-dah membership-only club in town. Even thought it is open to anyone who wants to join, the initial membership fee is almost $1,000 and you must pay $35 per month, and spend $30 per month in food to be a member there.

Well, they offer one month memberships free to "try it out" and make sure you like the ambiance and food, etc. Which is cool, and I will probably do that. But the point I am trying to get to is regarding the person I spoke with who is in charge of membership sales.

When I spoke with her - an obviously intelligent, young woman, probably not from "around here", it was like talking to someone from a different planet. She spoke with no noticeable accent, she used proper grammar and she had a wonderful vocabulary. For a moment, just a moment, I was transported back, emotionally about 30 years to when I was living in Arizona and people knew how to COMMUNICATE in an intelligent, professional way.

I really almost cried.

I know that "country folk" are very smart about some things. But I swear it seems like the only people I talk with on a daily basis are so incredibly DUMB that it is painful to carry on a conversation with them. I am so tired of hearing about their incredibly petty, inconsequential lives. I'm sick of hearing about their medical problems, their children and grand children.

It's hard not to come across as some kind of snob, but all I am asking, really is an intelligent conversation. Is that so much to ask? Yes, I love where I live and I love being in the country and, for the most part, the people here are good, decent, hard-working people. But Gosh all mighty I yearn for some small glint of intellect and find it so very, very rarely.

*sigh*

Thanks for listening. I think I'll call up the tower club again and ask some more questions.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:52 PM
 
Location: South Coast of Nebraska
252 posts, read 642,269 times
Reputation: 182
Years ago, I would have written what you just wrote. I had a cousin from urban PA come and stay with me and I cried to her that I was down on my luck for not getting "off the farm." She looked around and said, "It's a trade off. You get some good and you get some bad. So do I."

I suspect you are younger than I and I remember wanting to move back to the city. But, I had kids who were crying to be where Daddy was and doggone it, he wasn't leaving the country. So, I stayed and they were peachy to ride that big, yellow school bus. Grinnin' all the way into town.

Now, one of them won't leave LA and I have to tell you, I think she and I both have great lives. You just have to trade some good for some bad. And, you have to prioritize the money so you can take trips and have wonderful times in the city as well as coffee, early in the morning, watching that gorgeous country setting.

Get on Facebook with the girl at the Tower. In a short time, her brags about trips and parties will just seem like work to you.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:26 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,146 times
Reputation: 10
I sure do sympathize with you, 20yrsinBranson. I am 11yrsinruralSierraNevadaMountains and it took me many years to miss the things of which you speak. I grew up in the SF Bay Area, but fell in love with mountains and the down-to-earth values of rural life. There are many things that are wonderful about rural living, but in the last few years, I have begun to feel just like you.

I am tired of feeling like I am an oddity because I am politically liberal. I am tired of hearing Rush Limbaugh on the radio everywhere I go, or being surrounded by people who, though nice, don't think deeper than a cookie sheet. Do these rural folks have things to offer? Of course they do and I have enjoyed many of those things, but they will never fill that soulful need in me to connect with others who value the arts, education, tolerance and a nuanced, deep conversation.

There are likely to be other like-minded individuals in your area. The challenge is to connect with them. It takes hard work and innovation. If you are willing to take the initiative, you could start a book club, a knitting group or a cooking class, for example. If you find even one or two people you resonate with, the group will start attracting more people like you. I have done this and it has worked for awhile. The trouble is that in rural areas, people who are like-minded are also generally more mobile, and they move away, so it can be difficult to keep a committed, core group.

As others have written, you can get a culture fix on a small trip to the city to satisfy the craving for awhile. Finding others who might be interested enough to go with you probably isn't that hard, but finding others who can share and reflect on the experience in the way you can will be harder.

My closest large city is Reno, Nevada, which has little to offer most of the time other than one art festival in the summer (which, by the way, is very good) and casino culture. I miss not having access to more offerings. And so, I have decided to move. In fact, I will be posting a question to readers that I hope will help me define where I could live in a mountainous or woodsy rural setting, yet have access within a half hour or so to at least a good size city with music, film, plays, festivals, book clubs, volunteer opportunities, lectures, etc., not to mention health care, shopping and other vital services.

I have often wondered why people like us don't start our own community somewhere. I think there are many of us, but we are shuffled throughout the country, living a more quiet kind of life than can usually be had in a big city, yet pining for more analytical and aware neighbors who value culture, education, tolerance and compassion. If anyone knows of such a place, please post it here (unless you want to keep it a secret). Otherwise, I'll just keep hoping that some go-getters with more vigor than I have will start such a place and that I'll find out about it. Maybe you will, too.

Whatever you do, good luck!
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