Today I drove to the doctor's office, which involves a short trip down one country road, across another, and up one final country road that runs parallel to a county fair where today they had a tractor pull. I have no idea what a tractor pull is, but if it's literally people watching tractors pull things, you can bet I will never be tempted to spend money on the entrance fees. My friends tell me that they think cities smell bad. But the country smells like shit. Literally. Horse shit, cow shit, sheep shit. They call it manure so that they sound spiffier, but it all means I can't roll my windows down unless I happened to pack a bottle of perfume in my diaper bag that morning. As I stared at the empty fields of corn and wheat at the deserted stop light on my way to the country doctor, I missed my city.
We were visiting a friend's family's farm the other day - the type of farm that has sheep and chickens - and as one of the girls carried Abigail through the sheep pen, offering her the opportunity to pet one, she turned to look at me. The look on my little girl's face said, "Mommy, get me the hell out of this sheep pen." And all I could think was about how much she loved the sights and sounds of Chicago. We're city girls, you and me, Baby.
The county fair where people pay to watch tractors pull stuff is the same one that marked the start of our life back in Michigan. I've been living in this rural country town just outside of the dying capital of Michigan for exactly one year now. I miss Chicago in a heart-hurting kind of way today.