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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, bear with me while I take a little ramble. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
My husband and I have always talked about someday moving out to the country. In fact ever since I was a little girl I have dreamed of living the crowded, noisy city behind and escaping to the green open spaces of the country. It's a dream that I've never given up on. I think about it almost on a daily basis.<br><br>
Now that I have kids I am really concerned about the quality of the grocery-store food they eat and the quality of life that they have in our dirty and polluted city. I would love to be able to produce some of our own food and give the kids lots of space and fresh air that they just don't get in our industrialized neighbourhood. I feel that the country life is healthier and would be better for all of our well-being.<br><br>
My husband also dreams of having a big woodworking workshop, and has always wanted to build a wind turbine. I love to garden. And we both love the outdoors in general. And peace and quiet. We aren't the type of people who enjoy going out a lot, we're homebodies for sure. So our interests would meld nicely with living on a rural property.<br><br>
But of course leaving the city behind is a big step. And I have doubts. I've never NOT lived in a city before. I'm afraid that it's a "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" thing, that once I got to the country I would miss the city. I do like being able to run to the grocery store quickly whenever I need anything, and being homeschoolers we use our public library A LOT, I am there several times a week. I like being close to my family too, especially my elderly grandmother whom I visit regularly.<br><br>
Also, since we are homeschoolers, I'm afraid that being in the country it would be too hard for my kids to make friends. In the city there are lots of activities to be involved with. Is this the case in the country? I suppose it depends how isolated a location you're living in. I am worried about this though because my daughter is VERY social. She plays with all the kids in our neighbourhood every single day and I can't imagine she would be very happy spending most of her days at home with her family.<br><br>
We don't have any immediate plans to do anything, because right now we dont have any money! But it's something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. My husband just got a steady job and in a few years we should have enough money to buy our first house. And I'm wondering, where will it be...in the city or not?<br><br>
I guess what I want to ask is: For those of you city folk who migrated to rural areas, did you have doubts about your decision? Did you/do you miss the city? Are there things about moving to the country that should always be considered?<br><br>
Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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When the time comes, pick out an area that you would like to move to and maybe look for a house to rent for a year before you made the commitment to buy, that way you get a better idea of the area, what to look for and what to stay away from also gives you a feel whether you could handle the isolation or not.
 

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I grew up in the country and vowed I would *never* live there again and certainly not if I had children.<br><br>
I didn't want them to pine for friends the way I did and to be so far away from after-school activities, etc.<br><br>
Well...I believed that way with child #1, but now with child #2 I'm wanting to return to the country - in a BIG way!<br><br>
Yes, I would miss being able to walk to the library and would worry about connecting her with other kids, etc.<br><br>
But at this point in my life the pros of living away from population centers and all the pollution are far greater than some of the cons I used to think were important.<br><br>
I echo the idea of test driving the lifestyle first by renting. It's a great way to check out a community and decide if it's a good choice for you (although it's a pain to move twice). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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THere's also small-town life. A small community with a decent public library (even if their book selection is small, there's always interlibrary loan and often small librarys form networks to make this even easier) and a homeschool group or two isn't completely unheard of. You can still have people around, but not the crowds and pollution. We used to joke that a traffic jam in my hometown was 3 cars stopped going the same direction at a light on the main drag.
 

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Country living can be a case of greener grass. It can be rough. The weather affects you more. You can lose whole crops to blight or insects or other critters. If you have animals, they can die unexpectedly or get sick and need expensive care.<br><br>
If its what you want, it is so worth it. Homeschooling is pretty mainstream in lots of rural areas. There are homeschooling groups everywhere. I have to agree that a decent library system is key. We have a really small library but it is part of bigger system and our Librarians ROCK.<br><br>
The food is the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your thoughts.<br><br>
Lightheart, I actually thought about maybe renting first in the country. If we were to rent then I guess we could even move now because we wouldn't have to save up a downpayment. But for some weird reason there doesn't seem to be any rural properties in our entire county for rent. I do check online listings from time to time--I don't know, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places? It could be because there aren't really that many houses in our area, but there are tons of large-scale farms (an awful lot of corn and soybeans are grown in this area.)<br><br>
It would be a pain to move twice (did I mention that we have thousands of books?) but renting first is something I am gonig to keep in mind.<br><br>
Kari, I find your story interesting because the way you felt as a child is exactly the way I fear my own daughter will feel. She just said to me this morning, "I can't wait until we can live on our farm someday!" but I don't think she understands that if we move away from here, she will no longer be able to play with her friends every day. She seems to have the idea that maybe her best friend's family will buy a farm right next to us!<br><br>
But it's interesting that now you want to move back. I hear what you're saying about pros and cons. I guess this is why I am finding it hard to decide about this--I do see many cons about living in the country. But I see MORE cons about living in the city--and they're big ones, like noise, pollution, and lack of privacy. I am SO sick of hearing my drunk teenage neighbour coming home with her friends and barfing on the lawn at 5 am...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
So I guess ultimately I just have to measure all the pros and cons.<br><br>
Ravin, you're right, small town life is something else to consider. I think that might be a happy medium between big city and isolated homestead. I like the idea too that a small town may have a sense of community. How big was the town you grew up in?<br><br>
Amy, I like the name of your farm. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I do understand that a farming life can be really rough. I'm not sure if we would try to live off our farm entirely--probably dh would still work in the city. Although it might be tough though, I think it might be worth it--for me at least, because I love the country so much. It's my kids really that I'm having doubts about. When I was 17 my parents moved to where I still live, a dirty, heavily industrialized city that I have always hated. And I was angry at them for moving me to a place I hated away from all my friends. And I don't want to do that to my kids.<br><br>
Hence my dilemma. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh I also wanted to add, does anyone have any book recommendations for me? As in, good books about homesteading and/or farming and/or country life that might give me an idea of what it's really like?<br><br>
I've checked my local library system and they have nothing except Storey's Basic Country Skills which I thought didn't really contain much useful information.
 

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Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living. The Little House books.<br><br>
Of course, if you don't intend to raise livestock, tons of the heartache and hardwork don't exsist.<br><br>
I like the idea of small town life too. You can grow a lot of food in a pretty small space. Chickens are good too (as long as you don't have a rooster). It maybe a good compromise for you.<br><br>
Right now, both DH and I work outside the home. The plan is for him to continue working and for me to stay home in the next few years. So far, we're pretty sure that we won't be homeschooling. Self-sufficiency is a long process for us. It will never be complete, but we'll have fun in the attempt.
 

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We are currently renting in the country while waiting to begin building. When we went to find a place to rent, we discovered that the best way to find a place was by word of mouth.<br>
Now that we live in a small community we have found that the post office is a good source of information -renting, selling, etc...<br>
and yes moving is the pits... Half of my stuff has been in storage for a year and a half with at least another year to go. Sigh.<br>
best wishes!
 

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I grew up in a college town of about 11,000 that was about 20 min. south of a small city (Amarillo, TX). The small university brought diversity to the town that wouldn't have existed otherwise. Most folks' sense of community revolved around their churches and extended family (often the two being intertwined). Before that we lived in a much smaller town in Idaho, population about 2000 where again community was tied to churches but also to the schools, VFW, etc. and people knew their neighbors whether in town or out in the country (we did live on a farm for 4 years of my childhood. I was very young but have a lot of very clear memories of it!)<br><br>
I daydream about moving back to the country/small town. It was kind of a drag as a teen but a great place to be a kid. Alas, I'm married to a city boy.
 

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Except for when I went to college, I've always lived in "country type" places, so maybe my perspective may be useful.<br>
Right now, we're w/in driving distance (1-2 hours each way) of whatever major cultural things one could desire; that said, we're about an hour's drive one way from <i>anything</i> (well, it's only 35 min each way to the post office). You do not "forget" things & just run out for them; on the other hand, planning ahead is certainly more frugal & organized. You become intimately acquainted with the weather; I'm selling lambs early this year, due to drought= no pasture. However, it did manage to rain a bit on several of the nights I had to go up to the barn at 3 in the morning to get weak or rejected lambs/kids to nurse... I love my garden & critters, but they are a constant responsibility, & despite doing most of my vetting myself, there are always unexpected crisis. It's really fun most of the time, but when you're hauling your umpteenth load of ammonia reeking litter off the bottom of the barn litter, powdering 50 mite crawling chicken butts w/insecticide at night w/a flashlight clenched in your teeth, or you're trying to distribute feed & hay in driving rain, sitting in the house w/a nice hot cup of tea & buying your wool & eggs from some other person rather than raising it yourself has a certain attractiveness. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Then again, on a sunny morning when you're picking some produce, or watering some plants, & the hummingbirds & dragonflies come to dance in the spray, little frogs crawl out from under the swiss chard, lizards scuttle off under the bean plants & do "push-ups" on a handy pumpkin, or on an evening when the lambs are nibbling your pant legs while your flockguard dog leans against your hip for an ear rub, & you watch the stars twinkle through the oak leaves, things are good. In some ways, I guess it's like having kids - if you tend to be optimistic & remember all the good stuff, you'll be a lot happier than if you obsess over the less pleasant bits. Now, that said, my DH isn't into the farm scene the way I am; he's allergic to hay, pollen, & thinks poop is pretty icky (guess who has only changed 2 diapers in 1 year?). I've had to downsize my doings & expectations quite a bit, since I'm the one doing all the labor - but at least DH is putting up with the 1 1/2 hour commute (each way) to his job. I do plan on homeschooling, but there are a lot of homeschooling groups around here, so I'm sure our kids will be able to find friends of like interests; I was in 4-H as a kid, & figure we'll probably get back into that, too.
 

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Shabazin, what you said about having a farm kind of like having kids really put it into perspective for me. Having kids is a huge responsibility and is sometimes very draining and frustrating and sometimes you wonder "What have we gotten ourselves in to?" BUT few people would disagree that it's worth it. I suppose a lot of things in life that are deeply rewarding require a lot of blood sweat 'n tears.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I've had to downsize my doings & expectations quite a bit, since I'm the one doing all the labor - but at least DH is putting up with the 1 1/2 hour commute (each way) to his job.</td>
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I can totally see this happening to me too. My husband likes the idea of living in the country and tinkering in his workshop, but I know that if we're going to do any real farming, it's going to be primarily on my shoulders. He's just not excited about gardening and animal-keeping the way I am. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
What I really always wanted to do the most is have a gigantic herb garden, big enough to start a small business selling homemade herbal products. I'm not sure if there's really a market for that but I always thought it would be fun, and most herbs are pretty easy to grow.<br><br>
Well that's getting off topic. Thanks again everyone for your thoughtful replies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I grew up on a farm and vowed I'd never live in the country again. It only took 10 years away for me to want the country again. And that's counting two years in rural North Africa. For me, it was all in the attitude. First, my parents farmed to make a living, and it was extremely hard going. We were dairy farmers, and the 80s were tough. Also, my mother was very bitter about getting into farming. Both of my parents grew up on farms, and neither had wanted to, but the economy was such a mess after Vietnam...anyway, it was an ugly place to be most of the time, and I made the mistake of associating the ugliness with the farm. I realize now it was everything BUT the farm itself.<br><br>
Dh and I were in the US for 8 years, and had lived in our first house for 6 years, when we closed both eyes and bought our farmette in December. We had talked about it for years--and we had placed a lot of conditions on our purchase. For example, we both have day jobs. We're less than 5 miles from town. Our farm is very small. The town we're close to is the same one where we made our home. We're very attached to the community and love it here, so it made sense that we'd stay close. I do most of my library searching online, and pick books up later, because I have a lot less time for that stuff now.<br><br>
Ds (5yo) was very upset at the move, and sometimes pines for "the old days." But now, as the weather's warming up, he's loving being outside. He's great with the sheep and goats, and loves checking the chicken coop for eggs each day. Dd loves it, too, and frankly, dh and I are having more fun than we have had in years, working on our outdoor projects--fencing and fixing and cleaning up--together.<br><br>
In fact, he's probably out there having all the fun now, burning the burdock we pulled today.<br><br>
The hardest part for me is that dh travels a lot for work, and it's a huge workload for one person, to take care of the livestock, the household, the kids, and the job. But I love to go out to the barn in the winter. It's nice for me to get out of the house. I get cabin fever BAD.<br><br>
Anyway, think about what you think you really, really need--prioritize your list, and if you're serious, try hard to find something that meets as many of your greatest needs as possible. Good luck!<br><br>
ETA: I blog about some of the adventures...sometimes I feel like all I do is complain, compain, but there are many wonderful days, too.
 

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i LOVE it.<br><br>
i moved from a city, to a small town, to an even smaller town. i lived in town for 12 years ( a town of 2600) and just last fall moved out to an acreage. the hardest transition for me was from the city to the small town. i liked living in town for the first years, but for the last 3 or 4 i was really really wanting to move out of town. i too grew up in a small town (twice this size) and swore i would always live in a city but i couldn't bring myself to do it now.<br><br><br>
we are about 10-15 minutes to town depending on the weather. it is the perfect distance for me. i love having space for the kids and also for my gardens. we plan to eventually live off the grid. but - i am close enough i can run to town for the kids activities (including the amazing library we have for such a small community).<br><br>
the kids do not see their friends alot - but they really don't seem to mind now that it is nice outside. they spend alot of time outside playing.<br><br>
it is a big decision. there are aspects to living in the country that make it more work - we have to haul our water, for example (which sucks when it's -40C). also, the driving back and forth to town with the kids is a nuisance but for me the drawbacks are definitely worth the trade off for having our own piece of land. we plan to make it into our own paradise and i feel really grateful that i have the opportunity to live on my own piece of land.
 

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I'm so glad I happened upon this thread! We are going through the exact same emotions over a potential move. My husband and I are from the "Big City" (SF Bay Area) and moved to Oregon to get closer to nature. We have ALWAYS dreamed of a small farmstead (not necessarily totally self-sufficient) Goats, chickens, veggies, room for the kids to run and explore, etc. We are also home-loving people and don't need TONS of social interaction....but I wonder if it is a case of 'the grass is always greener' too? Property around here is SO expensive, so we are considering a move FAR from here...which is pretty scary. We won't know anyone and everything would be new. Would we hate it? Then we would be stuck. It's this fear that's kept us from just jumping in in the past...but still that life has always called to me and continues to do so.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm so glad I happened upon this thread! We are going through the exact same emotions over a potential move. My husband and I are from the "Big City" (SF Bay Area) and moved to Oregon to get closer to nature. We have ALWAYS dreamed of a small farmstead (not necessarily totally self-sufficient) Goats, chickens, veggies, room for the kids to run and explore, etc. We are also home-loving people and don't need TONS of social interaction....but I wonder if it is a case of 'the grass is always greener' too? Property around here is SO expensive, so we are considering a move FAR from here...which is pretty scary. We won't know anyone and everything would be new. Would we hate it? Then we would be stuck. It's this fear that's kept us from just jumping in in the past...but still that life has always called to me and continues to do so.</div>
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What part of Oregon are you from, and what kind of budget? If it's ok to ask<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> We live in Klamath Falls, and properties are values are rising quickly but are cheaper than most of Oregon. We have tons of farms and country land. It snows some in the winter (which is long), but it doesn't rain hardly ever like northern and coastal oregon. It's a very nice area, and smaller, but not too small. I think we are at about 80,000 people now. We were considering leaving, but I realized that this town is just perfect. Nice small town feel in some parts, with growing more modern feels in others. Beautiful views of Mountains, a huge lake (beautiful and great for boaters, not for smimming, but others nearby), a good amount of homeschoolers. Wonderful historic downtown with all kinds of summer parades and festivals. We currently live in a suburban neighborhood out in the country- kinda funny as it's a gated community right between farms. However, we too would like to own a small country home with similar goals as yours. The town is small enough in area that it only takes about 10 mins to get from country to town.
 

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We live in a rural area near a small town and are lucky to have a fabulous library that is connected with a whole network of libraries so you can order just about anything. My daughter is social too and even though she goes to school, oftren misses having other kids to play with. We do tend to drive a lot in the winter so she can play hockey (one of her passions) and other seasons for other activities and it usually means a sleepover if she wants to see certain friends but she loves it. DP and I go into town every day to work but other than in Farmers Market season when we are selling in town every Saturday, dd rarely goes to town. She is 13 now and needs to do that once in a while we recently realized so last week we went out to dinner and grocery shopping (something else she never gets to do) and this week I took her to town to the feed store and garden store and then adrugstore where she spent her saved up allowance. It was a real thrill for her so we will start to do it more often.<br><br>
I know we have an awesome homeschooling network here. One group tends to be homeschooling and religious and the other more arts centred from what I can figure out, but the kids get together regularly. I have done classes for several HS groups in felting or other fibre arts. The local recreational facilities are available during the day for HS kids to use gym facilities and HS kids have to have an affiliate school and can use their libraries and participate in activities if they choose. Our library system is very HS friendly. All this is because of parent organization and lobbying for services for HS families and seems to work well. I plan to keep my daughter in her excellent school (class of 15 kids with only 2 in her grade) as long as if works for her and we have discussed homeschooling for highschool if her later highschool years are not working out but I think she needs the social and we would need to do serious networking to meet those needs for her.<br><br>
We also have things like a trampoline, fort in progress, creek and forest trails, sheep, bunny, dogs, cats and soon chickens. Her city friends LOVE to visit, and she has plenty to do alone or with a friend.<br><br>
She really wants a horse and we would like to do that for her. We are not ready for one but are working to get her riding more regularly this year. For a social 13 year old a horse is as good as a friend.
 

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Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I'm really enjoying reading them. Lots of food for thought here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I was just going to post this same thread. We've been thinking about moving to a more rural area or at least on the outskirts of the city. My main worry is that the people that live around here in the country are very different from the city folks (or at least people blend in more in the city). There's a lot of meth labs out in the country in MO. It also seems like teenagers here have nothing better to do than sit in a field drinking beer. I feel like in the city, there's at least more to do. On the other hand, we really want to have more land, grow our own food, and get off the grid.<br><br>
My step dad is from Toronto and has a lot of family there and within 2 hours. Some live in the country. The small towns there are so much different than they are here in the midwest. They seem way cleaner and friendlier. Maybe that's just my tourist view.
 

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The 'nothing to do but sit in a field drinking beer' was a concern for my parents that took them from the pop. 2000 town to the pop. 11K near-small-city town (along with a gov't job). In American Falls in summer there was literally nothing to do if you weren't busy on a farm. Even the bowling alley shut down in summer, though during the school year the high school culture (football games, etc.) kept kids positively involved. In Canyon you could at least go hang out at the mall in Amarillo, go to the movie ($1 back then, I think $2 now) if you couldn't get to Amarillo, etc. Also it was in a dry county so you had to be a little bit more inventive to get access to alcohol. Not that I ever bothered, I was about as straight laced as a lesbian teenager could get...I tested boundaries other ways.
 
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