Living in the Country, and Pluto, De-Planetized

On Wednesday afternoon I worked alongside Ken Mueller at Square One Coffee in Lancaster. Sometimes I love being in the city,  especially in the winter: everything is closer, people seem nicer (the cold gives everyone an excuse to hurry past one another – you can assume, true or not, that if the weather was warm you would stop and chat), and the street lights wink on, extending these short days when the sun sets so early.

Winter in the country feels very quiet, and dark, and removed from real life. Sort of like Pluto after it was de-planetized.

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I’ve never lived in a city, but I think I would like to, some day.

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Of course I would miss having a garden. And the kids would miss having a huge outdoor area to run around in, usually unattended. I love the peace and quiet and stillness. But, if we lived in the city, we could walk to places. We could get rid of one of our vehicles. We could have a favorite cafe and order in.

Would I miss the country more than I would enjoy the city? I don’t know.

Where do you live? What do you like the most about it?

3 Replies to “Living in the Country, and Pluto, De-Planetized”

  1. I live in downtown Lancaster and absolutely love it (including SQ1). I still wrestle with putting my finger on exactly WHY I do love the city, but the word (and unfortunately it’s almost becoming trite) is community. I’m forced to be in community with my neighbors. There’s no garage door I can pull into and shut behind me. The “privacy” of our backyard is still subject to whether our neighbors are taking advantage to their own “privacy” in their backyard. I come across more opportunities to love people (and be loved by others) while living in the city because we’re all rubbing shoulders with each other.

    The concept of going into a city and helping establish “shalom” (Jeremiah 29) is very real to me. And I think it not a coincidence that the new Jerusalem just happens to be in the form of a city as well :)

  2. Shawn, my friend, you have put into words the great dilemna of my life. I’m in love with both lifestyles and have chosen the country for the kids and for the solitude and quiet, etc, etc. But I’ve lived in and sometimes long for the city and the here mentioned benefits – most notably a favorite cafe. And I have a proposal here which may be the answer to it all. That is as follows: What if, and this then is the proposal – what if a group of us went together and purchased a fantastic little row home in Old City Phila or some funky little neighborhood in Brooklyn and had that as a “second home” “shared weekend” house, would that not be the very best of both worlds? I mean, you live in the country and raise your kids with all the benefits that gardens and room to roam have to give and then on the weekends it’s off to the city for arts and entertainment and cafe dining and what not. Of course there’s always the accompanying issues of forms of ownership and rights of heirs and insurance and who gets what weekend and all that sort of a thing but we’re not talking about that right now, right now I’m talking about a fabulous concept and while I’m at it, did I ever tell you about my plans to take the whole fam on a sailing trip around the caribbean islands? But that’s another paragraph or so :-)

    1. thanks for your thoughts dave. next time your comment won’t take so long to show up. back in the 1800s people often moved into town for the winter. i think that’s the way to go.

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