A country mile

country fieldOne of the many things I’m thankful for is living in the country. While I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, I’m forever grateful we made the decision more than 20 years ago to get out of the city and move to rural roads where the air is fresh, the mosaic fields of fall spread before you like a harvest feast, and you can walk or drive for a country mile without seeing another car or person.

What I didn’t count on was how much the simplistic charm of the little hamlets and crossroads, and the people who inhabit them would grow on me.

For instance, I was driving to Tamworth the other night for a 4H meeting. The sign at the church in Croyden said, “Rhonda. Sunday. 6:30.”

It made me wonder who was Rhonda and what was she doing at the Croyden church on Sunday at 6:30? Was she getting married? Or was it an unhappy occasion—a memorial service for Rhonda? Was she young or old?

I did wonder if perhaps my friend Rhonda Nontell who has a cottage nearby was giving a gospel performance at 6:30 in Croyden, but then the sign would say “Rhonda. Sunday. 6:30. $5.” I mean most of us would pay at least $5 to see that performance.

These are the things that keep me up at night.

And then there is the country wave. When I first moved to this area 20 years ago, my best friend’s Mom Audrey educated me on the country wave. The country wave is different if you’re walking or driving.

When walking, the proper way to wave to people is a slight nod of the head or raise of the hand for a half-wave. No full-out wave, or Queen wave, just an acknowledgement you saw them driving by.

If driving, there are two approved country waves. There’s the two finger wave, where you just raise two fingers off the steering wheel or the four finger wave with your four index fingers extended. A slight nod of the head is acceptable.

Over the years, I’ve experienced everything from discovering a newborn fawn at the end of my driveway, to eating my breakfast cereal with an escaped cow staring at me through the kitchen window, to chickens on our hot tub. Yes, country living is definitely better by a country mile.

This week’s #HappyAct is to give thanks for where you live. Here are some pictures I took on my drive and walk on the country roads near Tamworth the other night.


country sign
This is the first sign I’ve seen for turtles and snakes

barn silosunset over a field

8 thoughts on “A country mile

  1. So true and if you don’t have the advantage of living in the country, we can be thankful we have Provincial Parks to take in the beauty.

    1. Agreed, Lil–actually just today we went for a rip just north of our place. We drove near Frontenac Park, then down out of the woods into rolling farm fields. I love that we have both in our area!

  2. Happy thanksgiving , I hope this finds you and your family well.

    I really enjoyed your story about being thankful. It’s always at Thanksgiving that I especially feel a bit of regret that I don’t live in Canada near my family. I did though this year send a copy of your story to all my cousins here in Australia to let them know how much I appreciate them.

    Talk again soon

    David Dawson

    “Character Counts” – motto Meadowvale Secondary School


    1. That is so wonderful David and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I can’t imagine living in another country at this time of year (I can in January!). It must be hard sometimes being so far away from family and friends, but at least we know we are always in each other’s thoughts and prayers. love the Meadowvale Secondary motto btw!

  3. What was Rhonda doing at 6:30 on Sunday? 6:30 a.m. – probably watching SportsCentre, 6:30 p.m. – with her many relatives enjoying Thanksgiving. Sadly, I was no where near Croydon. However, I do agree about the wave. My wave on cottage roads is much different than my wave in the City. If meeting a car on a country road that requires you to slow down, and slide ever so carefully by the opposing car, I find the nod works best. All other country waves are the two finger variety.

    I’ll sing you a gospel song for $5.00. But first I have to learn a gospel song.

  4. Pingback: Get out and vote local – Happy Act

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