Driving with my parents and pooch through Amador County yesterday, surrounded by snowy mountain horizons and idyllic “Gold Country” scenes, I breathed the deep sigh of the escaped innercitydweller. At the same time, I found myself thinking of the difficulties of rural living.
Dusting all the “quaint” knickknacks on display in your one-street-town storefront. Chopping firewood with a bad back. The lack of “cultura,” as a new mexicana friend describes her life at the University of Wyoming — which, in its more insidious aspects, may relate to the faint queasiness in my gut whenever we had to stop the car and ask a sinewy old white man for directions. (They were all perfectly sweet, incidentally.) Absent indigenous people; invisible immigrant laborers.
Not knocking the Sutter Creek set, of course — simply checking my own tendency to romanticize the gorgeous, sweet-breezed setting. And rather than spoiling the enjoyment, my negative observations ballasted and strengthened my experience. Free from craving and projection of fantasies, the day felt even more poignant, more precious, more vivid. A truly beautiful afternoon.
I’m glad you had such a fine day. I grew up in Chicago( IN the city, not Batavia or Westmontbut 38th and Paulina) so I know that sense of relief leaving. And I remember my gut wrenching culture shock when I moved to a town of 2000 in South Dakota at the age of thirty. Nice pics. You sure had to do some gyrations to get poochie involved, eh?