The other day I suffered through a series of unfortunate events involving our toaster…and a mouse…and smoke…and flames…and we may never eat frozen waffles again in our house.

And somewhere in the midst of my hysterical phone conversation with Mr. Fix-It, it occurred to me that there are parts to the living in the country lifestyle that they never bring up in the books–or the movies for that matter. Or all the magazines with the glistening jars of jam on the front.

tailgate kids 1Maybe that’s because so many country people grew up in the country and that’s just part of the package and not unusual enough to bring up.

Or maybe it’s because you take the good with the bad and don’t complain.

Or maybe it’s just because there’s so much to know a few things have to slip through the cracks.  Like mice.

tailgate kids 2Here’s a few of things I’ve never realized about life in the country…I mean, maybe I heard about it, but I never really absorbed what it meant. (Or it’s just completely new to me–I’ve had so much to learn!)


That’s all I’m gonna say about that right now. I’m still traumatized.

tailgate kids 4aMud.

I have yet to read a homesteading magazine or book that includes pictures of giant clumps of mud that dry up and then get ground into dust and dragged all through your kitchen before you can even get the broom out.

tailgate kids 5Guns.

Who would have thought our preschooler would be able to shoot a rifle before he could write his own name? Just for the record, this falls under the category of something that I’m fine with now, but that took a big mental adjustment for me. Gun culture in the country is completely different from gun culture in the city.

tailgate kids 6


There is nothing quiet about the quiet life. Guns are loud. Tractors and mowers are loud. Air compressors and saws and drills are loud. It turns out even sheep are loud–when they see the grain bucket. Sometimes the insects and frogs in the summer are so loud you can barely have a conversation on the porch.

And don’t even get me started on all the noise the kids make! {smile}

tailgate kids 9Ditches.

No joke, most of our roads don’t have shoulders. They have the edge of the pavement, then about 6 inches of dirt before a 2 foot ditch. Or deeper.

And if there is a shoulder, it’s not there for traffic–it’s there for mailboxes. Don’t go off the road.

tailgate kids 10Peeling paint.

I love the way so many magazines market the “shabby” chic look or flea-market decor. We love that look. We love antiques and dusty old glass bottles and rough wood furniture…our house is full of them! But it turns out that most of the charming, “vintage”-looking chipped and peeling paint you find out in the country is old. Meaning it’s probably lead-based paint. It will cost a fortune to update. And there’s probably wood rot behind it. {sigh} BHG makes it look so easy!

tailgate kids 11Rust.

Life in the country is a non-stop battle against rust. And rot. Tools and equipment rust. So you put up sheds and barns and buildings to protect it. Then the buildings start to rot. So you’re constantly building something, or maintaining something that you built. Painting, staining, replacing, rebuilding, the maintenance on property in the country is never-ending!

I’ve seen plenty of checklists for regular maintenance around the house and homestead. What should be done, and when. But what I haven’t seen is anything that explains that you will never actually finish this list.

tailgate kids 12That all being said, every day when I drive into the city to pick up the kiddos from school, I cross the bridge back into our county with a sigh of relief.

What lessons have you learned about the place you call home?

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Lessons I’ve Had to Learn… — 2 Comments

  1. I can relate to pretty much all of this:) Life in the country is different, for sure – but after living in the city I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Except to get rid of the mice. Yikes. They are driving me CRAZY here!!

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