Ever since I moved to this small rural town, I have enjoyed being closer to nature. I do not miss the hustle and bustle, pollution or noise of the big cities, and I lived in and around them for almost 40 years of my life. I rode public transportation, drove through rush hour back up and took racing taxis in and around several large cities to get to work and just do the normal activities like going to church, taking grand kids to school and grocery shopping.
I can’t even begin to explain the tension that rode around on the top of my shoulders. I often took on the load of others at a time when I already had a lot to take care of. I would be up at 5:00 am and on the road by 7:00 am. When I worked in an office or warehouse setting I wouldn’t get out until 5:00 PM and was sure to be caught up in rush hour traffic whether I was on a bus, drove or in a taxi. This meant that I often didn’t get home until 6:00 or 7:00, giving me enough time to eat, do a few chores, bath and get into bed to start all over again the next day.
When I went on the road for my work, it was close to the same with the exception that I would be done driving around to the courts by at least 3:00 which gave me a chance to get home before rush hour, just barely. But it didn’t give me any more time to unwind or relax before bed time. There was always that trip to the store, or taking the grand-kids somewhere or picking my son up from work.
As if this wasn’t stress enough, there were always the sounds of the city during the night; Cars speeding up and down the streets, horns blowing, sirens going, the occasional sound of an accident, a gun going off or someone yelling or fighting.
When I put my plan to the company to move me down here as a field agent from Ohio, I had already done the research on getting to the various courts from this small rural town that was already home to my sister and her family.
I remember the first night that I slept in the apartment I rented. The quiet was almost eerie when you are used to the city noises. I slept probably the best that I had in many years and it didn’t take me long to get used to the peacefulness that you couldn’t find in cities or even suburbs.
When I first moved here, the one thing I wanted was to get closer to nature, and what better way to do that in a small, country town than having your own garden. I didn’t have a green thumb, in fact I used to laugh and say that any plant would shrivel up and die if I even looked at. Well it looked like that curse has been lifted as I have had some luck with small container gardens and house pants.
Richard, artist that he is, came up with the idea of the fantasy trees. He makes it look so easy when he creates them. When we lived on Pine he made two for the small flower garden area in the front yard. People would often stop by and ask us what kind of trees they were. When we moved this house and brought them with us, the woman on the corner stopped one day and said she drove home down our street just so she could get a glimpse of what she called our secret little garden.
Richard takes a branch with several other branches on it. We peruse the thrift stores, grabbing up any fake flowers and plants that we can find and he spends hours forming them into our fantasy trees. He uses hot glue and florists tape to attach the flowers, and he is very detailed when working on them. (note: the link takes you to pictures of Butler Square, look for the building that has the presidents on it, the paintings were done by Rich)
Anyone who know me, knows I am as thrifty as I can be and will not spend a dime on anything new if it can be found used. Even when I had money to spend, I wouldn’t buy anything new unless it was something I absolutely needed and couldn’t find a good used version of it. Electronics are about the only item, besides underwear that I won’t buy used. Being thrifty has been a godsend, especially when I am living on a fixed income.