I'm pleased to welcome Zoe Chambers to the blog today. You can find Zoe on th epages of the Zoe Chambers Mystery series by Annette Dashofy. UNEASY PREY is the sixth book in the series and will be released March 27th.
Country Mouse, City Mouse: Zoe laments life in the country
By Annette Dashofy
Last summer, my house burnt down. It wasn’t really “my” house. I lived in half of a beautiful old farmhouse owned by Mr. and Mrs. Kroll, but it was the closest I’ve ever felt to being “at home.”
I guess I’m a farmgirl at heart and not simply because I have a horse. Granted, a barn and acreage with fences definitely helps with the horse part, and while the house is gone, thankfully the barn still stands.
Let me explain. I manage the horse boarding operation on the Krolls’ farm. Instead of paying me, the Krolls let me keep my horse there and charged me next to nothing to live in half of their house. Then the fire destroyed the house, leaving me homeless. But my horse still had a home and I still manage the boarding operation, so it’s okay. It’s been easier to find a couch to crash on than it would be to find a home for Windstar.
Lately, I’ve been staying with Pete Adams. My…boyfriend? That seems like a strange word for a man in his forties, especially when he’s also our local Chief of Police. But you get the idea. He’s thrilled about the current situation. Me? I do love him, but…
Am I a horrible person for wishing he lived on a farm?
That isn’t likely to happen. Until he moved out here to rural Vance Township ten years ago, he lived his entire life in the city of Pittsburgh. I think his current house in the former coal mining village of Dillard is as far out in the sticks as he’d be able to handle.
My coworkers at the Monongahela County EMS don’t understand why I complain about living “in town.” They talk about the ease of walking to the store rather than driving. Of walking down the street to a restaurant or having pizza delivered. All of which might be nice. Except Dillard’s only convenience store closed a couple years ago. The pizza shop closed last fall. There hasn’t been a coffee shop here…ever. The only “dining establishment” within walking distance is the Dog Den at the edge of town. Don’t get me wrong. I love their footlong hotdogs with the works. But I’d be just as happy to drive a few miles to get them.
What does life on the farm have that town doesn’t?
First—no neighbors. Townies may argue that’s a point against farm life but let me elaborate. When I lived on the farm, I didn’t have to draw the blinds in my bedroom to change clothes. The view from my window was miles of pasture. Horses aren’t peeping Toms.
Second—the smells are so much better. Again, my town-dwelling friends might disagree with my love of eau de horse, especially the aroma of manure, but I’ll take it over the stench of diesel and blacktop any day. In the spring, there are always flowers blooming. In the summer, there’s the aroma of mown hay. In the autumn, there are earthy scents of leaf mold and a faint whiff of burning leaves.
We won’t discuss winter.
And third—the sounds. In the country, we have spring peepers. Tiny frogs that fill the night with their cheeping serenade. We have crickets and a cacophony of insects trilling in the summer. And the birdsongs. But mostly, we have quiet. No noisy neighbors yelling or blasting music. And if I want to blast mine, there’s no one around to complain.
For the record, I only blasted my music in the barn out of courtesy to my elderly landlords.
As for walking down the street to get food? I only had to walk out of my door to Mrs. Kroll’s vegetable garden. Have you ever eaten a tomato fresh from the vine? Or had an ear of corn cooked within ten minutes of being picked? To die for, my friends.
In fact the only thing farm life lacks is…Pete.
I guess living in town isn’t so bad.a Rafflecopter giveaway