Country Girl

Are you a city person or a country person?

I’m not necessarily asking where you live . . . but where is your heart?

I am a country girl.
I grew up in a small town, population 7,000. Our house was one of the only homes on our street where people lived year around-most of the houses were vacation homes for people down state who drove up to live on Lake Michigan a few days a year: Memorial Weekend (still wearing sweaters-possibly coats), the 4th of July (still wearing long sleeves), and Labor Day (falls a ‘comin). I had a special bond with my parents and two older sisters because it was “just us” a lot of the time. Here we are in our backyard (notice the coats?) I am the raggedy one on the left.
Summers in my childhood are some of the best memories of my life. My mom was a stay-at-homer (I love you, Mom!) and our house was right on Lake Michigan and we spent most of our waking hours on the beach with mom while dad went to work (I love you, Dad!)

I spent a lot of time walking trails in the woods with my dad and that time is invaluable.

It was a small town and small world and I loved it.

I moved to a larger, but still quaint college town for college. (I remember well, the day I left for college, crying in my room with mom and telling her that I didn’t want my life to change, because I loved my life at home-there is a really funny picture of my tear streaked face loading up the car in the family photo album).

I moved to the city for law school. I stayed because I got a job here, passed the bar here, and finally, built a house here.

Now the house is in the suburbs, and a very lovely area, and an even lovelier house, but there are still days where I long for small town life and make secret plans in my head of selling this place and running off with Mr. Marvelous to somewhere with one local grocery store, a post office, a diner, to live in an old farmhouse where it is safe to sleep with the windows open, the doors unlocked, and to let your children run free in the countryside. Sometimes I wonder where our children will hide their buried treasure like we did as kids without any woods to make forts and hide treasures. Do places like this still exist in America?


This desire is stronger on some days than others. Like yesterday when I ran low on gas in a bad part of the city driving home and a strung out homeless man tried to strike up a conversation with me at the gas pump, or when I’m stuck in traffic during my 45 minute daily commute (each way), or when I read a Jan Karon novel, or anything by Rosamunde Pilcher or when I read a certain blog, or my parents come to visit like they did last weekend and I secretly hope they’ll stuff me and Mr. Marvelous in their suitcase to take us back to teeny-tiny-ville.

At times like that I think “why, hello soul, there you are.”

Thankfully, God willing, life is a long beautiful journey, with plenty of time for different adventures. And maybe for us, one day, our adventure will see us country-side.

Until then, if you are a country dweller itching to break into urban life, maybe we could do a little home swap for a few months. I’m sure in that amount of time I will come to my senses and miss Starbucks and Crate and Barrel and the time I get to spend in prayer during traffic jams . . .

Blessings, friends.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4


  1. Erin, I may have asked you this before, but where in Michigan are you from? My mom’s side of the family comes from Petoskey though we grew up in a teeny town in the thumb. We did spend each and every summer up there (seriously, that was God’s gift to me) and I hope someday (maybe soon!) that we are blessed enough to move back to the state and closer to our heart’s desires. While we won’t be able to live in Petoskey (B wouldn’t be able to work there), we’re hoping to get close enough that we could drive up a lot of weekends. We’ll know a lot more in the next two weeks. I’m going to do a post about this next week, but we’d love any prayers we can get for this huge potential change in our lives. I’m trying so hard not to pray just for what I want, but instead for God to guide us to whatever decision he believes we would serve the best for him. That is a difficult prayer at times, but I also know that getting what we want, instead of what he has planned for us, is not how we are best to be fulfilled on our journey.

    Sorry for the rambling!! I honestly did just wonder where you are from! If you don’t want to post this “in public”, you can shoot me an email at aeobows at hotmail dot com.

  2. the pictures of you as a kid are adorable. I hear ya about longing for the country! I didn’t grow up in that small of a town, but I really do like being a “regular” at my favorite stores and not feeling rushed.

    We are in the city, but I keep injecting my country ways with my garden and hanging out my laundry and one day hopefully some chickens out back.

  3. Tiny Homestead-I love the idea of a clothesline. Our darn HOA has a covenant against them! One of the things I would love to move away from someday! (the HOA)

  4. Oh, I’m a country girl through and through. Was raised in a town small enough that to this day they don’t have a single stop light or chain store. Thanks for the reminder…I sometimes forget how great it was! Big city life will not be long term for me.

  5. I am torn between city and country. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, not nearly as lovely as the pictures you’ve shared, but it had its pretty spots. when I was a teen I longed to be in a big city, which is where I ended up before high school was over, but I have always loved going back for visits to the smaller side of life. My husband and I hope to have some land somewhere in Texas at some point in the future. Having horses, cows and chickens really appeal to me! Raising a garden, wandering around with just the sounds of nature in the air…those sorts of things sound so lovely!

    But, as you mentioned, I love being able to have the stores and finer shops available on a whim. Someday I’m sure the country will call be back home permanently.

  6. I loved this post. I am a country girl but have ALWAYS wanted to move to the CITY just to see the difference. Oh by the way I have a clothes line, I love it in the spring and the summer!!
    Erica, 29
    South Carolina

  7. I too grew up in a small town in MN. We never locked our doors or windows and rarely noticed a “stranger” in town. Everybody knew everybody….but, that is why I am glad I live in the burbs now. I didn’t like everyone knowing everyone else’s business. It seemed more “clickie” to me and just too small. I enjoy going to stores “looking like I just woke up” some times and not a soul notices me…while growing up in a small town you couldn’t go any where without being noticed, looked at, talked about or ignored(but for different reasons)

    Funny thing…I have 3 sisters and they all still live in the small town. I guess one of us had to get out! :o)

  8. Oh, it was great to read your post. I was raised in the Pacific Northwest, a small town and in the country. Since marriage (35 years!), we have pretty much lived in or near a city. Two years ago we moved to a large city and it really has been an effort to feel at home. But, I pray I will find contentment and thankfulness in being where the Lord has put me at this time in our lives. Thanks for your beautiful blog and sharing your heart in this post. I know that there are lots of “country girls” all around us. Thanks again!

  9. Thank you so much Jackie! I pray that you do find peace and contenment in the city. Your post made me tear up. 🙂 Thank you for that.

  10. My husband and I grew up in a small town on the Oregon Coast, and decided a couple of years ago to dig up roots and move to the Northeastern Oregon desert. We couldn’t be happier! We miss our family dearly, but there are more opportunities for us here in the “big city”. (Hermiston is a town of only 15,000 people, but it feels big to us). My husband had been a logger for his whole life, and that is all that he knew. He was very unhappy in his job situation, and there really was no where else to go. Then God led us to our current home. He is very happy in his new job and I am glad to have somewhere to shop! In fact, now I wish that we lived somewhere a little larger. Gotta get closer to a Pottery Barn. He he. 🙂 I could see myself living in a small suburb that is close to a major metropolitan area. That would probably be my favorite place to live.

  11. I’m another small town dreamer. I can’t wait to be part of a real community. We finally moved to the burbs and our current little village is quaint (population around 2000!), I just wish everyone made more of an effort to get to know each other. I think maybe because we’re still so close to the city a lot of people have that city mentality. I must say though I’m really loving our church’s coffee hour and hoping to make more bonds with the community.

  12. I love your blog. I am a country girl through and through. My summers were much like yours- only in MN at our lake cabin. My mom was a teacher so summers were free and we spent most of them at the cabin while my dad stayed in the city to work. I loved it. I hope I can give that to my kids someday. Someday.

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