You Can’t Eat the Sunshine

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I’ve had several acquaintances leave the country for the big city and they found life in Los Angeles to be exceptionally difficult to accept.  There is a comfort to living in the country where everyone knows you and you know everyone else. To me it also flips the other way as well with people know almost everything (to include what you buy at the local store) about you and what you are doing. 
It’s easier to find paying work in the city. Every rural town seems to have at least one well heeled person, and the ratio is higher in the cities but the trade-off is more profound in the city. At least that’s how I see it.
Neighbors might as well live on a different planet. I don’t know most of their names. The recent influx of mosque-attenders have made that even more the case. And other than Mohammed, the Muslim-Next-Door (who lives behind me and to one side), who became aggressive and required instruction, I have no idea of their names, let alone their hopes, dreams, etc. And they don’t know me. It’s not like that in the country. The widow goes unnoticed in the city and she ends up in assisted living because there are no neighbors to help and more than likely her children are living in a distant city, cocooned in their own lives.
The country people that I knew who moved here didn’t stay long. The alien landscape ended up becoming too much to accept. 
I’m not suggesting that you can’t make friends in the big city. You can, and the network you can establish can wrap around the planet a few times – but you don’t necessarily know your neighbor. 
There are tons of country kids who make it in the big city. And there are a lot who fall through the cracks and end up going home where people wave at them as they pass.
Just an observation. There’s nothing like returning to a place that remains unaltered to find how you have changed.

18 thoughts on “You Can’t Eat the Sunshine

  1. That's very true and it's the same here. I think cities can be very stimulating and desperately lonely and the countryside gives you a sense of belonging but with too much interference from busy bodies.

  2. In the country you might not know your neighbor well – if at all – but if they need help with something, you help them. And vice versa.

  3. The cities that I have lived in are like big parking garages, cold and impersonal, filled with vehicles that are not human, and are the ranking symbols of those who drive them…
    Nearly all my country neighbors are retired/active LEOS or telecommuters. The country is not without opportunity. One can be as involved or as autonomous as one wants to be.
    Change is a constant, Home is were you are welcome.

  4. There is far less interaction with "movers and shakers" in the country. Sometimes you need to know those people and they need to know you if you want to get things done…take WoFat, back in his glory days, Godfather of New Orleans.

  5. Cities are cold by nature and people don't seem to "need" other people in the same way as they do in the country.

  6. And inwardly they cower as the memory of your name evokes a cold sweat. They admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof and make counter-allegations when your name is mentioned (as they should).

  7. Sometimes we leave the country for the big city at the urging of law enforcement and outraged fathers. Just saying. Sometimes we proof read comments before hitting "publish".

  8. Cities suck. I hate living in one. I've had six neighbors in the last five years, and only met/talked to three of them. The others never even introduced themselves… Looking forward to getting back to country life.

  9. Cities suck. I hate living in one. I've had six neighbors in the last five years, and only met/talked to three of them. The others never even introduced themselves… Looking forward to getting back to country life.

  10. We can go home again, but it won't be the same. Home changes minutely, but we change greatly. Good memories of youth, and old friends, but living life, especially in the city, changes us. I miss the area of my youth (which is mostly apartments, subdivisions, parking lots and stores. No more woods, or strolling along the Chattahoochee River or climbing a tree and watching the woods come to life. No more just walking in the neighbors house to see if they have any fried pies or just a cold drink of water. I grew up… to some degree.

  11. Ah, yes — a shotgun departure or court-ordered enlistment in the US Marine Corps…not that I have any experience with that sort of thing.

  12. Sometimes the trade-offs are profound indeed. The place that I came from was so small that the options were working at the turkey plant or becoming a coal miner.

    Fried pies in Texas are the best…

  13. Those pies we had in Hillsboro were first rate. You can't get them in California. Never fear, I will return soon, maybe only for the cherry pies.

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