Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rural Living - Necessary Skills

From the outside looking in, it may appear that rural living is a mindless, free spirited lifestyle free from the pressures that an urban lifestyle can bring. Folks who live in ultra-populated urban settings dream of living in the country and, at times, the country folk think just the opposite. 

It's not for everyone. You must adapt and acquire some very important virtues if you are going to survive.

Being a good time manager: To live in the country you must have great time management skills for several reasons. The most important reason is because the sidewalks roll up at 5:00 every afternoon and there are very few if any businesses that stay open 24 hours. Also, these same businesses are occasionally open until noon on Saturdays and never on Sundays. Occasionally because there are too many other things to do on the weekends like Church, dinner on the grounds and fishing. You can bet that if the fish are biting some businesses won't be open at all on Saturday.  

The barber shops and beauty shops are closed on Sunday's and Monday's. Plan ahead.

Great time management skills means you have to stop your projects to go to town to buy scratch feeds, ranch cubes, meal or supplies for the next big project or groceries and food supplies for those who are not totally self-sustaining. This, or you'll drive many miles to the next largest town to get them. Careful planning with strategic steps are essential.

The Rural Living farm is in a community that is fortunate to have a 24 hour Wal-Mart with at the least, or perhaps I should say - at the most... just basic supplies.We also have a convenience store that stays open 24 hours if you need gas, beer and lottery tickets. Outside of that, you're out of luck.

Have a bucket load of patience: Patience is an acquired skill that you learn over time. It is an absolute necessity to have because you will be waiting a good part of the time. Waiting for a crop to come in, waiting for a mother to give birth, waiting for your special order to come in at the local hardware store, waiting for a part (this happens a lot), waiting for the rain to stop or start and in come cases, snow, wind, water rising and the other things the good Lord throws at you.

You'll also learn to have patience when your spouse gets frustrated, your children are cranky or you can't get cell phone coverage except in one small spot at the end of the pasture. In our neck of the woods that happens more often than not. In fact it is not unusual to drive down a county road and see a lone chair in the middle of the pasture. To those unfamiliar this odd scene this is know as the cell phone chair. You're out of luck if it rains and you don't have an umbrella.

Have a great sense of humor -  This is absolutely the most important virtue to have or you will be frustrated most of the time and be tempted to call a local realtor. Things break, fences are breached, animals get loose, other animals eat your gardens or larger crops. Tools drop and get lost especially nuts and blots and it never fails it will be the last and most important bolt that you knew you had to keep safe or you would have to wait until Monday to get it from the hardware store, praying they wouldn't have to order it. Equipment breaks, or the wind blows something over, blows something off or blows something on top of a recently completed project.

It truly is never ending but you have to learn how to laugh at it all. Laugh at yourself for deciding to live rural, laugh at what the good Lord throws at you, (or Murphy as my husband calls it), laugh at the rain and in some cases in the rain, laugh at your children as they run mindless across your acreage, laugh at silly new kittens, pretty new chicks or at the first sign of spring after a bitter winter.

And laugh as you look up at the night sky, hoping to introduce some friend from the city to the big dipper, only not being able to find it when it gets lost in the millions of other stars...

Yes, you must have all three characteristics to survive a rural lifestyle. Time management to continue to move forward on projects, patience because it's never a one weekend project and a sense of humor when nothing goes as planned. And it never will.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly...and wouldn't change it for all the money in the world :D I love country living!

  2. Was just thinking this morning that since the weather has been so weird, and the season change so late, the "pretty" part of the yard has definitely taken a backseat to the food garden. The garden looks great and is already feeding us, but the pretty is about three weeks behind. Oh well ...


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