Is Country Living for me

I love my home in rural America. My husband and I and our two sons live down a gravel lane in the Pennsylvania countryside. We are surrounded by meadows on three sides giving our sons a huge backyard in which to run and play and just be boys. We don’t have to live in fear of them being picked up by a stranger, getting hit by a car and they always have fresh air to breath. For us, we wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else in town. But as my husband always says, “If you want to live in heaven, you have to pay the price.” And we do. There are many advantages to living where we do, but there are disadvantages as well.

 Mowing, Mowing and More Mowing-

We have a great backyard, beautifully landscaped and teaming with wildlife. We have a big garden, a pool and lots of shade trees that double as windbreaks in the fall when the cold wind starts blowing through the valley. However; as lovely as this may sound, we have a lot of mowing. Mowing and trimming our property takes the better part of a day. This doesn’t include the time we spend trimming our bushes, watering our flowers and working in the garden. Sometimes as I am driving through the city I look at all the balconies filled with window boxes and I dream of how easy this would be for a while.

 Everywhere We Look There is Wildlife-

Having a yard teaming with wildlife is perhaps the best part of living in the country. But is also can be a downfall too. Watching the butterflies flutter through a meadow of wildflowers is great. Having songbirds gather under a feeder by the hundreds during the coldest days of winter is spectacular. Deer, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and foxes all visit us in our backyard. Unfortunately so do groundhogs. They live by the hundreds in the meadows surrounding our house but they have failed to learn where the meadows stop and our backyard begins. Our backyard is filled with many holes; so many in fact we have to worry about someone falling into one and breaking a leg or an ankle. The situation has turned my husband into the groundskeeper from Caddyshack and turned my Jack Russell Terrier into a vicious killer.

 Fear No Strangers, Fear the Snow!-

Our great private gravel lane leading the way to our house that gratefully, strangers have never found can be a headache during a snowstorm. Thankfully we live in an area that rarely sees snow, especially the laying kind, but on occasion we have had to worry how we were going to get out. After a snowstorm we have to wait patiently for our retired neighbor to plow us out. Since he doesn’t work, it may be a day or two until he needs to be somewhere forcing him to plow the lane. It is a private lane, with a deeded right of way so we get no help from the snow plows that plow the main roads. We live in fear of hard winters.

 We Have Fresh Laundry But the Birds. . .

Living in the countryside is great. We get to save money by drying our clothes on the line and they come in having that hung from the clothesline smell. That is unless our neighbors from the goat farm, (the same neighbors who plow us out in winter, aka, our only neighbors), pasture their goats in front of their house. I can tell you that the summer breezes that blow through the meadows carry everything, if you catch my drift. And don’t get me started on what the birds sometimes do to my laundry!

There are many daily challenges that we have learned to live with living where we do. Living in the rural countryside is hard work. It’s not for the lazy. When you move to the country you have to learn to take the good with the bad. If you don’t learn this you will be disappointed and as a result you will end up like Chevy Chase and want to move back to the city. If you learn to be patient and give country living a try, you probably will never go back and you might get to the point where you can’t imagine living in the big city ever again.