Having spent the first 18 years of my life in a town that boasts only one store, no traffic lights, and a sound so deafening at night outsiders can only fall asleep by playing the "white noise" selection on their iPhone, or maybe by hooking up a fan, I can only describe it now with one word: "idyllic."
Now, (and for the past 11 years) I live in the city where McDonalds' are as prevalent as hummingbirds once were, I can purchase pretty much any item I'll ever need in a 3 miles radius, and I have my pick of five grocery stores - all within walking distance.
Being back home for a brief stint inspired me to think of some of my favorite aspects of growing up in a "cow town."
1. Eating cherry tomatoes off the vine. These little guys are the real deal, and bear no resemblance to their supermarket counterparts, ripened artificially in the 1000 mile trek from soil to stomach. Instead of styrofoam, these beauties taste like sun and burst in your mouth with such intensity, you can only mutter, "ah, this is what a tomato is supposed to taste like."
|from my parents garden.|
2. Going for a walk at night and seeing the constellations. Light pollution isn't much of a problem when there aren't any streetlamps, and most neighbors are lights out at 9:30 pm.
3. Well water. With its own distinct taste. Maybe akin to a Budweiser brewery compared to a micro brewery. Bud essentially tastes and looks like beer, but I'd rather have something in limited production than from the city reservoir.
4. Knowing all your best friends by their handwriting (and having photos of what they looked like at ages 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25). Being anything but completely honest with these people is very hard to do, knowing they've seen you through it all, and have a pretty good sincerity gauge built in.
5. Having a sense of origin so firmly planted in one tiny place, no matter where you go in life, you will always feel a connection with that one, single, plot.