Rural or Not?

We live on a farm in a rural area. Most folks intuitively understand that fact when you state that you own and operate a farm. But, I don’t think most folks that live in the city or suburbs understand some of the logistics of living in the sticks.

We live 10 miles from town and it takes us 10 minutes to get to town….Think about that. In some municipalities, 10 miles could take you an hour during rush hour…..

Town is a Walmart, a grocery store, a few restaurants, a pharmacy, couple of gas stations, banks, feed stores, hardware store, and many churches…..This may seem pretty sparse but we aren’t the smallest town around by any means. Our first farm called a small town of 500 people home. We are now living it up in a big community of 5000. We don’t have a mall or any clothing shops really ……other than what the feed store carries. They can hook you up with some cool rubber boots and a Carhartt coat.

I work 45 miles from home in a small university town where we can do some limited shopping and dining but if we can’t find it locally the next option is the city. When we make the 2.5 hour trip to the city like we did this week, the mall/shopping is usually the last thing on our minds though. Thankfully it has been 5 years or so since I have had to step inside a mall. We were traveling this time for a routine medical appointment but we try to squeeze in as much as we can in a day. For us, a trip usually means a stop at Trader Joe’s, the children’s resale shop to swap out some clothes for the next season, the awesome playground, and cemetery to visit family. Mae Mae is getting old enough to experience some of the cultural attractions such as the zoo, art museum, natural history museum and others and we hope to start visiting those soon. By the time we do the 5 hours of driving, there aren’t many hours left in the day to see the sights.

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This may all seem like an antiquated and inconvenient way to live but I beg to differ.  Life here is a slower, quieter, less hectic lifestyle. Our idea of a traffic jam is waiting for a tractor to turn off at the next hay field or for the stock trailer loaded down with cows to make it up the next hill. Convenience is not the priority it may be other places. We are willing to wait for the part to come in or the new tires we order to take a week. We understand that most all stores will be closed Saturday and Sunday.

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We always have the option to pile in the car to go see the sights, have a night out, shop till we drop but the best part of it all is that we get to leave. We have the option to head back in the darkness away from the city lights, pull in our gravel drive and tumble into our beds to the sounds of the crickets and coyotes. To us, it is the best of both worlds. We have the option to go visit the fast paced city life but return to the comforts of a quieter home.

Does that mean that life never gets stressful or hectic here? Of course not, the stresses of farm life are distinctive to the lifestyle. If you live in the burbs, I am sure you never worry about the how far behind on rainfall we might be, planting being delayed due to wet ground, running out of forage or hay and hundreds of other problems that may arise on the farm. But, without the roar of the city in our ears, we can listen to ourselves in the quiet and come up with a solution.

Loving living here doesn’t mean that I never get frustrated at the lack of availability of some items or services or opportunities but the benefits out way the negatives on a daily basis.

So the next time, you chuckle over the thought of living away from the hustle and bustle or laugh at all the stereotypes of country folks that run rampant in the media, remember that perhaps they might know something about this lifestyle that you don’t.

We are fiercely loyal to our way of life and proud to live where and how we do.

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We have just learned to wait patiently for the box with a smile to arrive……..

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