WHY I LOVE MY COUNTRY LIFESTYLE
Moving from the city to the country has given me a way of living I craved for most of my life. The city never appealed to me. I always felt crowded and suffocated. And even in the midst of people, it could be insanely lonely.
When my husband and I finally made the decision to move from Colorado back to his farming roots in southern Minnesota, I was ecstatic. It's a move I will never regret and here are some reasons why.
Growing our own food
I'll admit, I was not too excited about the whole gardening thing to begin with. Brighton couldn't wait to plant this huge vegetable garden as soon as we moved, and he talked about all the canning and preserving I could do which really just stressed me out.
I knew nothing about gardening! And it wasn't a pastime I ever considered doing. We had tried to plant a small garden in our backyard in town but the soil was hard and rocky and nothing ever came out of it. To me, it was the biggest waste of time and energy. But I agreed to give it a try.
The first year involved a lot of trial and error. Brighton let me plant a forty foot row of cucumbers without warning me how out of control they grow in a short amount of time. I couldn't keep up with them and we ended up with cucumbers the size of logs for a campfire! And other than tomatoes, not much came from our efforts that first summer.
Well somehow, my husband convinced me to stick with it and now I am obsessed with our garden. Growing our own food is the most satisfying experience. I love being able to walk out to our garden in the summer and pick fresh vegetables and salad greens. Late summer and early fall turn into a whirlwind of canning, freezing, and dehydrating the mass amounts of produce. Then winter comes and we have homegrown food to last us until next year's garden matures. By spring, I can't wait for the snow to melt so we can plant the seeds as soon as possible.
Providing for my family through gardening is an opportunity I never would have had living in the city. It allows us to save quite a bit of money on groceries, gives my husband and I a hobby to share, and encourages us to spend time outside being active.
As an animal lover and avid horsewoman, I have always dreamed of living on an acreage where I could look out my window and see my horse in my backyard. When I lived in town, I had to board my horse at a stable outside the city limits and drive out to see him. There were definitely perks to boarding my horse. I didn't have to find someone to take care of him when I went on vacation. The owners and barn workers handled most of the grunt work of feeding, watering, and cleaning up after my horse. But I liked the idea of doing all that for myself. Believe it or not, I like cleaning stalls. My first job was as a stable hand at a small horse barn.
Now I get to see my horse first thing every morning. I get to hear his nicker when I come into the barn to feed him breakfast, and I can toss the saddle on and go for a ride whenever and pretty much wherever I want. I know the exact care he is getting and have been able to bond with him on a much deeper level because I'm around him all the time.
Plus, we've added various other animals to the family. We bought a second horse so Brighton and I could ride together; and we have a goat (girlhood dream come true!), cats, ducks, and chickens. And, of course, our dog Gunner loves having so many friends and endless room to play and explore.
We might not be able to see our neighbors from the front porch, but the sense of community in the rural world is stronger than anywhere else. There will always be someone there for you when you need a helping hand. Practically everyone around will drop whatever they are doing to come to your rescue in times of trouble.
The rural community is full good people who work hard, celebrate each others successes, and lend a helping hand to those in need. While we might not be considered rich from a monetary standpoint, we are the some of the richest people on earth because we are what heavily populated cities can never be. We are family.
The country lifestyle has benefited me and my family in many other ways, but these are the top three gains. Some days I do miss my other life in the city. It's where I grew up and made some wonderful memories. But I wouldn't trade this new lifestyle for anything.
Busy days and hectic schedules can be hard to keep up with. Here are some tips and lessons I've picked up along the way to make life a little more fun in the midst of crazy.