The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 23, 2000


Country Living

I tell my friends that I now live in the country.

They don't believe me.

"But you said the man of the house can be in his Boston office in 45 minutes," they respond.

"Yes, he can," I answer.

"And you said you can get to a beautiful mall in 20, and a couple of good grocery stores in less than ten minutes," they continue, skeptical.

"Yes, I can," I confirm calmly, understanding that my California friends can't equate country living with accessibility. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where we lived for almost 17 years, the country is far away, at least an hour and a half from The City. The "country" is long expanses of land dotted every now and then with cows, horses, and a few houses in tiny hamlets. Closer to the Bay, land is more precious than gold, and residents pay dearly for each square inch around their house's foundation. Views of the S.F. Bay are platinum, and the combination, land and view, means small houses on smaller lots, each overlooking the sparkling treasure of the Bay. The price is privacy.

"On the way home from the mall," I add to my friends, "I was driving on a lovely forest-lined road and a red-haired fox dashed in front of me."

"A fox?" they repeat incredulously. I have to admit, I'm just as amazed. I've never seen one in person, so to speak.

Our almost-grown children are in a stage of scared awe as they arrive from college to this new family home. After all, our son had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from his bedroom. Now the call of the wild birds wakes him from the wetlands outside his window. Our daughter watched ships pass tiny sailboats on the Bay outside her bedroom window. Now she exclaims excitedly as young horses play and race with each other on our neighbor's pasture.

We were driving to the store yesterday down one of those neat back roads that lead to Bedford, and we came upon a horse and rider lazily clip-clopping away on the side of the road. What's the road etiquette between car and horse, we wondered? Is it okay to pass? My oldest looked at me and smiled, "We're definitely in the country now, Mom."

Country living didn't hit my son until he tried to order pizza for dinner. "No one will deliver to Carlisle!" he bellowed.

Now that's living in the country.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito