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February 7, 2011 - Kylie Saari
As you probably know by now, my husband and I are not from around these parts. Transplants, Foreigners, dare I say it? Posers?
A city girl by nature and nurture, we moved to scenic Fairmont determined to fit in (at least a little).
After a confusing and frightening few months of people saying hello without reason and seeing children playing outside without direct supervision — including a call to human services about the boy next store who plays outside all day — I realized people here really are different than where I came from.
So over the last four and a half years I have learned the art of small talk (not only can I talk to my neighbors without being deemed a weirdo, but strangers even appreciate conversation here), and letting my kids outside on warm days (only in the backyard and only within visual distance) I was beginning to feel like maybe I was beginning to fit in.
But there is one thing that continues to cause me trouble. My driving.
It isn't really obvious in town, and I try not to get involved in the ever present conversations people here have about driving in the city, but I feel like a really outsider when I try to drive in the country.
In the summer, I get lost. The corn and beans never look the same twice and you can't see anything except fields. At night, my mind is boggled by the stars, which distract me into stopping just to look at them.
This all occurred to me last night, when I realized more than half the time we drive out to see friends in the country we are either lost or in a car accident.
A friend near Granada gets me confused every time — I can get to her road, but every farm drive looks the same and every season it is different.
Another out by Truman causes an accident each time we go out there. Once it was a rollover, last night less serious when we realized the road looked exactly like a ditch at the exact moment we realized we were not on the road, but rather driving into a ditch. Lying sideways in a ditch in the dark on Superbowl Sunday is always a good time to reflect on how difficult it is to drive out there. And we even were in a truck, which we bought so we could fit in here.
So, now you know. Driving in the country is as scary and confusing for city folks as driving in the city is for others. Maybe after a few more years it won't be an issue, but for now, don't be surprised to hear our name on the scanner or find I back out of a country house engagement.
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