You Know You Live in the Country when...

This June marks the second anniversary of our move from a 600-square foot apartment to a 20-acre farm, and I wrote the following list shortly after our arrival here. My memory was jogged when Jaime mentioned on her blog that "You know you're in the country when five minutes after you get out of the shower, you’re outside chasing down the neighbors chickens...barefooted."

I thought that was really funny (now that I have chickens), so I pulled out the list I wrote and emailed to friends back in the city about two months after our move. (Chris, my spouse, was born and raised in Queens, making him a real bonafide New York City boy.)

Ways you can tell that we live in the country:
1. I had to put those reflectors on plastic sticks in the front yard so I can find our driveway in the dark.
2. Perry has a First St., Second St., and Third St. -- then you're out of town.
3. I drive a 1988 Ford Bronco II and a woman stopped me at the gas station to ask me what year it was because she had the same model. She thought this was very cool.
4. The busiest place in Perry is the King Kone ice cream joint. And yes, it IS shaped like an ice cream cone. [Click and scroll to 2nd row to see Perry's cone--I really don't want you to think I'm making it up.]
5. There are no stoplights in Perry (unless you count the one at the end of town where you hit the highway).
6. We throw dirty kitty litter in the grass at the edge of our yard.
7. We toss anything that will rot (uneaten food, coffee grounds, spoiled meat) on a compost pile.
8. We burn the rest of our garbage in a 50-gallon drum.
9. If a deer gets hit on the road in front of your house, no one comes to pick it up. You have to remove it yourself. I know because we had to do this.
10. It takes about five hours to mow the lawn on the riding mower. And I actually *like* mowing the lawn.
11. Bats come out of the barn at dusk every night.
12. On a clear night you can actually see the Milky Way.
13. Chris and I both have muck shoes--and wear them--in the garden. (Yes, this is the man who practically wore his combat boots to bed.)
14. Cows live next door.
15. You can make an entire salad, or even ratatouille, with vegetables from our garden (my parents' & ours).
16. Chris is learning to can fruits and vegetables.
17. I have been doing crossstitch.
18. We are going to the State Fair this week.
19. My dad is refurbishing the chicken coop so we can get some chickens.
20. I am seriously considering getting a couple of sheep, or maybe alpaca.
21. The hardware store is closer than the grocery store.
22. I know where the Feed'n'Seed is.
23. You hear train whistles instead of sirens.
24. Almost no one is ever seen talking on a cell phone.
25. There are more pick-ups than SUVs.
26. It's 12 miles to the nearest Starbucks.
27. Every room in our house (save the largest bedroom) is panelled.
28. Our mailbox is across the road with one of those little red flags you put up so the mailman knows you have mail to pick up. (This completely baffled Chris, who you may remember is from Queens.)
29. There's no cable TV out here. We had to get a satellite dish for Direct TV.
30. Nor is there any water. Ours comes from a WELL. Weird!

Well, two years later we have two llamas (with two more soon to arrive), a whole mess of chickens in a refurbished hen house (to the left of the barn in the photo above) as well as a separate shed for the chicks. I shop at the Feed'n'Seed, and not only do I cross-stitch, but I've learned to felt, spin, and knit.

We did wind up getting trash pick-up, though. The burning thing in the middle of winter--and the heat of summer--got to be a little much. But plenty still goes to the chickens and the compost pile. This is the view from our back deck (not that there are usually llamas in our backyard; generally they're in their pasture behind the barn). Sometimes I miss the city skyline...but this is a pretty nice view, all in all.


Chris said...

Your list gave me a lot of flashbacks to growing up on a farm in rural southeatern Minnesota, near the Rochester International Airport (one gate and one gate only, folks).

Carrie K said...

31. The movie theater in "town" only shows movies on the weekends and there are no such thing as matinees.

32. You actually recognize people by the sound of their car. Or at least I did, which was amazing to me because to this day, 5 1/2 years after buying my car, walk up to every random 4 door beige car. Just not as often.

It's the stars that really make it. Un. Freakin'. Believable.

RheLynn said...

Hehe! :o) A lot of that rings true for me too, where we used to live and here as well.

Ahh.. the stars. I did miss them while in Fargo! I love to track Orion across the sky.

By December we hope to be out further into the middle of nowhere (Mixie, TN) :o) It's not even on Google maps!

Rosalynn said...

The city skyline is overrated (blasphemy, i know, but it is... and this is coming from a Queens gal). Perry sounds quite peaceful. It's funny how people get used to new surroundings pretty quickly, doncha think?

Obsidian Kitten said...

My grandmother's town has that movie theater! ROTFL

Perry doesn't have one, though. =(
Gotta go into East Lansing to one of the multiplexes.

I've tried to work out a formula for how many people per movie screen a town/city had...but I can never quite figure it.

Rebekah said...

Now that sounds completely lovely, your list. I would love living on a 20 acres piece of land, I'd have chickens and llamas too. I like my little piece of country though, our yard butts up against a field at least, in a town of 900 and no stoplights but a flashing red four-way.

Glaistig said...

What a great post! And that's a lovely country skyline.

My Mom grew up in S.C. for part of her childhood (and spent the other half in NYC) and she remembers checking her grandmother's outhouse for snakes!

Midnight Purls said...

I'm actually a little jealous. I'd love to live in the country. The view is beautiful!

Although I have to say, having to drive 12 miles to a starbucks would drive me crazy!

Severina said...

I miss the Milky Way! The only time I've seen stars since I moved here is when hurricane Isabel wiped out power in the entire city. We just stood out in the street and gawked.
When I moved to da big city I got confused as to why the mailboxes didn't have those little flags on them.
I miss well water & the little red reflectors on the driveway.
Do you guys have those inside-out tires made into flower planters? Those rule.

Obsidian Kitten said...

oh, the stars *are* incredible!
a starry night in Hoboken had about eight stars in it, and I'd be like, "wow! look how clear it is!" lol

we have some little milk snakes (they're really pretty)--but lemme tell you, if I had an outhouse, i wouldn't want one of those tickling me in the middle of the night...

oh yes, tire flower planters in abundance, rusty wheelbarrows, bathtubs, one of my faves is an old boat full of plants...

i used to have a tractor tire sandbox (not inside out or painted white, tho...)

tawnyatay said...

I live in Louisville now (which isn't exactly a huge city), but I grew up on a 42 acre farm, and my grandparents live on a dairy farm. My hometown has a population of 1630 and one traffic light. Ah, the memories. Anyway, I <3 that you mentioned the State Fair -- I work for the Kentucky State Fair Board and totally dig it. I love living in Louisville, but you really made me want some fresh tomatoes.

Elizabeth said...

We are having a hard time finding the right property ( lots of to-do about wells!) but I love hearing all about yours.

Joanie & Uncle Arthur said...

Sure is a different life from NJ or NYC Uncle Arthur and I say you are Country folks now--HICKS...LOL
We are happy that you are happy. We look forward to seeing you this August.
Lots of love sent you way.

roxtarchic said...

so THATS what the lil flag thingie on our mailbox is for.... heheheh

loved this!