Twenty Five Years Ago: Our Move to Country Living
Moving to country living was one of the best moves my husband and I ever made for our family. We’ve learned a few things along the way.
1. The moon has phases. It is very dark when there is no moon. It is surprisingly light when there is a full moon. Take away your street lights for a month or two. You will see what I mean.
2. Take away the street light outside your bedroom window and you will also notice that the sun rises VERY EARLY in the summer. In the country “crack of dawn” really means the crack of dawn.
Children wake up earlier in the country. The first morning we moved into the farmhouse after arriving after midnight, I heard the children running in the field behind the house before I was ready to wake up. Unfortunately, the dew was still on the knee-high grass. Picture five children coming inside soaking wet with nothing unpacked to dry them off. They loved every minute.
3. Making a huge pile of dirt is one of the best things you can do for your children in the country. Besides the convenience of having a place to drive their cars and dig holes, they can use plastic sleds for year-round sledding. Make sure there’s a clear path!
4. When you plant a huge vegetable garden (not a 4′ x8′ square foot backyard city garden), you’d better start the weeding from day one. Otherwise, you end up with weeds—knee-high by the 4th of July. Please don’t ask how I know this.
If you don’t weed your vegetable garden from day 1, it will be very difficult to find your produce and harvest it. Remember what I said in #4. You really don’t want to know. #pitifulwomanwadingthroughweedstofindveggies
5. Do not accidentally misdirect the new female vet who came to check the pregnant cow to the wrong cow that isn’t. She might think her male vet partners included you in a prank. #dumbcitypeople
6. When there is a drought, stay away from sheets of plywood left randomly around the farm by the previous tenants.
Did you know it is up to the “new farm wife” to lift up the plywood so the “new farm husband” can figure out how to dispose of the zillion snakes who live in the moist soil under sheets of plywood in a drought? Do not ask what “new farm husband” did to the snakes. I’m pretty certain the statute of limitations has passed.
7. Homegrown vegetables taste better than the ones in the grocery store. It’s a fact.
8. If your canned vegetables don’t taste way better than the ones you buy in the store, why are you canning? I’m great at canning tomatoes and peaches. My pickles were an epic fail. I had canned three or four cases before we figured it out.
9. You don’t have to follow the instructions to the letter when you plant fruit trees. The suggested distances are for city people who have no space. A little further apart would have been a lot better. Packing a few fruit trees tightly on a few acres looks really dumb and grows more bugs.
10. Farmers are very smart. Respect them. They grow your food. Your local grocery store is simply a distribution center.
Now I know why farmers think city folks are not the brightest cookies. If you have to ask why you must be a city person. It isn’t too late to start country living to get an education!