I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes the country so appealing for city folks. As I mentioned in the blog post below, there are the cows and turkeys and deer and lakes and tomatoes. Sure, we have fresh air and fresh vegetables. But one of the greatest gifts that the country gives to city folks is the shedding of fear. Its something I really notice after folks have a house up here for a while. Initially most city folks come up wearing a thick overcoat of subtle fear. They lock up everything – their cars when they run into the supermarket here for a quart of milk, their houses when they run into town for the Sunday Times. Occasionally someone even puts "The Club" on their steering wheel. Dogs and kids are kept very close.
A common occurrance initially is that city folks can have a hard time sleeping if the doors aren't locked. If you have houseguests from the city, its something you really notice. If you leave the doors unlocked (or sometimes in the warm weather, wide open), inevitably you'll have some houseguests who will tip toe down in the middle of the night and lock them. They just can't get to sleep if the doors aren't locked.
Over time most city folks shed that mantle of fear. First comes the locks. You don't always lock everything up all the time. Then, if you're in the country, you may let the dog out the back door to run around without a leash or rope. You let the kids play outside on their own and even bike down to a neighbor's house. In a year, you'll probably raise your eyebrows when your houseguests tiptoe down to lock the doors before going to sleep.