Rumor Has It . . .

Rumor has it, I've lost my mind!  Gone bonkers!  Cracked up!

For some, there just doesn't seem to be any other explanation for my decision to leave the high-life on the left-coast behind, for a plot of untamed landscape in a back-water town where the post-mistress knows everyone by name.

I've already written about the urban-bias that paints those of us living in a bona fide green-space, as country-bumpkins, but I hardly expected my own family to join in the chorus calling for a rural purge.

I'll admit, the nearest Nordstrom is a ninety minute drive, and we now grab our go-cups from McDonald's rather than Starbuck's, but does my acceptance of these restrictions mean I'm slipping?  Since when is sanity dependent upon geographic locale?

Sick and tired of defending myself, and my fellow hayseeds with rubber bullets, I was handed fresh ammo this week, from Dr. Caleb Finch, professor at the University of Southern California's (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, who published a study in the peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, linking highway pollution, to brain damage in mice akin to memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.

US researchers and scientists recreated the airborne pollutants that come from burning fossil fuels and the weathering of car parts and pavement, and exposed mice to the air for 15 hours per week over 10 weeks.  The exposure resulted in "significant damage" to neurons involved in learning and memory, and "signs of inflammation associated with premature aging and Alzheimer's disease," were detected.

Dr. Finch conceded that more research is necessary to determine if the same effects could be seen in humans.  "Of course this leads to the question, 'How can we protect urban dwellers from this type of toxicity?'  And that's a huge unknown," Finch said.

Bad news for city mice, but seeming vindication for their long maligned country cousins.  I think, for the time being, I'll worry a little less about what those city mice in So Cal think about my mental health.  A few more trips up and down the freeway, and they'll forget all about me.

Dr. Finch is the co-Director of USC's, National Institute of Health funded, Alzheimer Disease Research Center.  He is a full professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences.

All photos by Mrs. Green Jeans, Farm Fresh Photography, 2011


  1. I LOVE it. We can't fix what has been done so why not laugh at it instead. Laughter is good for the soul. Love you!

  2. As soon as I can figure out a way, I am going to join you on your crazy train to the country..... Maybe we can get a family rate at the therapist!!!


  3. I think I need to go and read Country Mouse, City Mouse or whatever that children's book is called. Homesteading is all the rage right now and bravo to you for gettng back to "the earth" so to speak, eating local, taking pride in the "forgotten" arts of canning, gardening, etc.

    ps cool watermark on your photos. will we be able to purchase prints from Farm Fresh Photography anytime soon? ;)

  4. "A few more trips up and down the freeway, and they'll forget all about me." that's a great line.
    you may have helped me in my quest to find contentment in my geographical locale when indeed i do really miss the coast where i lived for 20+ years. there IS a lot to be said for a more sedate life, and you said it very well.

  5. did i miss your olw post this month somewhere?

  6. I'm all for doing something 'different' despite the naysayers. I too loved the line about driving up and down the freeway and forgetting about you! But I couldn't help but notice that the author of the study is from said So Cal location - right next to the 110 freeway! So, can we really rely on his research as his memory is probably shot by now?! Haha! We live in Beijing and people think we are crazy (I tend to agree sometimes) but for the opposite reasons. We go to So Cal to escape the horrible pollution here - luckily my mom lives on the beach so the ocean breeze keeps the smog at bay. : )