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Living Rurally

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How do I explain living rurally? I live on a small farm about 10 miles outside a medium-sized town. A dying town, so I travel to larger towns (Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids) to shop. It is a major trip and doesn't happen very often since gas prices are so high here. We have neighbors across the street and down the road a piece. Our farm encompasses one side of an entire country road. Cool to have that much land and yet very lonely. My plan is to sell our farm in a couple of years and move closer to people. My children were always lonely growing up. People have a very different idea of what it is like for kids in rural areas - other kids are a long way away, so you make do with your siblings, yourself. It is lonely.

My sis-in-law that I mentioned yesterday also lives rurally. Actually she is more out in the sticks than I. About 20-30 miles away depending on which route you have to take to get there. I've gotten lost every time I've tried to get to her home and had to call. I see her only about a handful of times a year. Her 90-year old mother lives in the medium-sized town and once in a while she will stop over on her way to get her.

So anyway that is why our conversation yesterday was so amazing. She turned 60 this year and, evidently, has a 'bucket list' now of things she'd like to accomplish. Running in this race is one of them (who knew she dreamed of running one day). I have never known her to run before since she married my brother (now deceased) young and had her children pretty quickly. Her life was tied up with them and when my brother passed when the boys were still young her life took a different route. She had to provide for them, work outside the home. She sold the house my brother had built for his family (and was paid for) and moved them to a rural area because it was cheaper to live there. She has only worked part-time all those years and lived very frugally and raised her family. I have always kept in touch with her and the boys, who are now grown men with families of their own. She works for her middle son in a party store that he owns during the summer months and also lays tile with his wife in Detroit-area homes during the fall and winter. They lived the closest to her and she lives in a tiny little house that they have given her on their farm. It is a life that works for her.

So anyway I felt that I needed to explain why I haven't seen her in the past year. Life in the country isn't what people think. We don't have monthly hoe-downs or potlucks. Life just goes on. We plant our crops, we harvest when they are ready. We get to enjoy being in the country but we long for other people to visit. My older brother has become a nomad since his retirement a few years ago and lives exclusively in his 5th-wheel traveling about. He comes back to Michigan for a couple of months each year (summer) to see his own grandkids before heading out again. He and I have always been close and I only see him once or twice a year. It doesn't diminish our relationship, and truthfully, it doesn't even seem like it's been that long between visits. He and I 'talk' a lot on Facebook so he has been following my success with walking and diet change. So this year I am very excited for his return. I haven't lost as much as I had hoped but I still think he will be amazed at my transformation from heavy woman who could barely walk to this walking phenom who wants to spend a day on the AT for real (instead of just virtually).
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Very interesting. Thanks for the insight. I always thought it would be cool to live on a farm. But I need people around me for sure. I'm excited for you about the 5K. You're going to do awesome! emoticon emoticon
    1526 days ago
    You and your sister-in-law are both remarkable women, and it's wonderful that you have warm relationships with close family members. I find sibling and sibling-in-law relationships tough.

    And thank you for giving us such a clear picture of rural life. I live in the city so it's lively, but I can get lonely if I don't work at socializing and friendships.
    1527 days ago
    You are much closer to your siblings and relatives than I and my brother lives within driving distance of me. We are not close at all. When I tried being close in normal ways it became a tug of war with him trying to control my life. We are cordial but that is all. My sister still lives in Arizona and is tied up with her grand kids and her self. When I visit it is all about her. Got tired of spending all that time and money so that I would be a co-dependent with her narcissism. It's been tough for her with mom's death last month. However, it's still all about her.

    So, that's my family. Nice, huh? LOL

    1528 days ago
    Nice to get a picture of your life and plans. Thanks for sharing.
    1528 days ago
    Stay motivated!
    1528 days ago
    I live in a rural area also. When I was working I was in town all day and could retreat to our home. Now I am retired and the only time I go out is to get groceries. There are some good things about living here is that there is plenty of road to bike ride which I do a lot of. When I walk the roads are measured in miles so it is easy to know your distance but a mile looks long away. I spend a lot of time alone as my husband works. We have 34 acres so I take the dog for walks there as he is afraid of the road. I think Facebook is a life saver as that as how I stay connected with my family and friends. The internet is also wonderful. Spark People has helped me alot.
    Sounds like you are doing great and hope that you get to make the trip with your brother. Have a great day.
    1528 days ago
    emoticon Part time we live in the country but it is only 2 miles from a small town. In the winter we live in a city emoticon
    1528 days ago
    I live out in the country too...and you are right...it can get quite lonely but for now it works for us~
    1528 days ago
    I too live rurally. Not as isolated as you sound like, but not surrounded by lots of people. Cows and sheep but not people. This was a choice my husband I made back in the 90's, moving from the S.F. Bay area(so busy! so crowded!) to this quiet area, 3ish miles from the village center.
    Best thing that we have ever done, but I have to agree, it can be very lonely.
    I think that what saves me is the college 4 miles up the road. The kids that go there see it differently, they constantly bemoan the fact that they're out in the middle of nowhere, not much to do. emoticon
    Good luck to you with your goals!
    1528 days ago
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