Country roads…take me home?

People , there’s a reason the song doesn’t go  “Almost Heaven, West Baltimore”, and yep, today was one of those days.  I have spent every single one of my nearly 50 years, living in the Baltimore area..for you folks not from these parts, that’s Baltimore, MD, USA.  Right, right,,home of The Wire and Homicide, Life on the Streets. (Now, before my friends circle my home with torches ablaze for my disloyalty to dear ole “Bawlmer”, I would like to officially state that anything I am about to write  should not be held against me, and I will claim temporary insanity in a courtroom if need be.) I grew up in a little row home here, in a neighborhood of cement porches, neighbors sitting outside on their stoops, yelling their “hey hons” back and forth, sounds of Colts football and O’s baseball coming from TVs drifting back and forth across the street , blue collar Dads and hardworking Moms..I loved it all and wouldn’t trade a single day of it for any other childhood. We were free range kids, feral really, like most kids of the 60’s and 70’s, be they city or country mice. Played outside all day, came home when it got to dark to see the ball, or our parents just couldn’t take the deafening noise of 15 kids playing under the living room window, and made everyone leave…we lived in the “end” row home..thus making our yard the destination of choice..poor Dad, he just wanted to grow grass. Fast forward 45 years..I live one town over from my hometown in a wonderful little town with history and an eclectic mix of homes and people. It is a place bursting with tradition and community pride, no regrets either of our choice to settle here, where our kids can walk to school, the library, the post office..you get it, it’s Smalltown, USA. It’s a good thing. But..here comes my secret..never before uttered in public..please keep this to yourselves…I am tired of it. Maybe it was that crystal clear mountain lake last Fall that I didn’t want to ever leave..or the road rage I experienced today where a man nearly ran me down in my work parking lot and  when I asked him to slow down he unleashed hell on me using the “f” word about 40 times and making me wish he had run me over so I wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore…or maybe it’s the mother flippin’, butt ugly, 8 foot white plastic fence my neighbor just erected 20 feet from my backdoor, that has me wanting to burn black rubber out of here, Thelma and Louise style..only my husband would be playing the role of Thelma, or Louise, oh, it doesn’t matter, you get the picture.  I want to be with nature.  I want weeds, not these manicured golf course lawns doused in chemicals.  I want bugs. I want to see deer out my window, munching away on the vegetables that I would probably not stop them from eating. I want to see BIG SKY. Sunrises and sunsets.  I want my Labs to run like the wind and dive into ponds and lakes. I had a most sobering moment recently, excuse me while I grab a tissue, during a weekend getaway to West Virginia with my sons.  We stood on the river’s edge and there they struggled to skip stones, again and again. It made me realize that more than anything, I want them to live a more natural life. A life that isn’t constantly surrounded by adult supervision and participation trophies…(a blog for another day). Image

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23 thoughts on “Country roads…take me home?

  1. Both my parents grew up in Baltimore and I was born there but grew up in Massachusetts. It was wonderful to read this and the Baltimore references. I am now living on the Eastern Shore. I am sorry about your neighbors and feel for you. Hang in there. Great blog too! I look forward to reading more.

  2. I can relate so well on several levels…..even though I live on beautiful Cape Cod, we are overrun by people with the same attitudes for about 8 months a year, and after spending a recent week in a remote Adirondack town, we felt the same. I’ve spent a lot of time on your area as my brother live in SW Balti. Although, he has a beautiful garden and long green back yard, and I love to visit him and partake of a lot of the great things the city has to offer, I am happy to return to nature’s quieter places. So sorry about your experience with the terrible man. Those situations are all too common. Another reason, I love to “visit Bedlam Farm each day.

  3. Oh my gosh, this is exactly how I’ve felt for the last couple of years. I’ve said to my husband either we erect that terrible fence you were talking about (because of the neighbors) or we move out in the country. People say I already live in the country because our town is so small. Not so, I want chickens and a big garden ( well maybe not so big) and a place for the dog to run. I’m still looking for that right spot. Once I get there I am never moving back! I’m thinking 3 to 5 acres with no neighbors next door. Don’t tell anyone but I’ve been farm stalking this one place. It’s not for sale, I just like the way it’s all laid out. I drive by and sigh. LOL Oh well if it’s to be it will be. Right?

  4. I lived and worked in Baltimore for years in Bolton Hill and Mt Vernon before those neighborhoods became yuppified I loved it.
    Your encounter with that guy in the parking lot is happening all over people are angry for many reasons

  5. I love this! The way you combine memories and observation with that great sense of humor is wonderful!
    Sincerely,
    Epstein’s Mother

  6. Reading your Blog (which I love), makes me miss seeing you and our conversations and makes me regret moving to THE CITY! Wahaaaa!!!
    I know at some point in the next few years I will long for the country life. Especially on a late Saturday night listening to my neighbors drinking and caring on til 1 or 2 am just under my bedroom window. The only thing I like about that, is that I know they would never let anyone break in.

    Great blog Tess, please keep it going.

  7. Country living is really different. Promise yourself to visit the country severa
    l times a year and enjoy the best that both city and country have to offer!!!

  8. Love this! What a writer you are. I think you’ve found your dream. ( to live in the country) This can come true when it’s time. I posted on beautiful Maya today(my dream)~ But if you move to the country you may have to tolerate nature’s food chain if you get my gist.

  9. thats why we aren’t retiring here in Maryland. Want to be back in the country, miss the rolling hills of my youth in Vermont but I’ll settle for rolling hills in Virginia, away from the O’Malley’s, Obama’s and any other politician who takes my money and gives me nothing in return. Love your blog Tess, keep it going

  10. Great blog – brought back memories of playing under the street lamps on those summer nights, before air conditioned cloistering became the norm. Just one thing: if you’re tired of Baltimore, just leave for a few – 15 years. I guarantee you’ll miss it.

  11. I can so relate. We live in a development and while it’s not the worst place, it’s not the country. We’re actively searching for a 5-10 acre farm where we can homestead and raise chickens, a cow, and pig. Just enough for us. Keep up the writing – you’re a natural.

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