Abandoned farm yards have long sat and waited for life, a break from
the boredom of loneliness. It seems to me more and more of these
lovely sites now have construction or even completed homes. It is
good that these places find purpose but their new inhabitants should
ready themselves for country living.
Moving to the countryside is much like moving to another country, if
you’ve been lived there before-you should be fine. If this is your
first visit, then please learn the customs. It will make a difference
in your enjoyment of this experience and your new neighbor’s
enjoyment of this experience.
First off, the country is not the great pet reserve of which it is
rumored. You need to keep your pets at home or your will be the new
pariah in the township. It is rare to find leash laws out in the
countryside however you will find people have little or no interest
in feeding and housing your dog, cat, horse, marmoset, whatever. If
you keep a pet to teach your child something, then let it be
responsibility. Feed, water and care for your pet on your property;
it is that simple.
In the country, you are basically your own utility company.
Electricity and phone are provided for a fee, however you need to be
able to remove your snow, provide your own water (unless you have
rural water) and dispose of your own waste. You also need to be able
to fix these systems and equipment, at least until professional help
arrives, or your stay in the country will last longer than your
enjoyment of rural life. If I fail to shovel my sidewalk clear of
snow I do not receive a letter from the city; I instead slip, fall
and am unable to care for my cattle. The cause and effect of personal
action or inaction is more immediate in the country.
I think city dwellers can enjoy the mentality that most problems are
cured with a phone call. In the country, you will find more problems
are fixed with a shovel or hammer than the convenience of the
telephone. Rural folks pay less in taxes but that is because we
demand fewer services or provide for ourselves. If the cell phone is
your only skill, stay in town.
If you still feel like a move to the country, please find a mentor
from the pool of people who are already in the country. An event that
may cause you massive concern may be just regular life to us simple
country folk. You may find a crp fire an excellent reason to panic,
wet down pillow cases and fight it “Little house on the
Prairie”-style; however to us most crp fires are just land
management. Also if you see a truck with a tank on it spreading the
contents of a recently-pumped septic tank into a field, it is not
cause to call the Environmental Protection Agency, it is just
If you move to the country you will need some tools. You’ll need a
set of flat wrenches, a socket set, a pry bar, lots of hammers (lots
of hammers,) an air compressor and a couple of crescent wrenches to
start. Another essential in the rural tool kit is patience; without
it you will act without thinking and engage in physical battles you
can only win with your mind. If the only tool you have is a cell
phone then please use it to have someone come rescue you and bring
you back to the relative safety of your nearest municipality.
If my words sound harsh it is only because I speak the truth and wish
to do you the favor of true words without the fat of soft, cushioning
phrases which would dull my message. I have observed today’s homeowner
and find that a percentage of them should stay in town where they can
more easily avail themselves of a higher degree of services or only
venture out as far as the most-recently annexed city lot. Perhaps
some should just skip a few steps and find residence at an
advanced-care facility where they will have to neither clean, cook,
repair or change light bulbs for themselves. There exists a
possibility at that same facility they will find a resourceful old
man or old woman who once did it all and can tell stories of what it
is to live in the country.