Monday, December 10, 2007

Quick clarification


I was asked in a one line email: "Is Columbia in the Ozarks?"
No, Columbia, my new home, is situated in the Dissected Till Plains Region of Missouri, just north of the Ozarks. The plains are characterized by clay and sandy soils, significantly richer than the dolomite/limestone/chert based soils of the Ozarks. The oaks and hickories of the Ozarks are comfortably at home in Columbia, where the older neighborhoods look like forests on Google hybrid maps. Columbia has spared lots of trees and a handful of their Arts and Crafts homes (but let others fall into utter disrepair. Mine, however, is in great shape).

No, I won't discuss how great Columbia is in this medium, because I'm sure someone else is doing that. I won't mention the great sports teams from the University of Missouri or discuss local politics (which are generally interesting and progressive). I won't mention all the great coffeeshops, curbside recycling, the bike trails, the arts theatre, or the gym where my trainer gives me nothing but encouragement.

I live in Columbia but I work in the Ozarks. I wear makeup and wool tights to my new job. I have an office that has no drawers for pencils. I have joined an office community that resembles the offices of New Yorkercartoons: secretaries with egregious holiday sweaters, territorial disputes over coffee strength, sad attempts at holiday cheer with mismatched tinsels and broken lights, an entire department playing the card game Uno in the kitchen at 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday. I wake up really early to get to the main highway before the crush of traffic (few people who work in Jefferson City live there. They all live in Columbia). However strange an office environment may be, I'm allowed plenty of time in the field where I stomp through astonishing landscapes that vary from glades (dry, rocky, south facing slopes) to springs (that produce 80 million gallons of water a day) to virgin oak forests. The Ozarks are so rich and utterly vast, I really don't even know where to start...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

what a lovely home for the holidays... does it have a fireplace?!?

Allison Vaughn said...

No, darn it, no fireplace. If it did, I would have bought the house rather than rent it. Granted, my renter's policy is already through the roof thanks to the original 1930s wiring...

Anonymous said...

I love that (and how) you used the word "egregious"!