Country Living at it's Finest

I was born and raised in the city. The sounds of screaming sirens were as soothing to me as the sweet screeching of a neighbour's cat in heat during the wee hours of the morn. I didn't know what it meant to see the stars in the evening or listen to the sounds of nature to soothe my soul. Honking horns, bad mufflers and the constant hum of the city busses shuttling meters in front of my home comforted me during my angsty teenage years.

Boo, however, was a born and bred country kid. While my childhood home was an arm's length from our neighbours, in a subdivision of hundreds of small starter homes crammed together, eviscerating any shred of privacy and posing a safety hazard if ever a fire swept through the neighbourhood; Boo's house stood high on a hill, surrounded by wheat fields and trees with the nearest neighbour more than a kilometer away.

Boo grew up not far from where my father was born and raised. Where my father and Boo's father used to tip cows, skip school and hide flasks of whiskey in their pockets away from the prying eyes of their mothers. It is a place of strong community, filled with history and loads of love.

I am proud to call my patch of land within this community, my home.

However, there is a downside. That would be the fact that this piece of land I proudly love and live on, is located far, far away from the city I grew up in, or for that matter, any damn city. In fact, this piece of land is far away from the nearest town, the nearest school, the nearest hospital, and the nearest liquor store.

(A girl has to have her priorities.)

I have made my peace with the fact that I have to drive like a bat out of hell to get anywhere on time. I've accepted the fact my vehicle will always be covered with a thin layer of dust, rattle from the washboard gravel roads I must travel and be friendly with the wintery snow banks I will inevitably drive into.

I can live with no fast food delivery, no convenience store around the corner and the two click trek to my mailbox. I can even live with having to plan my trips in to the city around my frozen foods. (One or two melted buckets of ice cream will teach a gal.)

It hardly bothers me I only have a few, very questionable choices of restaurants to choose from if I'm too lazy to cook.

Most of the time I can handle all the inconveniences of country living because I wouldn't have it any other way. I love living in an area where everyone knows my husband, me and my children. I love the fact people out here grew up with my daddy and knew the grandparents I never got to meet.

I don't mind having to rob my children's bank accounts to put gas into my car to be able to go see my friends or be able to go buy booze groceries. Because I am surrounded by the riches of love, the sounds of nature and the vast beauty of prairie land I live on.

Snort. All right. So the riches of love happen to be the sounds of my children trying to murder one another with a dull butter knife, the sounds of nature are the shrill and annoying calls of the magpies who land at my bedroom window and laugh at the sight of my naked ass and the vast beauty I speak of is hard to see from all the gravel dust kicked up by the steady stream of customers coming around to buy a little pick-me-up at a nearby residence.

I love me some country living.

Occasionally though, something happens that makes me thank the Heavens above and chuckle my merry little way home. Something that makes this displaced city girl thankful she traded in the bright lights and noise and Starbucks on every street corner for the simple country life.

Something like this.

A chance to win a Winchester rifle of some sort. Just bring in your frozen, dead carcass and let the good times roll.

Rules include the usage of snares, no stitching gophers pieces back together...they must be whole, no roadkill, no poison and let the largest murdered creature win. As a special bonus, the prize winning gopher will be stuffed for your future enjoyment and gloating purposes.

The best part is, people are serious about this competition. Bragging rights are high and the heat is on. Even my son wanted a piece of the action until his gopher-loving mother snagged the sling shot out of his hands and shot him in the arse with a pebble.

(It starts out with gopher killing and then moves onto bigger things, like Bambi. This momma ain't raising no hunter.)

Now, every time I need to drive to my children's school, or the bank or the grocery store, I get to see this sign and imagine a freezer full of dead gophers, just waiting to be weighed.

I can't help but see the glassy little eyes of a gopher-popsicle, right next to the steaks and bread and across from the ice cream.

There is just no amount of city bought cafe mochas or chai lattes to make me smile as much as that sign.

I love living out in the sticks. It gets better with every hillbilly I meet...real or imagined.