Eight years ago I moved to this mountain from the Big City. Though I was never completely comfortable there, I had lived in cities most of my adult life. Over time I have become less city and more country. The first thing that happened was, through total immersion, I began to love country music. Once that happened, the rest seemed inevitable. Nowadays you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. These days, I ride half-broke horses, pick my dinner from the garden, and run around barefoot. I cut my hair with a Bowie knife and will use a bush for a bathroom without a second thought.
When I go back to the City, it’s like another world. People there don’t even speak the same language. Seriously. There are quite a few words that have completely different meanings. Check it out…
In the city, SHOE is never a verb.
CLEARANCE is a sale at the mall, not something you do to your property every spring. While on that subject, to BURN in the city means a charred dinner; in the country it’s something you do to your brush piles.
A WAVE in LA is something that happens on the beach, here the it happens passing each other on the road.
The WEB in the city means the Internet, here it’s more likely to be a Black Widow’s home.
In the city, SEPTIC is a bad relationship, or an infection; here it’s that place in the yard where you don’t want to fall through.
A RANGE in the city is something to cook on; here it’s a place you run your cattle.
CHAINS, up here, are for tires and chainsaws, down there it’s something you hang around your neck to hold a gemstone.
To RIG in the city means fix an election or a poker game; up here, it’s your truck.
A REVIVAL in the city is a production of “The Music Man”; up here, it is religious people getting together in a tent.
A BAG is something a city person uses to bring home groceries; up here it’s the milk producing part of a cow.
DIRT is something nasty in the city, here it’s your hunk of land; a SECTION is also, but in the city it’s just a portion.
STOCK up here means your farm animals; in the city it’s the base for soup.
A BRAND up here is identification for cows and horses; in the city, it’s a company’s name.
A MUSTANG in the country can mean the real thing, the one the car’s named for: a living breathing American wild horse. I have three of them and wouldn’t trade for the kind with 4 tires, neither!
In the city, SCRUB relates to cleaning; up here it’s bushes and chaparral.
A BREAKDOWN in the city means you need to visit a psychiatrist. Up here it means you need a tow.
PICKING in the city is choosing; up here it’s guitar playing.
FIDDLE in city-speak means to fool with something. Up here, it’s a violin.
PUTTING UP in the city means to tolerate something; here it means canning jam and tomatoes.
A PAD can be what’s under a city carpet; here it’s a place to put your doublewide.
To a city person, a TANK is probably something the Army uses; here it’s where water or propane is stored.
Men in the city wear a TIE; here it’s something you do to park your horse.
In the city, SHOT means something’s worn out. Here it’s what you load in your sidearm.
And in the city, a NEIGHBOR is a guy whose name you don’t know, who happens to live in the condo next door. Up here, a neighbor is someone who knows you, your family, and your business. It’s someone who will help you with anything; and show up to a party, a funeral or an emergency. Someone who will bring over a pie or fresh eggs or a six pack for no reason. It’s someone you can trust with your kids and your deep secrets. Up here, we have discovered the best meaning of that word.
The Mountain Mouth
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“The Mountain Mouth” copyright Kate MacDonald 2010