Moving to the Country…
Pittsburgh has been my home for most of my life, but for one short interlude thirty years ago, we moved to a small rural town in Western Maryland. My husband, Ron, was transferred there for his job.
I was young, in my 20's, newly married and a product of the time–more of a hippie than anything, but past the days of being a college student and now trained and ready to work as a secretary. My first surprise was to find that secretaries were not in demand in small rural communities. When I did finally find a job at a struggling manufacturing company, I was shocked to discover I became an instant celebrity.
"Oh! You are Mr. S's secretary," people would say as though I'd drifted down to earth on a cloud of saintly vapors.
Lesson #1 about small towns: You can be a very happy big fish in a small town. In Pittsburgh, I was one face in a humongous crowd of office workers. In Maryland I was somebody because only the most honored folks had jobs requiring office skills.
Lesson #2: Being married to an assistant manager in a small town makes people address you with respect. How shocked I was to be addressed as "Mrs. Janoski" when I walked into hubby's workplace. For a 23-year-old hippie who had no use for typical conventions, it was incomprehensible to be addressed like my husband's mother.
A word about being young and of a liberal mind–It provided the impetus to absorb all this with equanimity, finding it interesting in a…to use a modern term I hate…"multi-cultural"… sort of way. Instead of pushing away the differences, I looked forward to learning more.
What I found next was Lesson #3: People in small towns truly are the "salt of the earth." Hard-workers, good neighbors–people who say Hi and know everyone around them. Remember happy little Mayberry? Yep! There are lots of Mayberrys out there in this world.
Lesson #4: From the hand of God in that I found His country, nestled in mountains that seemed high enough to scrape against the sky. Scaling those heights were miles of trees, dancing trees that thrived in the clean air while being undisturbed by civilization. They were full; they were rich; they swayed and fan-danced on the hillsides…
Tomorrow, the down-side for a city girl plopped into the country.
Copyright 2006 JO Janoski