View from the front porch
We’ve lived in our house for nearly 3 years, and I’ve officially been away from my home town for four years. I’m often asked if I miss living in the city and if it’s been an adjustment to live in a rural area. Yes and yes is usually my answer.
Moving away from the only city you have ever known is difficult, regardless of where you are going. Going from an urban area to a rural area is even more of a transition. However, the change, as changes often are, was not as bad as I had envisioned a few years ago. I pictured terrible withdrawal symptoms and a feeling of being lost in a maze of cornfields.
Some days, it felt like I was living light years away, while others were not so bad. There was quite a bit to become accustomed to at the time: lack of shopping, lack of entertainment options, farming equipment on the road, a new job and preparing to get married.
My true enjoyment of country living did not come until we purchased our home. After living in apartments, we were ready to have a place of our own. “The question” was one we discussed at length: Do we want to live out in the country or in town? My dear husband is a farm boy and I, as you are aware, am a city girl. Strangely, neither of us had a strong opinion either way. We reserved ourselves to one of my favorite concepts: what is meant to be will find a way.
We found what was meant to be in a country setting. We did not seek out either locale with gusto, but rather the locale seemed to choose us. Much like finding the right man or the perfect wedding dress, we knew immediately it was the one. Once that slice of heaven was ours, we moved in and began to make it our own. For me, there was much to learn. I have never, in my life, had up close encounters with sump pumps, water softeners, wells, septic and propane tanks and skunks. I can now say I have been successfully acquainted with all of the above.
One of my husband's aunts refers to me as “Uptown Emily.” It is hard to feel like a city girl when there is a cornfield behind my house. A field of corn has become something that I love, as strange as it may seem. There is something fascinating about the way of life paired with country living. One thing we could both agree on is our love of privacy and seclusion. In our search for homes, we found many beautiful specimens that were quickly tainted after walking into the backyard. From the back deck, the back of at least 5 homes were visible: not my idea of home. These homes were quickly crossed off the list.
I may be a city girl, but growing up there was a beautiful, lush wooded area and full-blown farm located behind my parent’s house. This provided a colorful backdrop as a child, and numerous memorable debacles along the way. The farm behind my parent’s house was complete with cattle, a pig, a golden retriever named Zero and some chickens. The cows would mosey up to the back fence to chew on the grass clippings after dad emptied the contents of the mower and before the fence was replaced, they once moseyed into the yard and ate my mother’s flowers. A chicken once became caught under the fence as well and there was a pig that chased my brother when he went exploring into the woods. As much as it may sound like I too grew up on a farm, it is important to note that a chain link fence separated us from the farm then; now there is no fence separating us from the farm and country life. We’re surrounded.
I still carry that love of seclusion with me today, and country living has begun to slowly seep into my blood. I can’t imagine being anywhere else but here. I am very social, but I secretly treasure not having an obligation to make small talk with neighbors. I can go about my business, pulling weeds and watering the flowers without a child or neighbor to pester me or discuss the weather.
If you sit quietly enough, you can begin to appreciate the nuances that accompany rural living. I never miss an opportunity to stare up at the sky each night, taking in every star I can see, and you really can see them all. I love to sit on the front porch in a rocking chair and take in the sounds of silence, sometimes accompanied by a lone goat or horse sound. I have no choice but to slow down and take my time, something I rarely do in my day-to-day existence. I often joke about living in the country, but the truth is that deep down I have fallen in love.
Over time, I have begun to embrace the country by taking baby steps. I planted a vegetable garden, I spend hours mowing the lawn and I have gotten over the shock of not having sidewalks when I take the dog for a walk.
There are still days I sorely miss the access to shopping and having numerous dining options, that I cannot deny. These necessities slowly fade away over time, and if times become desperate, they are only a 45-minute drive away. Now, if only we could find a way to grow our own gasoline…