Wednesday, May 18, 2005

County Girl

Living in Butler certainly has its disadvantages. It’s a city that’s not really a city. It’s full of overweight people that drive minivans and SUVs with Bush Cheney ’04 stickers. It’s full of religious fanatics that truly believe that “intelligent design” is a science that our kids need to learn. There are drugs, like crack and heroin running rampant. I’ve seen families, including my own, effected by this epidemic. There are unfriendly people with mullets living next door. There is a single mother on the other side with a screaming 4 year old. Go to Super Wal-Mart on any given day and it will be packed to the gills with dirty inbred people.

Why do I live here? I’ve asked myself that so many times over the years. I’ve felt like a failure when people I knew moved off to big cities to do big things. I’ve talked big and said, “I need to get out of here if I ever want to do anything with my life!” And I’m not the only person to say that about living in Butler.

Most of the people that moved away came back. Butler is a swirling vortex that will suck even the strongest willed back into its clutches. The furthest away I’ve ever moved was Clarion, roughly 50 miles north. But I came back.

And I’ve discovered that for all its faults, Butler and I have a good relationship.

I’m so happy to live here. I never thought I’d say that, but there you go. The rolling hills, the miles of farmland, the forests and creeks and lakes and cows and deer and squirrels… Pennsylvania has a lot of that stuff.

I used to think about what it would be like if I had ever moved to a city. As much as I like to visit cities, I don’t think I could go very long without being surrounded by nature. If I couldn’t look out my window and see farmland and trees I’d sink into a deep depression.

I’m going to drive home the back way today with the windows rolled down, the music turned up, breathe deeply and admire what nature has to offer.

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