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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Tuesday, September 1


I was amazed to look at my blog and realize it's been almost exactly a year since I last posted. Once again, I will be attending "school" for two hours at each of my children's schools. I'm not looking forward to it. I don't mind attending the classes and hearing from the various teachers.

What I mind is feeling like one of a herd, moving in a mass, the crush of so many people. Sometimes, when I'm feeling silly, I'm tempted to add sound effects. "Moooo" But folks probably wouldn't appreciate my expressing that sentiment. Or would they?

It recently occurred to me why I seem to have less tolerance for shopping and generally avoid being around crowds of people. I'm spoiled.

For most of my growing up years, I lived on a piece of land that was surrounded by other, much larger pieces of land. The grasslands extended for miles. There were few trees. Cattle and horses could be seen. But they had enough space to run around and move. I could see for miles around in most directions. Neighbors were too far away to conveniently chat with them often - or to be offended if you didn't.

I could see the sunset. And the sun rise. I could see the mass of stars that are part of our galaxy. I could see why it was called the Milky Way. It took me a few years after moving to town to realize what was "wrong" with the sky. Most of the stars were missing! I kept expecting them to show up - expecting that the weather was obscuring them. Then I realized that one had to drive quite a number of miles outside the city just to see them.

In the countryside where I grew up, I could see a mass of thunderclouds, feel the wind whipping around me, smell the rain as a thunderstorm moved in. I couldn't stand to stay inside when I saw one coming. We didn't have air-conditioning (here in central Texas). A thunderstorm meant a break from the heat. I would run out into the yard and relish the wind - with simple, sheer joy. The animals could feel it too. The pony would run around and around. You can't smell the rain as easily in the city. At best, you get a mix of asphalt and rain. Not so pleasant.

I was spoiled with the space, the privacy, the wide open spaces I grew up in. I miss them. I think when I'm in a crowd of people, I feel I am being denied something important - something I feel entitled to - something I feel everyone ought to be entitle to - space. I guess a part of me really is still a country girl at heart. If you've grown up in a place where you never have space, maybe you can be ok with it because you don't know what you're missing. I guess I still haven't learned to be ok with it.

Not that the city doesn't have its perks. I like being able to get to a grocery store in 5 minutes or less - versus the 15 to 20 minutes that it took, when I was a kid, to drive the 20 MILES to the closest grocery store. If you go early in the morning - or late enough at night - you don't even have to walk through crowds of people to get a loaf of bread. It's also nice having a library,the elementary school, and even some nice restaurants - all within a mile. *Sigh* But I miss the open spaces, the stars.