Ask me where my ideal home would be located and I'd likely tell you New York, New Orleans, or perhaps Paris. I'm a City Mouse. I grew up in a small city, but spent most of my childhood within walking distance to parks, pools, corner candy shops and all sorts of fun distractions. Later, in my pre and teen years I was a short bus ride from a downtown filled with shops, restaurants and cool places for an eighties chick with mall bangs and neon belts to hang out. At eighteen I figured out that New York was a $10 bus ride away and suddenly my small city seemed smaller.
I never had the chance to live in NYC, but I spent as much time there as possible. I moved to San Francisco, then Dallas. Each move gave me a different perspective on city life, and the last eight years have afforded me with amazing travel opportunities so I've seen a lot of cities both large and small.
For me, the bigger the better. I'm at home in a place where I don't need to own a car and never have to shop at a mall or big box store. I love corner markets, cafes and news stands. The idea of living in the "sticks" where driving is mandatory as the nearest store is miles away has never enticed me. I've never wanted land, gardens or anything of the sort. I'm okay with concrete and roof top gardens and inner city parks.
Yet somehow here I am, forty miles from the nearest big city, a sprawling city with limited public transit at that. I buy my dog food at a feed store that occasionally has horses in the parking lot. We have more western apparel and supply stores than news stands. Am I a Country Mouse?
Had you asked me a few weeks ago I would have said yes, I am an exhausted Country Mouse who works in the "city" and has no time to lament country life. But I would have been wrong, because I do not live in a town or village, but in a city, a small one, about the same size as the one I grew up in, but a city none the less.
Perspective is interesting. Since I started working in town, I've begun incorporating exploring my city into my daily walks. within a quarter mile of my house is a grocery store, three drug stores, more pizza restaurants than should be allowed, a local coffee shop and a Starbucks, several hair and nail salons and a beauty supply store, a craft store, dollar store, Radio Shack, a few bars, three Mediterranean restaurants and a sushi bar... and a lot more. Sure, I have to drive to the mall for clothes, and I usually drive to the grocery store because we tend to buy more than I can carry home on foot, and I can't take the train to work, but if I felt like it, I could be writing this from a cafe table while drinking a latte.
I'm a Townie Mouse. It took a while, but I finally found my groove.
Does that mean I've given up my dreams of a brownstone, or a winter home in the Garden District, or a vacation flat overlooking the Eiffel Tower? Hell no! But if none of that should come to pass, I doubt I'll feel that I missed out on anything.