Town Folk or Country Folk?

Obviously many long for even 5 acres for there are pockets of just such developments from here to town in both directions. So what draws them? I’m truly puzzled.

The saying goes, ‘You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl’ and my dad would smile at me because he knows who I am.

IMG_0106

What do you think? Does a location determine who you are? Or are you born country? What is country? As I look around I don’t see much country. Not country like it was in the 1950’s. That brings into question whether some ranchers and farmers are country? Country to me is an independent lifestyle and thought pattern. If most don’t have chickens or milk cows and large numbers of cattleman buy their all their beef from the store. Then what’s happening?

I’ve had many, including our first realtor, who asked, “Aren’t you afraid to have your neighbors so far away?” The truth is I’m more afraid of people. People live together in part because it makes them feel safe. I feel less safe. The town mind set is the desire to be taken care of. They need taken care of frankly because they don’t have the skills or tools and don’t want them. That is the biggest difference I believe between country and town folk.

Those who want that security but a bigger yard buy into HOA’s set in the country side. It is simply a mini-town. It has a form of town council which controls the housing group and takes away many of the responsibilities (for a fee) like road maintenance.

Does that make them town folk living in a bigger yard?

We live in a de-funked subdivision (it fell apart before it was even built) where people say they are country and they do allow their neighbors quite a bit of freedom to do as they may —but country folk ———-?

I’ll let you decide. We only have a couple families on our lane who have equipment that clear snow and work on the road. Another has a tractor but never clears, and another borrows equipment and a worker to help on occasion. I figure if anyone wants the road cleared of snow or smoothed they can do it. When we want it done, we do it. That means a lot of people wait upon the two families, let us foot the time, and tractor bill.

We are the sole property owners I think in the whole valley that hauls our own garbage to the landfill. We go every 6 weeks. Our neighbors pay a premium for the service of having theirs hauled at least 40 miles for they travel here and back again.

IMG_9988 (2)

(This photo is from the previous place we lived. I was the trapper there too.)

We are the only ones on 5 acres on our lane who hunts and traps predators. Meanwhile, we lost all of our Hungarian Partridges, Sharptail Grouse, and all but 1 pheasant to an over population of fox. The turkeys even became scarce so I’d guess little help is done elsewhere either. Ranchers started thinning and so did we with their permission. Birds are coming back really slowly. Now it is skunks. We killed 12 skunks in just over a month in our yard alone. Yes, rabies is a problem in the county. It always is when the numbers are high. Just so you know powdered sugar coated donuts with raspberry filling make them go crazy. We had two wedged side by side stuck in a live trap in their attempt to get to the donut.

Town folk or country folk?

We have our own water treatment plant. We treat the well to keep bacteria at bay, change the water filter regularly to keep it clean, and fill the salt in the water softener. Otherwise we keep an eye on the equipment. Had to have an electrician do some wiring and replacement on the system the other day. Kirk can only handle the very basics but at least he knew he needed an electrician, not a plumber. Kirk will soon be replacing the pressure tank due to age. We do as much ourselves as possible.

We had a pumper come for our septic tank to check and he said he pumps some people’s tanks every year. Ours he said we maintained well so we may never need for him to return. We maintain or he maintains?

IMG_8149

A semi-load of wood for us to prepare for winter heating.

  For heating, we chop, often haul, and stack wood for the hungry stoves. Creosote is a big deal since we have only soft wood to burn. We maintain the fire in a way that does not build creosote in the chimney but we check and can clean if need be. A fire is a must since country life means our power goes out often. It has while writing this post. We are working on a complete back up system so we aren’t dependent.

Town folk or country folk?

IMG_9382

Country to me is a basic knowledge of the flora and fauna of your area. We know the wildlife and basic habits and habitats. I think I saw my first flock of Hungarian Partridges to come back. I only saw them for a brief moment but the flight pattern was right, the body shape, and the wing flap.

IMG_0979

We are constructing fences and gates so we can become stewards of the land -not simply squatters.

We are learning to build structures in harmony with nature for ourselves, the wildlife, and domestic animals.

We may not agree with our neighbor but we believe they have the right to live life on their own terms as long as it does not greatly infringe on others.

So what determines if you’re town folk or country folk? You may disagree but I’d say (a) the amount of independence. (b) The knowledge of your environment and (c) the comfortableness in it. (d) Whether or not you are stewards of the land or just squatters.

Don’t know, well one test is to go out at night for a walk in the country. Enjoy the moon and clouds as they cast a mystery theater of shadows and spotlights. Don’t worry if the moon has over slept, instead rubies, sapphires, and diamonds will fill the sky to delight your imagination. Don’t forget the pistol if the walk is here. We live in the wilderness with bears, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, and wolves and they might be in bad mood. Then there is the 2 legged kind of predator. Not many but who knows? Country means taking responsibility for your own safety as law enforcement is a lo…ng ways off. Leave your flashlight in your pocket, enjoy country.

What did you find out?

It isn’t a matter of bad or good – simply different. I believe one should know who they are. It sets one free to move forward with confidence. Not simply pretend.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No groc

4 thoughts on “Town Folk or Country Folk?

  1. Valerie

    Definitely country here. Born into a small farming community. I remember running through the pastures barefoot and having fresh cow patties squish up through my toes. Doesn’t get much more country than that. Moved to the city when I was six. Never really felt happy or settled till after I was married and we moved back to the country. I get antsy when I have to go into town. Worse when we have to go into the city. I feel suffocated with all the buildings so close together. I love my chickens and turkeys. Can’t wait to get going with rabbits and goats. Love to watch the deer and other wildlife. We take our responsibility to take care of our livestock seriously. We are prepared to do away with any threats to them. We try to provide as much for ourselves as possible and are working to do more each year. Yes, definitely country and proud of it.

    Like

    1. I am far less tired after a long exhaustive day of work out here than just a couple hour visit to town. And ours are really small on each side of us. I can’t wait to leave and often don’t finish my errands because I just can’t take another moment in the confines. You may think me strange but I now avoid places like California, Oregon, and Washington. Each state has a soul and I can literally feel it, the heavily regulations weigh me down emotionally and physically even way out in the country where there is not a house in sight. I know the state line is coming even before I can see the sign. The weight on my soul begins to drop off. That regulation makes others feel secure knowing someone is controlling them and others – city folk. What a comfort to know who you are and where you belong.

      Like

  2. Becky

    I’m not sure if people are born country or can learn it. I was born in the city and lived in town til I was 12, and then we moved and were city folk in the country. 5 acres and no animals, just a lot of lawn mowing. I on the other hand, was delighted to be out of town and would wander and collect all the animals I could catch. I’d dig pits and frogs and toads and lizards would fall in overnight and I’d have a haul. I always let them go. I just wanted to see them up close, not kill them. When I grew up I lived in the city with my husband until 2003 and then we moved to Canada to try to get away from all the people in the states. It worked. We’re now on 75 acres and love it. I have my chickens and my cattle and can’t ask for anything more. I also work 3 jobs – the city job that keeps the lights on and the mortgage paid, the crafty job – pottery for me – and the farm itself. And I’d LOVE to have only the farm to do. Our land is mostly wild and I like it that way. We only have cleared/fenced what we use. But where did my love for things wild and natural come from? Why have I always wanted to see the creatures and plants up close and learn about them? I don’t know how that curiosity got stirred, but I’m glad it did.

    Like

    1. You are indeed country folk. If your land is untamed and completely wild, then nature is at its helm. It is not so here. Even though we are the least populated state including Alaska, we are not wild. Even the mountains are somewhat tamed. Therefor a balance has to be created by us. I too would spend hours studying nature as a child and still do. So I longed for the country, even a slice of it. When we moved it was the land that stirred me, not the house. As for the inside and outside of our home, I am working on blending it to create a cohesive unit with the land. Not just mimic some design I like. I spent most of 5 years just feeling its soul. The previous couple commented that they ended up just not liking the house. The neighbors have commented that they are liking it better. It is still a jumbled mess but we are slowly feeling how it should be. Allowing it to tell us. My husband on the other hand is not country. He enjoys nature and loves to camp, fish, backpack etc. but like a person loves to go to the movies, an entertainment. To me it is who I am, not just what I like. My sisters always comment on how much more personality my animals have then theirs. Mine just express theirs more freely. I have taken the time to learn wild and domestic language of things around me and so we converse, sometimes we even speak with words. When we work with the land, we are thinking of the wildlife, the domestic, the plants, the weather, and how they all fit because we know we are an integrated part of the whole. That is true country. I too long to only work on our five acres but the outside world encroaches as we are sharing a large part of the burden in raising four granddaughters. They pull us into the crazy world beyond for only one child is country and the others just like it. We must dream though for it keeps us alive.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s