The Idyllic Life: Perspective

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I smile at the covers of home/garden/country magazines nowadays. Peaceful landscaped ponds, perfectly manicured pastures w/ beauitiful fences, cute little piglet faces, fresh cut fruit in a crystal bowl on the kitchen counter... there is so much work behind the photos; they're deceptive. Our nicest neighbors apparently waited too long to retire into their idyllic life. Health problems are forcing them to move this week after only two years on their acreage. Too much maintenance for his heart condition and her arthritis. It seems peaceful from the outside but living here, one gets to know the hardships- too many to list. I have a good friend that tried a more self-reliant idyllic life than we have. She stuck with it for two years. Has beautiful stories to tell but in the end the hardship was overwhelming. This month we celebrated three years in the "sticks." It has taken us this long just to get a feel for the place and our capacities. We are still learning - everyday is a learning experience. Sometimes the learning curve can really get me down but most times it is enough to understand and handle. I'm reaching a point through serious consideration that might be irreversible. That this is it and I can't go back. How on Earth will I be with nosey or loud neighbors again, supermarket eggs, city water :eek: ??? What are your thoughts?
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I can barely go into a city anymore.

    Mind you, I was born and raised downtown and spent a number of years living in two of the largest cities in the US (and the world).

    Now, though, the very sight of four lane highways makes me want to run and hide.

    I actually look forward to coming home and mowing. :haha: I look at all the work I have to do, and I see possibilities, not work.

    I'd much rather spend my evenings spying on the critter parade out back than battling traffic or dressing up to go out and Do The Town at some fancy restaurant.

    Heck! I COOK BETTER AT HOME THAN THEY DO IN THOSE FANCY DOWNTOWN RESTAURANTS!

    Although my place is a disaster area because I just have too much to do.

    But I'm happy, healthy and downright buff! :yeeha:
     

  3. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    There was once a book called "The Have More Plan." If one is not careful one lives on "the do more plan" and has less. I am of the stance that "neither weeds, nor whiskers, nor uncastrated pigs" are a bother. I too have a variety of past 50 ailments that caused me to retire at 52, but I'm still here. Lots of old folks stay on the farm until they weather away and finally turn to dust; it just depends on what one trully wants.

    My Kentucky Grandfather, who outlived my Indiana Grandfather by well over 20 years, and in countless ways used to say, "What I've done, what I'll do, and what I'll earn will last the rest of my life." It did.
     
  4. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Going to town makes me claustrophobic. Some of those folks can lean out their bedroom windows and shake hands with the neighbors leaning out their own. Or, they could if they were on speaking terms! :haha:

    Having to deal with the stresses of town living is more 'work' to me than caring for the chickens, or working on the garden. Now, in a few years, my arthritis may alter that thought, but we're planning ways to make it easier then...like raised beds at wheel chair height in the garden. Decreasing what gets mowed all summer long. I may have to alter things later, but my folks are in their 70's and still out in the country playing with goats and chickens, and by Golly, I will be, too! I may not be milking goats, but I'll have them. I may not have so many chickens I can sell eggs, but I'll have enough for me!

    I think I'd end up dying an early death from despair if I had to move back to town. I think my folks would, too.

    Meg :)
     
  5. mainefun40

    mainefun40 Active Member

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    Town means noise, smells of exhaust, and a community of friends.
    Two strikes and a hit, I'd say!

    So, for the sake of the hit, Community of Friends, we can farm! They'll help us get it done.

    Often many people understand the idea of working together as they age. That understanding sometimes comes from longtime comradery with others and learning that others will contribute to a friend's success!

    So we farm!

    They can come,
    visit me,
    bring me flour and maybe tea,
    Don't make me,
    Come to town!
    I'll bring your produce
    but won't hang around!

    ----All that having been said,
    there are things that happen in town to really enjoy!
    Gatherings, libraries, amusements of many sorts, delightful diversions from the chore mentality.

    So we farm!

    And go to town!

    That's the idyllic life,
    quiet when we want and need it,
    Noise and friends when we need them, tooo!!
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    T.V. reception is all but impossible here without an antenna or satellite (neither are on my "need" or "really,really want" list ) but it has been years since I paid attention to anything but my surroundings: my dogs, the chorus at dusk, chatting with ya'll. And I am right there with ya on food. We cook up quite a feast that can't compare to anything. It took a while to ask ourselves, what it was we were still paying others to serve us :rolleyes: :)
     
  7. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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  8. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I pray for the same for you too Meg Z. Like Haggis said, we can have more and not have to do more. I like that idea of simplicity a great deal. I feel my neck muscles tighten driving in the city or watching the road rage problems of people with lives at bursting point. I think that it is a balancing act - what we can do with what we can do :)
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Before moving here I was living in the wilderness of western colorado. The landlord and his family were the only people within miles. And lots of times I felt crowded by them.LOL. Now I can't go out the back door and sit in the yard without seeing people. :waa: But I'm hoping that my house sells soon and then I can buy my own place in the country again. This time with water and power and all those nice things. I want a garden and an orchard and a vineyard and poultry (all sorts). But none of it needs be big. I might decide to sell some birds and eggs and maybe some soap, but only if I want to. And I want my dd to be able to go to a sheltered workshop so she can get out of the house regularly and do something a little different. In colorado the only way she could have the workshop was for us to be in town. Can't breath the air too well...
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    With your signature line in mind I know this is possible for you. Why is the workshop only possible in town? Samll scale is ideal for us methinks, as well.
     
  11. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We met a couple in KY that were trying to live the 'life'...it was so interesting to actually meet a couple that were doing what we wanted to do.

    Their life was a bit difficult and they had their share of problems-Jersey calf died,Billy goat got into a beehive and had his ears stung to bits(literally!!!),local farmer promising to get their hay done and then letting them down,also living in a small town and being 'different'...

    BUT through all that they were HAPPY to be doing this llife.

    I hope when we get going on our place and are in the thick of it that we take stock of what life was like BEFORE....

    CG:''I look at all the work I have to do, and I see possibilities, not work.''

    I know what you mean :D I lay awake at night thinking of what we will do next,how could we get up there faster,how it will be SO different to this life here.

    We recieved an email from my sister and her family in Australia,they are in the process of buying a small farm there....must run in our family :D
     
  12. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    In that part of the country most of the land is 'public'. What is left is mostly owned by large cattle operations ( big corporations. ) Very few privately run any more. What is left over is pricey. I found some land that I could afford, but it was very remote with no water. It would have meant traveling a couple of hours minumum each way to get her to the workshop. The closer into town one gets, the more expensive the land. Most of the developements and all the towns have restrictions that I could never live with. I bought a house in town so she could go to school, but I was ill the whole time because of the bad air. I also felt too pressured by so many people. I've never been a town person. :haha:
     
  13. 12vman

    12vman Offgridkindaguy

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  14. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    there is so much work behind the photos; they're deceptive.

    Too, true.

    On our way into town, we always pass a lovely home--brick, painted white, with a welcoming swing on the front porch. Someone bought it a couple of years ago, and turned a rather plain home with no landscaping into something out of one of those magazines. GORGEOUS landscaping, complete with grapes, marvelous trellises, beautiful herb garden, and a perfectly laid out vegetable garden. Even the tool shed and potting shed they built looked wonderful. In fact, it looked so nice that I was often tempted to put a note in their mailbox telling them how much I enjoyed driving by and seeing all that they had done.

    The beginning of the summer, the house was put on the market, and sometime a month or so later, it looked like the folks had moved out. It sat vacant for about a month and a half, and people have finally moved back in. In just a few short months, though, that gorgeous place now looks slightly seedy. Lots of way overgrown patches, the garden is out of control and looks like you'd need a weed eater to get even close to it, and even the beautiful trellises are completely covered by weeds and tall grass. Even the areas that have been mowed down look rather sad.

    Makes me appreciate even more how much hard work those folks put into the place. I hope the new owners are up to the task. It's a shame to drive by it now--very depressing. :(
     
  15. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    This morning so far: discover the half torn down barn filled with horses which don't belong to me. :haha: ...

    ... save a skink from sure death in the bottom of a trash barrel ...

    ... watch hummingbirds divebomb my front porch ...

    :D
     
  16. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    I just finished reading the whole thing--absolutely delightful. I'd love to find the woman as I live in the same county. It would be interesting to see how things have changed since 1978. This place seems awfully built up to me, but I spent most of my life in the West.
     
  17. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Two years ago we traded life in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex for life on 96 acres in Backwater, Mississippi. I'm not about to trade back!

    From last Thursday until yesterday afternoon I didn't leave our farm. Hubby took me to Wal Mart yesterday in the nearby small town and we were both extremely relieved to get out alive and make it back home.

    I ain't going nowhere!
     
  18. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Tango, I hear you! Dh and I have been here on our land for 2 years and the amount of work ahead of us is overwhelming. We got moved into the house 2 months ago, but we still have only insulation on the ceiling, subfloor, temporary workbenchs for cabinets in the kitchen and old tablecloths hanging at the doorways for privacy. There are days that we look at the checkbook and almost hyperventilate from the worry. Two years ago, we had the option of moving to Wash DC instead of Dh being laid off. Dh would have had six-figure income. Housing there has gone up 80% in the last 4 years. But we are sure we made the right decision for us and we have no regrets for the decision. No amount of money could make us go back to the city.
     
  19. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Ive been living in the sticks now for 9 years. I bought my land as vacant. The old log cabin on it was in need of seroius repair but with the help of my Dad, its been gutted and totally refurbished! The land too was very over grown, but I'm beating back the wilderness a bit more each year. My plan is to get as much done as humanly possible, especially the heavy labourous jobs, before arthritis and old age stop me. I try to build things with old age in mind, so that when I am aged things will still be possible to do. If I wind up in an old age home cause I can't look after myself so be it, but I'm staying here as long as I can! And when I go, I'm going kicking and screaming! :yeeha:
     
  20. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Are you looking for porperty now? Colorado is a trendy state; when that happens goodbye to prices any of us can afford. I know you will find what you are looking for. :)