I grew up on the far edge of a small, rural town and our big yard was lined with old trees and a cornfield. A few neighbors shared our hill, but it was very private and secluded from the rest of town. Instead of a standard street grid and paved roads we had gravel and woods and ravines and tree forts and paths to follow and plenty of room to roam and use our imaginations. It was a great place to grow up and it is still my favorite place to go back to.
Although it seemed like we lived out in the country rather than in town, I was as much of a "city kid" as a person can be when they grow up in a town of 3,000 people. By the time I graduated I was very ready to leave and live in a bigger city. I was ready for more action, more things to do, more restaurants, more concerts, and more people. I do love living in my little corner of Minneapolis and having endless access to the city life, but lately I find myself craving the privacy and the space of the country. I do question if I love the idea of living in the country more than I would actually like living in the country, but it's an idea that has stayed tucked away in the back of my mind, and the pull keeps getting stronger.
I spent the weekend visiting my sister and her family in their small town in southeast Minnesota. On Saturday we visited two amazing artist studios out in the country. Then on Sunday my sister and I drove down several of the winding gravel roads that surround their town and made frequent stops to take these photographs. I love these drives: debating whether to go right or left, getting slightly lost, driving on roads we've never been on before, and then coming to an intersection we know and being surprised at how we got there. And now I find myself picturing my own little house -- a house like this -- tucked away down one of the driveways on one of those gravel roads. My own studio in the country.
Who knows, maybe I'd hate living the country. But something tells me that I just might like it.