Sunday, November 09, 2008

Early Morning Ramble and Country Memories

It's early morning, my favorite time of the day. I have not been able to avail myself of this quiet time for what feels like too long. Most mornings these days, my family and I are getting up at the same time. Late nights mean late mornings and waking up at 7 am for me is plenty late. I really like to have an hour or so before they rise to just be quiet and think. 5:30AM would be ideal, maybe even 5, but most mornings I cannot open my eyes before 6:30-7AM. To me it feels like the day is well underway at that point and I need to play catch up.

I cannot believe how much my lifestyle has changed since moving to Philly. It's been seven years now since I have left Lancaster County and the country. I became Philly Farmgirl so as not lose my connection to my former country life. For nine years I had a real country life and now...well now there are sirens and helicopters flying over me disturbing our Shabbat dinner. I tried in vain to distract my family and guests by speaking of the parsha, but we all heard it. My next door neighbor's house got broken into last week and someone got shot around the corner from my home erev Sukkot. When I lived in the country I never even locked my doors. In fact it is was not unusual at all to come home to friends sitting in my kitchen having tea waiting for me to finally arrive. How lovely that was! I never took the key out of my car's ignition, never closed windows, never locked up, we knew we were safe. Now times are very different. We moved here to be part of a community, to grow as Jews and to give our children more opportunities at a frum Jewish life. I guess you got to take the good with the bad. I don't hate it here anymore, although I do not believe I will ever love it. I do enjoy the chaggim and seeing other Jews around me. When Chanukah comes I like that I am not the only home with a hanukiah in the window. I am just not a city girl, not anymore. I don't mind standing out or being different. I guess I am old enough not to care much about what too many people think.

I miss the friends I had then. The ladies who would just drop by and sit and talk with me about raising children, sewing clothes and their gardens. Man, I miss that so much. I seem to have yet to develop friends like that here, every once in a while I think it is going to happen and then...I am not sure. Thank G-d I have maintained a couple of those old country friends, perhaps though I should say they maintained me. Yes, I suppose that would be a more accurate assessment of things. My gypsy nature makes me such that I am a 'I'll see ya when I see ya-not good at returning phone calls or email' type of person and these dear friends won't let me get away with such discourtesy. Thank G-d. Actually, come to think of it I do have a lovely friend here who is the same way and won't give up on me. Hmmmm, see, it is good to write about these things, you become more aware of your blessings.

I am sure it is my fault that I don't have the type of friends I did then. I seem to have less in common with the folks here, and I am too stubborn to give up my ways. I think country folks may also understand your busy-ness better and so there is less of a problem with not calling, heck they will just show up on your doorstep. Country folks will also just do their work along side of you so that was an easy way of socializing. I mean in Lancaster getting together with the girls often involved canning, cooking, sewing, quilting, or something. Children were also younger then and my life was for sure way simpler. I can't seem to get used to the speed at which it is passing now and how rapidly things are changing.

It feels sad for me, I miss the country so much. I really do want to go back. I suppose though that being a religious Jew may not allow me to have as rural of a life as I once did, but who knows, maybe I will hit the lottery and be able to have two homes... Or I will find the rest of the bumble bee people and we will all move to the country and start a real rural frum community... Or I will just learn to be completely satisfied here and live life. I guess I will start there, I will just get off of here now and make a phone call.

But if you happen to see me, say hi and chat a bit! You will be able to easily find me. I will be the one in all the layered skirts walking down the street daydreaming about a farm and talking to the crows.


BJ said...

Guess you need to recharge the magnets in your sofa ;-) That'll keep people around....I say as a frequent 'victim' of said magnets.....

And if you think the city is bad - try the wilds of deepest suburbia. Yuck. The worst of the city, the worst of rural living (need to get in the car to go anywhere....), and a 43 minute drive to synagogue. said...

I just found this post when I googled "fum blog". I am delighted to find it! for some reason this post makes me want to share about myself (funny how some blogs provoke that in a person!)

I was raised secular christian. my husband I myself felt compelled to become more religious so we sought out the best place we could find, moved to Lancaster and attended a Mennonite church. we adored the people we had become friend with. but it didn;t take long to see this wasn't a permanent home for us. We kept search and Judaism keeps coming back to us. we have pushed it away (b/c frankly it's massively inconvenient for convert your entire family and lifestyle to another religion! in all honesty it's bewildering.) but it keeps finding us. it's been years that it keeps poking it's head around the corner just when I think I have found my home. finally I told me husband I just couldn't ignore it anymore - it was eating me up. so now? now I am exploring. i don't know where it will lead. I do know that besides the panic it stirs up in me thinking how hard it will be to explain how one does from secular to Mennonite to Jew in a 5 yr span (b/c I know that's all the will see) I find myself with the deepest peace with God i have had in a long time... if ever. something feel right even with all the things that seem wrong. I don't know... does that make me a Noachide? a Jew wannabe? a convert in the beginning stages? I don't know yet.... but as I already dress modestly and cover my head, I already seem to look the part - which is confusing. looks like I have put the cart before the horse in some ways.

one thing that has me really worried (and goes into the "do I really wanna do this" column) is country living vs. city living. I don't hate the city. I love having neighbors and so forth.... but there is just nothing like having chickens in your backyard. sitting on the porch watching birds while your kids run around with little sun tans and dirty feet. I just can't imagine a life living in downtown city where one must wear shoes all yr round...

and your blog just made me feel good. I guess I wondered, do any Jews like the country? do any wish for a farm? do any long for the certain laid back even though you work your fanny off quality of country life? and i guess some do. and somehow that makes me feel a little better.

(p.s. I've taken a blogging sabbatical for a bit so I'm linking to my food blog for now...)