The Relaxed Life

One of the things I noticed on this last trip up to Idaho from Texas is how much I yearn to return to an older, more relaxed style of life.  To be sure, this was triggered in no small part by the very frequent glimpses into small-town life Mark and I encountered as we drove up (more on this later), but lately I’ve been hankering to get further away from not only cities, but also the suburbs, “ex-urbs” and their concomitant lifestyle.

Everyone here knows, of course, of my love for older things, be they cars, guns or manners, and maybe it’s time for me to talk with New Wife about reverting to an old-fashioned lifestyle, where life is simpler and just… easier than the rat race we have to deal with now.

It doesn’t help that Mark and his wife recently left metropolitan Houston and moved far away to a small town in South Texas.  His description of their new life made me, in a word, jealous.  He and his wife are much younger than New Wife and I, so he can handle the more physical aspects of a small farm whereas we couldn’t.  And I wouldn’t want to do that even if I were younger;  I’m still a city boy at heart, but I have to think that I would be prepared to sacrifice proximity to gourmet restaurants and Central Market in exchange for a more relaxed lifestyle.

New Wife has often expressed her desire to live in a small English village, in a cottage like this one:

(Lest anyone wonders how, I should point out that our current 2BD 2BA apartment is about 970 sq.ft., so we’ve already downsized.)

We’re not going to do that, of course — we could, as she’s a British citizen — but no, because of all the usual reasons:  expense, upheaval, weather and of course British gun laws.

She’d also prefer to live on the coast somewhere (I wouldn’t mind), but to be honest, cost is a major deterrent.

Another problem is weather.  I’ve come to absolutely loathe Texas-type hot weather, and neither of us could handle the work of living in extreme cold in, say, northern Idaho or Montana.  Somewhere, there must be a happy medium, but damned if I can find it without some serious other negatives.

It’s also gotta be reasonably pretty.  I’ve had enough of flat Texas and, both of us having grown up in hilly Johannesburg, we yearn for that kind of scenery again.

So far, the rural states which occur to me are Kentucky and Tennessee — and by “rural” I mean that part which isn’t called “Nashville” or “Lexington”, and in each case also means “eastern”, as far as I can tell.

So, O My Readers:  talk to me, in Comments and by email, and tell me where I might find that kind of life as expressed in the picture at the top of this post.