I like to think of myself as a versatile person. I am decently well-travelled and have been from a young age. I have eaten strange things and smiled politely about them. I have slept in cars, in planes, on floors, and in closets. I can adapt. So when Peter and I were trying to decide where we might move to, I felt like I could go anywhere. (Truthfully, there were places I said I did not want to go and even this week when he received an e-mail about working in Saudi Arabia, I said no. I would be happy to visit these places and I believe I could live there if necessary, but that doesn’t mean I want to.)
We ended up in the Fraser Valley, two hour’s drive from the city I grew up. Easy, right? No language to learn, no cultural barriers. Not quite. It’s springtime in the Fraser Valley (and much of the Western Hemisphere) and the differences between Chilliwack and Vancouver are hitting me like no other time in the previous six months. More specifically, they’re hitting me in the nose.
It stinks here. Quite literally, it does not smell good. On rainy days the wind seems to drift right up to our door step with the scent of the dog food manufacturer a few blocks away. But now that spring has arrived a whole new odour has been introduced into my daily life. It’s manure. Some people here say it smells like money. Either they don’t take good care of their wallets or they’re in a very different line of work than I am. Maybe I’ll get used to the smell but I’m still holding my shirt over my nose when we drive to church.
All that said, I love the spring. I love watching the trees blossom and flowers bloom where things seemed dead. I love the smell of freshly mowed grass and I like watching the tractors circle through the fields. I can’t help but watch them when they’re on the road, taking up the whole lane and forcing cars to go so slowly behind them. On Monday afternoon I told Peter I wanted to take a walk in the country. And we did, walking straight from our house to see cows and creeks and tractors.
I don’t mind dirt roads and a little mud. It probably marks me as a total city kid that I imagined living in the country would smell like rain and hay and flowers but that doesn’t mean I have to like the smell of poop, does it?
My favourite picture from our country neighbourhood adventures this week:
Beware of cows? There were cows near by (pictured above) but they were separated from this sign by a creek so I don’t imagine them crossing here. I guess a true country kid would know its meaning.
P.S. Stay tuned for this week’s book review – Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Should be coming tomorrow, unless I’m doing something really fun.