Country Mouse Settling In...

Since I’ve moved into this busy condo complex, it’s much different than living on top of a hill a mile up with practically no neighbors. Usually, on a Saturday morning, the only thing I hear are birds chirping away, squirrels collecting nuts and running onto my deck to store them in the rafters of my house and the sounds of crows telling me it’s going to rain soon. My friend used to tell me that I lived in a nature reserve. She’s never seen anything like it. She was a “city girl”… Now, so am I.

Instead of hearing all of these beautiful birds and wild animals trek through my yard and seeing 10 or more deer parked on my lawn grazing for an hour or two, I hear the sounds of people. Picture it – there are valleys filled with condos on top of condos on top of other condos. There has to be close to 10,000 people here! (I’m not sure of that estimate, but there are mass crowds of various types of families, newlyweds, single parents and the elderly.) Now on a Saturday morning, I hear children laughing and playing outside as early as 9am. People are hustling around getting ready to head over to the big malls, because we have the biggest mall nearby that attracts people from all over the world. There are cars, trucks, vans, delivery people rushing in and out of here. Garbage trucks are making their rounds and people are out and about walking their dogs and socializing with one another discussing ‘pet talk’. Pipes are being used, making squeaky water running sounds and hair dryers are blowing away, most likely drying beautiful female locks. It’s a whole different world here. During the week, there’s nothing. The parking lot is next to empty and the only sounds you hear are from the highways nearby.

Right now, as I’m typing this, I hear someone rushing upstairs to their apartment. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM!!! The entire building shakes with each step they make. I get up fairly early, because I enjoy the sounds of “life”. Have you ever seen Rear Window, with James Stewart & Grace Kelly? It’s one of my favorite movies… It’s much like that on the weekends. (No, I’m not that much of a voyeur!) Well at night, the complex opens up into this huge social event. You can see every window lit up. Hardly anyone closes their blinds at night because the city lights are just amazing here. We have incredible views of the mountains, along with the view of the city. Everyone’s doing their own thing. Couples are having romantic dinners, people are hosting little parties and families are settling in with a nice fire, possibly watching a movie or two. I usually have a roaring fire going, sipping wine and staring out the window wondering if all of these people are completely happy, or if they wished they were up in the country having a quieter time.

All my life, I’ve lived in upstate New York, in what people would call “the boondocks”. I’m not used to neighbors or other sounds of “life”. I’m used to nature only and the sounds of my mom cooking dinner at 8am on a Sunday morning to have everyone at the dinner table by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. (It's an Italian thing.) I was always fascinated with people who lived in the city. I always wanted to know what it was like to wake up with the sounds of “life”. I wanted to hear cars zooming by and sirens going off. I know, I’m weird. People move upstate just to get away from hustle and bustle, but here I was, as a kid and into my adulthood, wondering what life was like in the urban parts of town. Would I like it once I was there? Would I regret such a move?
The truth is, it’s everything I expected. I feel at home. I love it. I love that there’s life around me. I don’t have to travel more than 10 minutes just to get something at the store. I can just go down the street and pick something up. Everything is so convenient. It’s not so lonely anymore. I have to admit, I do miss my crows, owls, woodpeckers, blue jays, squirrels, dear and the little rabbits that ran around my yard, but nothing beats the sound of human life sometimes. I’m grateful to have had experienced both.

Here’s a video from the place I used to live. Amy made this video while staying at my house. She left the camcorder running and caught some beautiful friends that stopped by. Check it out – it’s really beautiful!