The silence is deafening in Defiance.
I mean that as a compliment. A few years back, that would have been the worst of insults to lob at my hometown. Now, ten years removed and in the self-described city that never sleeps, I appreciate the peace.
Don't get me wrong. I love the bustle outside our Brooklyn apartment. But when the noise two floors beneath our bedorom reaches a decible too high in the wee hours of the morning, it's difficult not to see the advantages of rural Defiance County.
To illustrate the difference, here's the view outside of our Bay Ridge bedroom:
And here's the view (from autumn 2008) outside of my bedroom window in Defiance:
What's ho-hum to Mom and Dad almost seems like a plot from a storybook now. Case in point: Paul and I crawled up to bed after midnight on our last night in Defiance last month. The moon reflected off an even layer of snow as I looked out the window one last time. But something arrested my attention. I had taken off my glasses, but I could distinctly see two dark blobs in the field. I ran for my glasses and resumed my watch.
Deer. Not one or two. By the time they were out of sight about 10 minutes later, Paul and I counted seven. No big deal to Mom and Dad. The deer have been especially prevalent this year, they said.
Ten years ago, I probably wouldn't have found it too exciting either. But now, when the only thing I can count in multiples of seven is Chinese take-out restaurants, I find it pretty amazing.