The Drive Out


Image: Pixabay

I was born and raised in the city and I hated almost every moment of my life there. My grandmother lived in the greater northeast part of Philadelphia, and while still the city, it was calmer than my neighborhood. Plus she lived down the street from a section of Pennypack Park where I spent most of my outdoor childhood when I was at her place. Being in the woods was nicer than being in the city.


The cacophony of traffic, people, heavy equipment, and sirens was enough to drive me insane. My neighborhood wasn’t too chaotic, but when I got older I had to go to schools outside Bridesburg and there were more people, trolleys, buses, and lots of noise. A few times I cut school with a friend and we took the el train down to the Gallery in Center City Philadelphia and that was insane!

All the noise and business frustrated me.

Almost every weekend I would go up my grandmother’s place and despite her still living in the city, she lived in a less congested part and it was like a breath of only semi-polluted air. Then we would take a ride out to New Hope, PA and that was mind-blowing.

It was so quiet! Where was the cacophony of madness that was in the city? Where were the loud vehicles, screaming children and occasional, rambling lunatic at Bridge & Pratt?

How could I make these twisty, tree-lined roads a reality for myself?

The stillness, the glimpse of a deer on the side of the road, old cemeteries and farmhouses and of course, the little borough of New Hope with it’s quiet, bustling Main Street was enough to instill in me a life goal of becoming a lawyer, moving to New Hope and having a cat – but no kids.

Life didn’t go that way and now here I am, almost thirty years later, back in school as I try to make my dream of small town, quiet living a reality. My husband and I are researching small towns in Pennsylvania because as soon as I get my degree (I am thinking Behavioral Science now) we are effing out of here! We live in a suburban borough, but it is still too busy for me.

Every Sunday, my husband and I take a drive out to a new town in the country and I love every moment of our adventure.  Yesterday we wound up in Lehighton, PA and found a cool fall festival loaded with awesome treats, great crafts, and free parking!

Do you prefer the city or the country?

Author: D. A. M. Steelman

I could get through life just fine quoting heavy metal lyrics.

5 thoughts on “The Drive Out”

  1. I’ve always been a city person. But now that I’m retired, I’m seriously considering finding an out-of-the-way plot of land on a bluff overlooking the ocean, building a small cottage, going off-grid, and getting away from the madness that has seemed to have infected society.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I grew up in the country – outside a small village in Vermont. After that I moved to bigger towns and even some suburbs. For all that time I thought I was a country person and plotted ways to get back to the woods. Then the opportunity came: We all moved to a yurt in the Missouri Ozarks for two years. While it was nice (though not quiet – in the summer the bugs were louder than most cities!) our greatest happiness was found years later when we moved to Canada’s biggest city. The two buildings in our complex hold more people than the entire population of that little town I grew up in. I love the excitement of the city. Last year at this time I found myself in New Delhi – population of nearly 22 million and I found it fantastic. Of course no matter where I’ve lived, I’ve needed a quiet sanctuary away from the chaos. Whether that’s our apartment hundreds of feet above the city or a rooftop in India, being able to get away and recharge is an absolute must.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also – small world: Before we moved to the yurt, the last place we lived was Bethlehem, PA – not far from you. I’ve been to Lehighton a few times for work (I worked in the IT department at The Morning Call for a year or so before moving away)

      Liked by 1 person

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