It may take me an hour to get to work, 30 minutes to get to the grocery store, and 20 minutes to get to the nearest gas station, but I love living in the country. I love living where I can’t see my neighbors. I love the silence and the smell of truly fresh air. I love the trees and wild flowers. I love being able to have animals without issues of city ordinances. I am just a child of nature and I have embraced that most of my life.
It’s true, it does take me about an hour, sometimes longer, to get to work every day. But fortunately enough for me, my job is doable from home sometimes. I’m happy to sacrifice extra gas money, however, to live the life I am afforded. My entire life I grew up outside of city limits. As a child, I made mud pies and swam in ponds that were undoubtedly polluted with questionable bacteria and poisonous snakes, but I didn’t care. I was coexisting with other life and, to me, that was normal. I didn’t have this fear of the unknown as we all do today. I was not afraid to venture outside my back yard at 9 a.m. and return just before the stars began to twinkle. The crazy part? My folks encouraged it. They were no more afraid for me than I was. Although, one time, my mom almost came unglued when I told her I got cold on my hike in the woods so I built a fire. I was 11. Her rage was warranted.
It wasn’t until I was in my teenage years, until boys came into play, that I abandoned my comfort in the country for a jealousy of my friends that were afforded the luxury of convenience living in the city. They were jealous of me too. They wanted the horses, the cows, the land, the freedom…but don’t we all want what we can’t have?
One thing never changed through my years of longing to living closer to town: my love for fishing. I loved to fish, I still do. I remember one time I was begging my mom to move us to town; without hesitation, she simply asked me, “where would you go fishing?”
She was right. I never wanted to give up fishing, I don’t think I could anyway. For as long as I can remember, I was happiest when I had a fishing rod, live bait, and a swim suit. Anywhere near water was a sanctuary for me, and I would sit there for hours casting out my line and reeling it back in. For a gal with little to no patience, fishing always brought out the most patience in me. I was obsessed, and my poor cousins always got dragged along with me. I like to think they enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m probably wrong.
But even as an adult, I told my husband that I would prefer a life of solitude over a life of convenience, and he agreed wholeheartedly. When we went to buy a house, we set our budget, bit our lips, and waited for the perfect opportunity to present itself. House buying is stressful to a degree I can’t even explain. At one point, we gave up on even buying a house so we just went for acreage, land to build on. We had no sooner shaken hands on a deal for a 20 acre lot when we came across a most beautiful house on a hill, sitting peacefully on 15 acres off of a private road.
We knew right away that the 20 acre deal was off, and we put in an offer on the house on the hill. This house had it all: land, in ground pool, chicken coop, lean-to, a pond, you name it. It was perfect and the price was more than right, so obviously this was a popular house. Offers from all over were pouring in, and the house would only be on the market for a week. Whoever had the best offer at the end of that week would get the house. After much consideration, we put in the best offer we could think of, and to our excitement, we got the house!
When people see where we live, they immediately assume that we are up to our ears in disposable income, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is, we bought smart. We invested in a nice house that sits on a relatively large amount of land, and the property will only go up over time. Being that our house is so far from the next major city, the price on it was significantly lower than it would be, had it been 10 miles closer to town. It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up! Sure, we could have rented, but if my math is right, my husband and I had spent well over $50,000 in rent already in the past 4 years of college. Plus, our mortgage payment would be the same as rent in the city on a two bedroom apartment; THAT blew me away. I’ll take the acreage with the option to resell in the future, thank ya.
I guess I just don’t mind sacrificing convenience for a little more peace. One of my favorite things in the world these days is to do yoga by the poolside in my swim suit. I couldn’t do that in the city without worrying about nosy neighbors. Nor could I have my chickens due to city ordinances. In return for those luxuries, I don’t mind waking up an hour earlier to get to work. I don’t mind making bulk trips to the grocery store once a month. I don’t mind cooking every night because it’s too far to drive to eat out. I just love it, actually. It is the same way I was raised, so I suppose it stuck with me all these years.
The smog is so thick in the city that I can hardly stand to leave my office. Sadly, industrialization is only expanding, but not on our land. For right now, we have a beautiful front porch view, trees to admire, a pond to fish from, and plenty of room for growing our garden.
I wont lie, I don’t think I’ll ever be a city chick. I just can’t bring myself to give up the modern pioneer lifestyle. If I had it my way, I’d live as a nomad. Until then, I’ll be enjoying the sound of a rooster crowing every morning and the smell of wild flowers saturating my yard.