But once you get used to the winding two-lane highways often blocked by dawdling tractors, the air heavily perfumed with livestock, the shock of how dreadfully out of reach Target is, well, it's nice. It's really nice.
It's playing pick-up baseball with the brothers in the field off to the side of the house. It's slurping grape popsicles at dusk on the porch swing while the kids run all over the yard after fireflies. It's driving down the road with your arm resting out the window to raise it in that casual two-fingered salute neighbors exchange as they pass each other. It's getting directions based on barns and bridges rather than street names. It's the sweet smell of grass that never washes off.
One lazy day out there my brothers and I decided to grab the kayaks and head down the Monocacy.
We slithered our way down the river easily, splashing and goofing and paddling along. We had no schedule to keep, no pressing appointments, no nothing. It was just us in the sunshine, the somnolent cawing of birds periodically breaking the stillness of the day, and always the slow plops of our paddles hitting the water's surface.
When we were halfway through our leg of the river three gunshots rang out in quick succession, shattering the quiet and raising a veil of birds to the sky. We looked around confusedly and spotted this:
near the shore.
An elderly, shirtless man in a fishing boat with a shotgun.
We continued down the river giggling, reminded once again that we are in hick-country. But I think I'm okay with hick-country. I think I'd fit right in.