Friday, September 17, 2010

City or Country? Who knows!

For the last year, I have spent a lot of time at a very quiet location in central Iowa.  It's amazing.  And wow, has my outlook on the world changed.  That hit me in the face yesterday more than I could even realize!  Here's what happened.

I got up and got my day started.  There were a lot of things to do while I was in Omaha, so I was going to work hard to get them all done. 

First thing off, some time at the hospital with Max.  He had texted me at 7 in the morning telling me that I needed to learn a good garroting technique.  I knew immediately that the new roommate was a problem.  A much older man with the beginning of Alzheimer's had come into the room the night before and moaned and made noise all night long.  I told Max to beg to be let out instead, no ... the garrote was for me to use on him when he got like that.  I prefer a gun.  Anyway ... I got to the hospital and the roommate was in xray.  Before he got back, a couple of people had stopped by to see him.  When he got back, he was tailed by his wife and another older couple.  They were working to get he and his wife settled, with a great deal of insane noise.  Plastic bags crinkling, chatter ... all sorts of wild management techniques ... all sorts of noise.  Oh my goodness!!!  For my entire stay, there was no cessation of noise.

I finally left - leaving poor Max with the craziness in the bed next to his - hoping the doctor would release him (he did get released ... whew for him!).  Quickly made a Staples run (always need office supplies) and then headed to Jiffy Lube.  There were a few more vehicles in there than usual, so I knew it wasn't going to be a quick in and out, but I had time and I had my Kindle, so no worries.  Uh huh ... whatever.  When I walked into the lobby to sit back and read, I was confronted with a large group of people - of whom there were two women, a mother and daughter (daughter in her mid-20s).  They were both higher than a kite.  Frenetic, strange movements, eyes darting, up and down, in and out to have cigarettes, back in to warm up, out, up and down, bodies moving all the time.  My eyes got BIG, my body wanted to just shut down.  And, I got to sit there for an extended period of time.  All sorts of assault on my senses.  They finally left, I got to settle for a moment and then I was done.

Off to the Post Office, then to Hy-Vee.  Since when does 12:15 on a Thursday afternoon become stupid old people shop at Hy-Vee day?  Holy mackerel!  They were all over the place and they were everywhere.  Crashing into my cart, cutting me off in the parking lot, asking really stupid questions in the checkout line ... I wanted to scream.  Are you kidding me?  I finally got out of there - much later than I intended, but I was out.

Now, to Arby's for a salad and home for awhile.  When I came out of Arby's, driving back west on Center, I saw a strange man crossing the street about a block or so ahead of me.  Right in the middle of the street - forcing traffic to come to a stop about 1/2 block from the traffic light.  He just put his hand up and made them stop.  I saw him moving into the Hy-Vee parking lot and waited for enough traffic to pass through the light so I could turn left.  I made the left turn around a semi truck only to discover that man was crossing in front of me.  I looked up and had shock in my face.  I couldn't figure out where he had come from.  I stopped, moved away from where he was walking and he turned on me.  My window was down and he started screaming at me!  I just drove on past, got home and sat down. 

Quiet and peace shouldn't be, but seem to be a luxury in the city.  Sometimes I get a chance to recognize the difference between the city and rural life and I realize that without one you couldn't appreciate the other.  I've lived in Omaha for 25+ years and loved it.  I didn't know that I would ever want to move back to a quieter life.  But now ... I don't know.  I love the energy, the easy accessibility.  But, out here, I love the birds singing and the absolute quiet of the night.  I love driving on county highways, passing combines, watching the fields as they are harvested.

I can't say that one is better than the other, but yesterday I was certain one would drive me to distraction! :)

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