Monday, July 21, 2008

City mouse, country mouse

A lot of the differences we are experiencing in Soerup have more to do with moving to a small village than the fact that this village is located in Germany. I spent my first ten years in rural Illinois, but since then I have been a suburban or urban girl. Aaron was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. As adults, we have lived in Madison, Wisconsin, and Kalamazoo, Michigan, both cities of at least 100,000. So, to live in a town of 3,000 and to smell cows when the wind blows a certain direction is something new for us both!

Everything is so close! All three of Soerup's grocery stores are less than a mile away, so we can easily ride our bikes or walk. And Aaron's workplace is also less than a mile away so he comes home for lunch every day. It seems that all you need for daily living can be found right in town without getting in the car.

We are in the midst of agriculture. Last week we took a walk and one block past the grocery store we ran into a dairy farm! There are many cattle pastures around, as well as some sheep and horses. There are a lot of wheat and corn fields and I have heard about the canola fields that bloom bright yellow in the spring.

And people are friendly! Since we mostly get around town on foot or bike, we are greeted by nearly everyone we pass. Even kids say "Moin!" (the northern German equivalent of "Hi!") Neighbors know each other and you can't go anywhere without seeing someone you know. Amazingly, this has already been true for us!

I know for many of you who grew up in small towns or still live in small towns, this is not exciting stuff. But for us, it is certainly part of the adventure!

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