Jennifer Nobles: Thank God I’m a country girl
Growing up here in Nevada City was the best childhood situation I could have asked for. I had parents who loved me, friends who would prove to be lifelong mates, and a community that actually seemed to care about me. Life was good.
However, as a teenager, I began to feel a bit restless. I knew the world had a lot more glamour to offer than what I found within the gun-shaped borders of Nevada County. I wanted to experience city life. I wanted to have culture at my fingertips, and thought that by living in a city I would be automatically graced with some sort of worldliness.
My first stop was San Francisco. One night while walking home after work, the wind blew so hard I couldn’t stand it. “I didn’t know there would be wind,” I remember thinking. Plus it didn’t matter. I had committed to move to Santa Barbara the following summer.
And I did. Oh did I. With the beautiful sandy beach across the street from my campus, it was hard to concentrate on my studies. I failed algebra, and found myself on academic probation. I made the move home the following fall, then set back out again to Santa Cruz for a couple of years. I was on an unofficial tour of California’s loveliest spots.
One thing I can say for sure is that of all the places I have lived, none are as beautiful as my beloved mountain home.
Now that I am back here, I am grateful for my urban experiences but am so happy to live in Nevada County again. I want to get back to my roots; I want to camp and fish, I want to learn how to run a chainsaw and fix a broken truck. I want animals – lots of them – and I promise I won’t complain about waking up early to feed them all.
I’ve realized that no matter how much designer clothing or nice perfume I own, my heart lies in the country. It lies in the narrow streets of Nevada City, the enormous pines and oaks that fill my parents’ backyard, the familiar faces I see and who offer words of support and encouragement. And mostly, it lies in the spirit of the Gold Country, the land where so many before us sought their future and the promise that came with it.
I love it here. Sometimes I get sad to see how much has changed since I was a child, but the fact is, this is my favorite place. I will take Nevada County life any day over bumper-to-bumper traffic and overcrowded shopping malls. There truly is no place like home.
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