So often on all the blogs I read it seems that those who write the blogs live in these wonderful country homes or even a well-stretched out surburbun community. They have a large rolling lawn for their children to play on, or acres of fields and woods--attached right to their houses! Some even have livestock. All of this contributes to posts about: growing their own vegetables, eggs and fabulous flower gardens. Somehow they seem more crafty, more creative and just more...'something.' It's easy to sometimes feel a little jealous because deep down inside I really really want to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. Or Anne Shirley. (minus the red hair! I like my brown, thank you)
I don't live in the country. I don't exactly live in what one would think of when you think 'suburb.' Where I live in somewhere in between 'city' and 'suburb.' My town is only 5 minutes from downtown--where no one really lives because Pittsburgh just isn't that type of city (anymore?) same as a lot of the other 'city' neighborhoods. Maybe plus an extra minute. Our houses are close together; only a walkway and a small strip of land separates each one. The yards in the front are pretty small and the yards in the back are small too and all run together. We, of course, broke up that running together-ness by putting up a fence. That way we could be lazy and just fling open the door and let the dogs run out without having to watch them.
Behind our house is another house. The side wall of it forms the back perimeter of our yard. It's rather ugly. We don't mind it though because the previous owner of the home was very nice and the new owner turned out to be none other than one of Rick's kayaking friends. (It took them about 2-3 weeks before they figured this out)
Most people don't have garages either. The parking is mainly on street parking. With a few exceptons, most of the people in the neighborhood get along when it comes to who parks where.
Everything sounds cramped to someone who prefers the country (or even the traditional suburb), but I am very satisfied living where we do.
*I like that on any given day in summer I can have my lawn mowed, front and back, in less than 20 minutes. That way I can get back to more important things like blowing bubbles on the deck or eating popsicles.
*Flowers really will grow in small gardens just as well as large gardens. Somehow they don't seem to understand how to distinguish between large and small spaces or else they just aren't picky.
*I may have to wipe the snow off of my car sometimes in the winter but I never have to shovel a driveway. My town plows my 'driveway' and it's called the road right away. This means more time for snowman making.
*My front and back yards and even my house may be wedged tightly between my left and right hand neighbors but this only means that there is lots of hanging over the fence or the front porch railing chatting to either set of neighbors.
This also makes for lots of running next door both ways in case of a "can I borrow an egg? I'm baking and I'm one shy." Which leads to a 'return' on that egg of something yummy and baked. This one goes both ways especially with my right hand neighbor because he likes to bake too. We also have an informal Christmas cookie exchange that we've done for a couple of years now.
*Speaking of neighbors, I know a good many of them at the least to see them and sometimes I have to hurry through conversations on the way to get my kids from school because I've stopped to talk to several of neighbors already.
*My kids have actual friends' houses they can walk to within a block of our house. One set of friends they don't even have to cross the street!
*We have 2 parks right in town, with an even larger park a mile away in case we ever feel the need for 'more' space.
But, if you take a look at the picture at the top of this post, you'll see that we don't often require a lot of space. The smallest of hills, in a tiny backyard is MORE than sufficient for lots of winter fun!