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Country Discussion Topics
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Moving to the country - HELP
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Lucy    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:02:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have been a city girl all my life (49 years). My new husband is from the country and has a beautiful home which I will soon be moving to. I am apprehensive about the changes in lifestyle this will mean. In addition, his home has been burglarized twice in two years. Although he has installed a security system, I'm still unsure.

My question to those experienced country folk (and especially to those who migrated from the city to the country), is twofold:

1)what lifestyle changes were the most difficult to overcome and what advice would you give?
2)what can I do to alleviate my fears about being alone? my husband works a different shift than me.

appreciate any advice you can give.


CQ    Posted 08-12-2004 at 06:11:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
1. See below
2. Do the normal security type stuff (cameras,alarms, locks etc) but also learn to protect yourself and be responsible for your own safety. Burglaries usually stop when the burglar's eyes permanently dilate and he assumes room temperature.


First off is not to try to make the country into the city.
Some do's and don'ts:
Don't come in and try to tell your new neighbors what's what. Words that should never cross your lips is "Where I come from we....". We don't care about where you came from or how they do things. If it was so great there go back and leave us alone.
Realize what you are getting into. Don't complain about farmers running tractors or harvesting equipment at 5AM or 2 AM.
Don't freak out when you see the neighbor spraying *gasp* chemicals on his field.
Cows stink and other livestock stink. Get use to it. (factory type hog farms are the exception-those are more industries with industrial level emissions but that is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish)
Roosters make noise in the AM see the above.
Don't trespass. Know your property lines and don't go traipsing across your neighbors land without permission.
Keep your kids and visiting relatives under control and make sure they know the rules.
If you are living somewhat close to your neighbors try to keep the noise down. Getting your kid a motorcycle or ATV with a loud exhaust to ride around all day or a dog who barks 24/7 is a good way to annoy your neighbor so don't do it.
Don't complain that your road is unpaved.
Don't get freaked out by gunfire. An acquaintance of mine has a new "city" neighbor who built a McMansion near his farm and calls the sheriff every time they hear gunshots much to the sheriff's annoyance.
The same goes for firearms in general. They are simply tools for people in rural areas and are used as such. Your neighbor who wears a sidearm or has a rifle in his truck is no reason to call Homeland Security.
Keep your animals under control. Dogs that chase or harass stock or wildlife are routinely shot on sight. I have standing agreements with my neighbors that if my dog is ever seen off my property chasing stock or wildlife they may kill it if they deem in necessary and I won't have a problem with it.
Slow down and be friendly and courteous to your new neighbors and avoid doing things that might annoy them.
There is no police presence as you have known it. You are responsible for your own safety. If someone breaks into your house at night you are 911. The sheriff is there to take the report and call to coroner. Who gets hauled to the morgue is up to you. Nothing like that is likely to ever happen but know the risks and responsibilities.

The drawbacks to living in the country? It is hard for me to come up with any at all. The biggest drawback is the lack of broadband Internet access or even dial up Internet access. That is a huge problem for me.

My roots are in rural area and I spent some time in a town of 12-15 thousand before returning to the homestead so it really wasn't an adjustment problem. Town was the difficult adjustment. I've always had a "rural" attitude or mindset even when I lived in town. I was never comfortable in town and it was a relief to get out ASAP. I guess some of the little insignificant things I miss are not being able to order out for pizza or other food. I kind of miss being able to get a sandwich at the drive thru at 2 am. The same with being able to pick up milk or a Coke at 2AM at the 7-11. Those are minor annoyances and unhealthy conveniences at that. I know I'm better off not being able to get a Big Mac and Coke at 3 AM. I had to get use to keeping enough food and other supplies on hand but I really never got totally out of that habit anyway.

Those annoyances are insignificant compared to the advantages to living out in the sticks. No neighbors in a city sense. It is quiet. The only noise I hear is nature or the noise I make myself. No light pollution-I can see the stars at night. I can do what I want with my house and yard. Crime is nothing like the city. Other than the meth cooks hunting the Great White Buffalo (stealing anhydrous) we have little in the way of crime. My neighbors are great. They all speak English and can be trusted which was not the case in town. I don't have to deal with zoning boards and building permits if I want to build a shed or garage. No one can tell me what to do or how to do it. Another thing that means a lot to me is the the peace of mind living away from urban areas gives me in these uncertain times. If something terrible happens it will most likely happen there. If, God forbid, something truly catastrophic happens I am capable of being largely self sufficient and being far from major urban centers I would be more secure from any urban related chaos that would ensue. Again if something like that happens I know I can count on my neighbors and they know they can count on me.

Living in the country is wonderful beyond words. I can never see myself living anywhere else.


CQ    Posted 08-12-2004 at 06:05:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
1. See below
2. Do the normal security type stuff (cameras,alarms, locks etc) but also learn to protect yourself and be responsible for your own safety. Burglaries usually stop when the burglar's eyes permanently dilate and he assumes room temperature.


First off is not to try to make the country into the city.
Some do's and don'ts:
Don't come in and try to tell your new neighbors what's what. Words that should never cross your lips is "Where I come from we....". We don't care about where you came from or how they do things. If it was so great there go back and leave us alone.
Realize what you are getting into. Don't complain about farmers running tractors or harvesting equipment at 5AM or 2 AM.
Don't freak out when you see the neighbor spraying *gasp* chemicals on his field.
Cows stink and other livestock stink. Get use to it. (factory type hog farms are the exception-those are more industries with industrial level emissions but that is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish)
Roosters make noise in the AM see the above.
Don't trespass. Know your property lines and don't go traipsing across your neighbors land without permission.
Keep your kids and visiting relatives under control and make sure they know the rules.
If you are living somewhat close to your neighbors try to keep the noise down. Getting your kid a motorcycle or ATV with a loud exhaust to ride around all day or a dog who barks 24/7 is a good way to annoy your neighbor so don't do it.
Don't complain that your road is unpaved.
Don't get freaked out by gunfire. An acquaintance of mine has a new "city" neighbor who built a McMansion near his farm and calls the sheriff every time they hear gunshots much to the sheriff's annoyance.
The same goes for firearms in general. They are simply tools for people in rural areas and are used as such. Your neighbor who wears a sidearm or has a rifle in his truck is no reason to call Homeland Security.
Keep your animals under control. Dogs that chase or harass stock or wildlife are routinely shot on sight. I have standing agreements with my neighbors that if my dog is ever seen off my property chasing stock or wildlife they may kill it if they deem in necessary and I won't have a problem with it.
Slow down and be friendly and courteous to your new neighbors and avoid doing things that might annoy them.
There is no police presence as you have known it. You are responsible for your own safety. If someone breaks into your house at night you are 911. The sheriff is there to take the report and call to coroner. Who gets hauled to the morgue is up to you. Nothing like that is likely to ever happen but know the risks and responsibilities.

The drawbacks to living in the country? It is hard for me to come up with any at all. The biggest drawback is the lack of broadband Internet access or even dial up Internet access. That is a huge problem for me.

My roots are in rural area and I spent some time in a town of 12-15 thousand before returning to the homestead so it really wasn't an adjustment problem. Town was the difficult adjustment. I've always had a "rural" attitude or mindset even when I lived in town. I was never comfortable in town and it was a relief to get out ASAP. I guess some of the little insignificant things I miss are not being able to order out for pizza or other food. I kind of miss being able to get a sandwich at the drive thru at 2 am. The same with being able to pick up milk or a Coke at 2AM at the 7-11. Those are minor annoyances and unhealthy conveniences at that. I know I'm better off not being able to get a Big Mac and Coke at 3 AM. I had to get use to keeping enough food and other supplies on hand but I really never got totally out of that habit anyway.

Those annoyances are insignificant compared to the advantages to living out in the sticks. No neighbors in a city sense. It is quiet. The only noise I hear is nature or the noise I make myself. No light pollution-I can see the stars at night. I can do what I want with my house and yard. Crime is nothing like the city. Other than the meth cooks hunting the Great White Buffalo (stealing anhydrous) we have little in the way of crime. My neighbors are great. They all speak English and can be trusted which was not the case in town. I don't have to deal with zoning boards and building permits if I want to build a shed or garage. No one can tell me what to do or how to do it. Another thing that means a lot to me is the the peace of mind living away from urban areas gives me in these uncertain times. If something terrible happens it will most likely happen there. If, God forbid, something truly catastrophic happens I am capable of being largely self sufficient and being far from major urban centers I would be more secure from any urban related chaos that would ensue. Again if something like that happens I know I can count on my neighbors and they know they can count on me.

Living in the country is wonderful beyond words. I can never see myself living anywhere else.


Dave Munson Mid Illinois    Posted 08-11-2004 at 17:38:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Changes in lifestyle?

Peace and quiet. Only a very few neighbors but you will find them much more giving than you have ever known before. I am not sure how to take it that the home has been burglarized once a year over the past two years. Is it in the ‘real’ country or just out of the city? In the ‘real’ country, Wal-mart is an hours drive.

Get a dog. A dog big enough to protect you. Smart enough to watch over your property. Nice attitude like a German Shepard. If a skunk shows up he would get between you and the skunk. You get to clean him up but he will drive off wild critters that may harm you. If the neighbors show up he will sassy over and get petted. If strangers drive up he will bark, growl and show his teeth. Get another dog just for the fun of it. Our other dog is a Border Collie that is partially blind - growls at every thing that shows up. Partially deaf too: hears things that ain’t there. Get cats to keep the rodent population down and protect your pantry. The cats also stop rodents from eating the dog food.

The other main change for us was learning to stock a pantry. Not a few shelves but a real pantry. For me, the grocery store is an hour away. (I have two freezers). You learn to stock up when you see a sale. The nearest fast food is an hours (one way) drive. I do have sit-down type restaurants closer but both of us cook much better food than those places serve.



donna in w.v    Posted 08-11-2004 at 16:39:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I lived in the city for the first 45 years of my life. My second husband is Navy retired and we came to country when his uncle pass on and we bought his farm. The biggest adjustment I had to make was to plan better cuz it's 45 min to a store of any size.otherwise I wouldn't change living in the country .I have a huge garden and lots of flowers and we have cows,pigs,chickens,rabbits and a few goats.


deadcarp    Posted 08-11-2004 at 14:04:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
In the country, security's all over the place but a few rules are different, like if you put up a fence it means you don't want company, deer-chasin dogs get shot regardless of pedigree, things like that. I say fence-in a good-sized dog to watch things while you're gone. (They change characters altogether when you're home alone.) Dogs only have teeth for weapons so hassled country boys tend to toss them into your pigpen but city people are dumb enough to run from them anyway, thus wakening their predatory instincts. There's no grafitti in the woods cuz city boys grow up thinking it's more dangerous after dark. It ain't - unless you get sniffed by a moo-cow while napping in the moonlite - then you might stumble on something in the ensuing scramble. I'd say it's roughly 3 times safer in the country - even now we don't lock stuff. Our nearest neighbor Swede's an ex-sniper who jots down license plates so we never have to. He drinks blood (for beer money) when they butcher & isn't hesitant to open up on any stranger with a siphon hose. Regular sweetheart of a guy! :)




Texas Al    Posted 08-12-2004 at 22:05:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
I guess things are a little different here in north Texas. Dogs that wander off don't get shot around here. Owners are called and assistance is given in getting them back under control.

Walmart is 30 minutes away, as is the grocery store. The only problem is when you run out of ice and have to drive 6 miles to get some.

I have wireless internet that gets the signal of the water tower of a small town 6 miles away. Only get 256K speed, but thats better than dialup.

No drawbacks other than lots of land to take care of and not enough hours to take care of it.


John (MO)    Posted 08-11-2004 at 13:35:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't try and tell country folk how to do something better or faster. Even if you really do know, they won't appreciate it much.

Make it look like you are always home. Burglers like to pick on places when they know people are gone. You won't have neighbors as close as in the city to help keep a watch, however the neighbors you do have will be much more likely to help keep an eye on things.

A good watch dog is a good idea. They can keep a lot of unwanted things away.

I would say that you are much less likely to need to defend yourself or your property in the country than you are in the city. More country bad guys are sneak thieves. But, many country folk do learn how to shoot, just to keep the fox out of the chickens. Word will get around to the foxes if you do this.



Mike in tn    Posted 08-11-2004 at 13:24:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Can't help with #1 as I have lived in the country all my life. #2 you should start doing alot of target shooting. Just set up some targets a do some shooting. Wouldn't hurt to leave the targets up in your yard all the time. As someone else said everyone in the country will know your business. invite a neighbor or two over for some targer shooting also will get the word around. I am sure that his house was robbed by someone that knew that he was not at home. More than likely it was some local dopehead. And everybody knows not to mess with a woman that knows how to shoot a gun. Wouldn't hurt to kill a deer, bear, elk or whatever you have in your area and have your picture with the trophy put in the local paper.
Mike



Burrhead    Posted 08-11-2004 at 12:07:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lucy I think the main problem some city folks have moving to the country is with their new neighbor.

Just remember if you want good neighbors you have to be a good neighbor yourself.

Observe how the locals handle day to day country living and try your best to blend in with as little contrast as possible til you learn.

Once you establish yourself it will probably take care of your being alone and security worry.

Anytime someone or something is not kosher or seems out of the ordinary your new neighbors probably will not have a problem with checking on you and your well being.

There's some old coots that carry enough firepower in old wore out pickups to hold off a small invasion till 911 can send help.

I hope you enjoy your new country home. I have enjoyed mine all my life and would recommend it to anyone that can enjoy living a little slower paced.


Peanut    Posted 08-11-2004 at 11:25:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Another little tidbit I learned about (fortunately not the hard way):

I heard that my local fire department (40+ miles away from my property) requires $75 a year. If a resident does not pay the annual fee and they need the fire department to come out for any reason, they will send a bill for approximately $1500 - more if they spend a great deal of time putting out a fire.

I called the fire dept to verify this and they confirmed it. Sounded a little strange to me cuz, being a former city guy, I was used to having my taxes cover emergency services without any other supplement. It is definitely different in my "country" county.


mojo    Posted 08-11-2004 at 11:36:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
WOW! Think I'll stop complaining about my fire dept taxes! I wouldn't have dreamed there are places are like that.

I've never had a problem with crime (knock on wood), but the not keeping a schedule is a good suggestion. I do keep my vehicles and tractors inside so no one tell if I'm here or not (plus it's just good for them!). Also keep the TV in the kitchen on 24 hours a day. Keep the bad guys guessing and they'll find easier pickings.


Rickstir    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:54:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
This will be a change. But like us, I hope you will feel it was worth it. First, slow down. Things and people move slower in the country. Everyone will know your buisness. It is their pastime. You will be amazed at what people will know about you. That suggestion about consolidating your trips to town is a really good idea as it will lesson your time away from home. If possible vary your routes you take to town. And vary the times.

The dog is a good idea. Always make it look like someone is home. With you moving in, maybe there will be. Most home burglers prefer to find an empty house.

Now for the facts of life. You are going to be a good distance from fire protection and law enforcement. Have a good first aid kit. Have fire extinguishers in several locations. It might be a good idea to keep a small oxyegen kit available too. Can you use a firearm? Does your husband-to-be? If there is serious trouble, it will be up to you and he to protect yourselves unitl help arrives. 911 will only bring someone who can fill out a police report. If you don't know how to use them find out where you can take lessons. Confidence comes with knowledge and experience. The brutal fact is that a 95 pound woman with a handgun is equal to a 240 rapist.

Good Luck! Your in for the time of your life.


Piglet Pincher    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:44:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm jealous.........


mojo    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:36:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Get to know your neighbors! Have an open house and invite them all. You'll quickley figure out who to keep an eye on. And the good ones will be more willing to help you keep on eye on things. A dog is a wonderful idea also, but you may have to go thru a few to find the one that will do what you need. As for different lifestyle..just plan the trips to town more carefully. Get everything you need in one trip rather than make a dozen trips. Don't get too worried about this change, after awhile you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner!


dig    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:29:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Can't help with number 1 'cause even though I've lived in cities aobut half my life I grew up in the country. Although I will say, it takes city people a while to figure out that they have to plan ahead. There's no such thing as a 5 minute run to the corner store for a loaf of bread when you live 12 miles out of town.

Number 2 - get a dog. Explain to the dog that part of its life is to guard the house. Don't lasugh, my wife did this with her dog and now the dog barks when anyone turns from the highway into the drive. The drive is an eigth of a mile long.


toolman    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:28:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
i moved to the country 25 years ago, the hardest thing for me to get used to was the quite, then the peacefull part of it was strange,then i trurly started seein GODS creations all around me, what strange things for a city boy to study and discouver, all the animals ours and the wild ones, the trees and plants , bugs all have a unique place here,you couldn,t drag me away now.relax and enjoy your new life.


KellyGa    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:15:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
As far as alleviating fears, I would get a very loyal dog. Ever since I got my Tip, if there is anything going on that shouldn't be outside, she knows about it, and lets me know. I send her to chekc on it too.

I too, am less than a year away from moving to the country. I am looking forward to it. Let me brief you on what has happened to us in the city. My husband has been randomly shot at while driving down the road of the main road to our neighborhood, his window was shot out, but he was not hurt, kids about 14 did it. We have had over a thousand dlollars worth of tools stolen right out from under the carport. I have had to put up signs everywhere NO Trespassing and Beware of Dog to keep people from aimlessly wandering into my yard and under my carport. In the city, you have no privacy, and you are no safer than if you were in the country. You can run, but you can't hide, as they say. It will always be there, no matter where you go. I do believe that moving to the country is beter than staying in the crowded city though.

I personally can't wait to get out of this stinking filth hole. I want out, and I want my family out. I want the freedom to do what I want and have what ever I want on my property, and in the city, you can't have that.

Trust me, it will be fine, and all these fine folks here will help you through the adjustment, so stick around. :)


Bob Mi    Posted 08-11-2004 at 10:13:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Does your husband have animals ? Some people like the slow life some don't You have to make that decision. One thing you both need to be on the same shift. To much time alone in a strange place is not good .


Clod    Posted 08-11-2004 at 17:13:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Leave your TV back in the city.You willl start feeling great in a few days.


There's something to that    Posted 08-12-2004 at 08:43:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't have an antenna or cable or dish out here. My TV gets a work out playing DVDs from netflix. I'm working on the theory that a alot of our worry, paranoia and fear emanate from that evil box and sedentery ways. I'll tell you my conclusions as they come along. So far:

1. Nothing like physical labor to alleviate feelings of anxiety.

As for the other things. I've always had dogs, and I'm making friends with my neighbors. I figure, if you see giant ridgebacks in my fence line and think "hey, that must mean there's a really big doggy door to get in the house by -then I can't help you."

Paula


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