I live and work in downtown Frederick and there isn’t a day that goes by that I am not thankful for that pleasure. There aren’t too many people who can say their commute is 2 city blocks. Mine is, and I love it. Now, keep in mind, I have a true appreciation for my situation.
I spent my younger professional life in New York City…eww. The traffic in New York is as repulsive as everyone thinks—no exaggeration necessary when telling the commuter tales of the E train from Queens to Midtown at 7am during the work week. And of course, I lived in Frederick and worked down the road in Gaithersburg for a number of years, and then I lived in Gaithersburg and commuted to Alexandria for a couple more years. So, I am no stranger to a horrific commute to and from work. Therefore, when I say I count my blessings about living and working in downtown Frederick, I mean every word of it.
But, get me out of the city of Frederick and I am in complete awe of where we live. Yesterday, I was invited out to a friend’s house. She told me she is only 20 miles outside of the city, and it was a straight shot from where I am on Patrick Street to where she is in Woodsboro. And it pretty much was. But, as soon as I got on the other side of Route 26, it was like I had transported myself into another world. It was simply stunning. I mean beautiful landscapes, trees of all colors, stretches of fields as far as the eye can see…. I actually got out of my car in the middle of the road (very New Yorker of me, I know) and started snapping pictures of where I was to document the moment. I mean, I had been in my car for less than 15 minutes and was surrounded by this amazing beauty.
Okay, so I admit the smell left something to be desired. I am not a fan of horse manure or whatever that particular odor was. But still, I loved how beautiful it was and how close to home I was. In New York, if I drive 15 minutes in Queens, there is no way to know if I have moved at all—it pretty much all looks the same till you get about an hour or more out of the city.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I am city mouse through and through. My friend practically knocked me down when she walked into the living room to show me the cute little rifle she had found that allowed her to shoot without being knocked down. “Do you shoot people with that?” I asked honestly wondering what the hell a person needs a riffle for. She just giggled and said, “’city mouse’ I use it to keep the fox away from my chickens.”
“Oh,” I said, clearly still confused.
Being a city mouse I am not familiar with country folk and their ways. But I love them just the same. I don’t mind them poking fun at me cause I don’t know why you need a rifle or why they wear those funny hats that cover their ears. They made me try one on. It’s not a look I am going to embrace. But regardless of t he not-so-attractive fashion or the poor little fox that I hope doesn’t come anywhere near my friend’s chicken coop anytime soon, I remain in awe of where I live and how incredibly lush and stunning the landscape of Frederick county is.
This city mouse hopes we can all figure out a way to preserve its beauty while allowing it to grow and flourish as it needs to. I certainly pledge to help in anyway I can.