Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Adjusting to rural life

It's been three weeks since we moved from Big Suburb (pop. 250,000) to our Small Town (pop 2,500). (Can you divide everything by 1,000?)

The first week we made daily trips to the Big Suburb (30 miles each way). The second week, it was about every other day. This week, we will go about three times, and only then because Libby-10 is still playing softball down there. So I guess that means we are getting settled in.

Every day we are learning a bit more about "country" life. Here are some things I've observed:

1. There is town history here: When I tell people where we live (a house built in 1962), people say, "Oh, yeah - the old Jones' place." (Not their real name). The Joneses were apparently a founding family here. As long as there's no one buried under the house, that makes me feel so special.

2. There is questionable history here. When I told a contractor where we lived, he said, "Oh, that house. I used to date a girl that lived there. It was a real party house." Alrighty then.

3. Everyone knows we're here. When I met a grandmother at softball camp last week and told her where we lived, she said, "Oh, I was told you lived out off of the Farm Road." Okay, and what else were you told? And by whom?

4. When I look out the front door, I see this (that is seven-foot-high CORN, for you city people): (Out the side door, you'll see they just harvested the wheat).

5. Our neighbors may or may not have chickens.

6. Our neighbors may or may not have all their teeth.

7. Our neighbor owns a tractor.
8. Our neighbors may or may not have command of the King's English. After all, we ARE in Texas, so a bit of mangling the language is expected.

My FAVORITE line, from a good-ol'-boy who was going to help haul construction trash: "Just call me and let me know what time you need me there. After 1:00 I can come at your DISCREPANCY."

9. "Traffic" is defined as two or three cars lined up at one of the two stoplights.

10. At THE grocery store, the running joke is that one can buy diapers and cigarettes on the same aisle. At the very minimum, one could never lose a child in it.

11. I love how small it is. When the girls went to softball camp, I was subconsciously expecting the 200 girls usually attending the camps in Big Suburb. There were 15.

This weekend we visited a church in town. There were maybe ten families (I think we met them all), the message was direct and biblical, and it was very nice. We will be back.

I'm feeling the pressure subsiding - our contractor is on vacation this week, so just taking a break from having work done (and having to be up, showered and ready for workers) is huge. When he comes back, the only thing left will be to repair old termite damage in my closet. Messy, but it should be only a couple of days. Then I can FINALLY unpack my closet...

The kids have gotten some "firsts" out of the way - sports camps and church were a good start. They are requiring a little more hand-holding (my bigger kids especially, surprisingly) than I expected, but it warms my heart when we pull up into the driveway and they say, "We're home!"

I've gotten a few more boxes unloaded, although I find myself hesitating to unpack the china, the million picture frames, and the 30 huge ones labeled "Library." I know we originally bought this house with the possibility of "flipping" it in a couple of years, but it is very hard to fathom moving again. Anyway, will 30 boxes really make it any easier next time?

And (I couldn't help myself) this weekend I put in the first leg of my $50 landscape. Pictures forthcoming.


Michelle @ Sew-Krafty said...

We have found a house in the "country", and your post makes me want it all the more **puppy-dog-pout**
Now to convine hubby that HE wants it ;-)

Susanne said...

I can hardly wait to see the pics. Your pace of life now sounds like it will be much more relaxed.

Andrea said...

sounds like heaven, Katherine!
I love it.

Julie said...

I LOVE IT! SO VERY FUN. Reminds me of the movie with Diane Keaton in it . . . Baby Boom. Such a great movie!
Before you know it you will be saying "yup" and "vittles" "ain't" and "y'all" I am excited for you - what a change big to small, but I am sure it IS all worth it!

I can't wait to see more pictures!

Marian said...

Thank you for the update.

Look at all of that SPACE there. That breathing room! Ahhhh.

Etta said...

I think I used to live in that town...I applaud you for actually WANTING to live there. I think we were the only ones in town to use proper grammar and two of only about 50 that actually went to college, much less graduated...still, I must say that I do occasionally long for that pace, where a hard days work meant you got off 30 minutes early. *Sigh*

Raquel said...

i am dreading unpacking so much! and we are not ever planning on moving again. i cant wait to see the progress

Les & Sweetie Berry said...

When we moved to our old farmhouse in Arkansas, we were the first family in the house in 2 years. The last residents had lived their sixty five years....so needless to say our 4 children kept the downtown octogenarians entertained for months leaving on lights, leaving balls in the drive, carrying banana bread to them ....they knew our every move...and somehow that too became comforting as I knew our four had more folks pouring into them and loving them....its a small town life when you can't pick flowers in your yard without someone across town reporting your roses were showing...

Jen said...

I love country life..I cant wait until post next year you are going make a garden....I think you all will be great out there. I love the fact everyone knows your home...that is great too...hope the kids are adjusting well. I know how hard this is too.

Anonymous said...

I also have found living in the country quite a blessing. If you can put up with the weird quirks, most small town people are so friendly and helpful. Our family song is now "Living in the Boondocks" and we will never move away.

Beck said...

I related to EVERYTHING in this post! EVERYTHING! (and I'm so glad you're settling in!)

Kelly said...

Sounds heavenly to me... I am still dreaming of the country, and in fact just wrote a post about my sweet childhood living outside of town (not quite in the country, but close enough!)

Can't wait to see more pics- the house looks like it is coming along amazingly.

Unknown said...

Yes, there are some similarities in my town here in CT. In one respect they are probably similar to people in your previous Suburban town--everyone here has their teeth and most use good grammar. However, we moved into a home occupied by the original owners for the first 10+ years, so we still get, "Oh you're in the Jones house?" from other long time neighbors.

We don't live across from a cornfield, but I regularly pass two or three, and there are chickens up the road a bit, and a house with some goats on the way to my daughter's school.

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

Glad your settling in. Your move sounds similar to ours in 2000. The city we moved from was smaller than your city and the village we moved to has about 1000 people. It was hard to get used to for the first year or so, but now I love it!

Having no traffic lights has its perks, too! Ha!

I've followed your blog for awhile now and find it refreshing. Thanks for your great posts! I have a small moving-gift I'd love to give your family. You'll have to email me at queentomy3boys@yahoo.com and I can shoot you back an email with the details.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I know exactly how you feel .Except I moved from the town of 2500 to the country(ten miles in either direction to town).Have fun, it will be great for your kids.

Melody said...

Well, I would definitely get used to everybody knowing everything. We live in a town population 1500 and everybody knows everything. To tell people where I live I always say, "we bought so and so's house." But I love living in a small town and I am sure you will too.

Anonymous said...

Small town life is great! We moved from Dallas to a tiny town and have loved every minute of it. The people are the best!!

Chrystal said...


You moved?

I've been away WAY too long....

Looking forward to catching up with you :)

C said...

Just found your blog.

Almost two years ago we moved from the city (DALLAS) to a teeny spot in northern Oklahoma.

One day in our paper (newsletter) there was an announcement (front page, mind you) that said, "A tube of plastic party cups was found in the road at the corner of 1st and Dewey. It was still sealed. If these belong to you, call *********".

Gina Conroy said...

Just catching up on your blog! We're contemplating a move to a fixer upper, not in the country though, but something we would flip in a couple of years. I DREAD packing up our home of 12 years!