Saturday, June 04, 2011

Lotte Love

I have a love-hate relationship with my city and county of residence.  You see, it makes no sense that was born in one of the most heavily populated places in the US.  I'm a country girl at heart, even though I've never truly lived in the country.  I love fresh air and wide open spaces.  I've never likes the hustle and bustle of the city, of hearing sirens at all hours of the night or voices outside my window.  I'm really a people person, and I love large gatherings of people, but I want fresh air.  I'm tired of traffic.  I want to look at the sky at night and see stars twinkling, not planes and satellites.  I want to hear cows mooing, not trains whistling.  It's hard for me to spend my days living in a townhouse that looks at other townhouses out both the front and back windows.

That said, there is a lot to love about living just outside a huge city.  I love how much there is to do, that museums and festivals are a quick drive away, that education and culture are right at our fingertips.  Most of all, I love the diversity of the population.

People who live here are from everywhere.  No joke.  You step out of your car at the gas station and you will easily hear four different languages being spoken in the time it takes to fill up your gas.  Families are blended and multi-cultural.  Pot lucks will have flavors from all over the world.  I got to go to graduation parties in high school with real Korean barbeque.  I've grown up in classrooms and churches full of friends with every color skin, and I feel that I've gotten a better glimpse of heaven that way. 

You can walk down any city block and get to taste foods from all over the world.  Authentic food, too.  And in our town we have a Lotte, an Asian market grocery store that has awesome prices and all kinds of cool stuff. 

Today I walked in was greeted by a Spanish-speaking grocer while The Band Perry twanged about coon dogs on the speakers overhead.  I smiled.  I think every family around me was speaking a different language, a few of which I didn't even recognize.  I got a 5-pound bag of sweet rice flour for only $10 for gluten-free baking, and a 1-pound bag of tapioca flour for only $1.  Have I mentioned that Asian grocery stores are a gluten-free person's best friend?  Move over, Whole Foods!

Someday, we want to skip this town and its craziness.  We want to spend out time thinking about how to keep the foxes from stealing our chickens instead of robbers stealing our GPS.  We want to hear crickets singing at night instead of the distant zooms of the beltway.  We want to mow our fields and raise our own grass-fed beef and watch our kids catch minnows in the creek.  Their lives will be rich and full and sweet, but sometimes I worry that they'll miss out.  They will probably hear only English at the grocery store, and their barbeques probably won't have kimchi.  

They'll need kimchi more than they know. 

1 comment:

  1. Joni Ruiz8:39 PM

    It's funny because as much as I love living in the country, I want to live in the city! As a matter of fact, I want to by the townhouse across the street from you and see you every day! I want to go to the National Mall and watch fireworks with you guys! I want to have access to a museum! I want to be able to walk to a grocery store! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side! Love you!


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