Have you ever thought about relocating? What was the ideal spot you had in mind for that?
If I had to relocate again, it would probably only be to the beach. Or maybe Colorado. Hmmmmm…too bad there are no beaches in Colorado. Anyway, I digress.
We moved from a suburb of Memphis in 2013, right before my youngest turned 1. When we moved, it was back to my small hometown. My husband was excited (he’s a country boy at heart), and while I was excited, too, I did feel slightly nervous-if I’m being completely honest. I mean, I was moving almost 2 hours from a mall, Target, and any large chain restaurants! What would we do for entertainment? I kid, but only slightly. I quickly found myself happier than I’ve ever been!
Here are just a few of the reasons why, if you have ever considered moving to the country, I would tell you to pack up and not look back! Although the mosquitoes are more abundant here, and you have to drive a little further to grocery shop, I have not once regretted our decision. Here are a few of the reasons why you should move to the country, too…….
While this one may seem ultra cheesy or cliché, this is one of my favorite things about living in the country. There are no large buildings to block the beauty of a sunset. Frequently, I’ll be driving home and just be in amazement at God for his creation and beauty that he has made for us to enjoy. My boys even now will comment on how pretty the sky is in the late evening.
I’m not totally sure if we notice the sky more now because of how easy the sunsets are to see, or because we are outside more. This brings me to my next point….
My kids love it. They get dirty. They play in the dirt with their tractors, trucks, sticks, beach toys, or whatever is handy. Please don’t misunderstand- my boys are quite spoiled (we live around grandparents, aunts, great aunts…you get the picture)- they have an xbox, a trampoline, ride-on toys galore, a huge playset, a basketball goal, and the list goes on and on on and on……They really have too many toys. It’s something we are working on. Expect a blog post soon on simplifying. 🙂
But, the most fun they have is when they make their own fun. Fun that happens without a plan or an entertainment source. Fun that happens after we water the flowers, and the dirt turns to mud. Hours and hours of entertainment can follow with a boy, a truck or tractor, and a little mud. I definitely do more laundry now, but it’s so worth it.
Dirt is involved in some of the best of my memories growing up.
One of my best memories growing up was when my red-headed cousin came to visit from Texas. We always had the best time and got into something mischievous. She was the youngest child of 4, and actually my Mom’s 1st cousin, but she was my age, which was probably 8 or 9 at the time of this particular event. We decided on this lovely summer day we would make mudpies and play restaurant. We couldn’t find anything exciting to serve the food in, so we thought it was logical to go into the kitchen. Out we came with my grandmother’s new pot set. Who knows where my Gran, her mom or my mom were. (Another perk of growing up in the country- we were allowed to roam pretty much wild and free). Our moms were probably off helping the men get the tractors moved or taking lunch to the field.
Karla and I still joke that we have never seen Gran (or Aunt Jean) as she calls her, as mad as she was that day. Her new pots had been definitely christened by mud that day. Maybe she’ll read this and forgive us.
Dirt, in dry form or it’s wet form-mud, can be soooo fun. Good times, yall, good times….which leads me to my next thing I love about the country.
In the country, people grow things. Flowers, crops, food. Tomatoes just taste different fresh from the vine than when you buy them at Kroger. I know most cities have great farmer’s markets in the spring and summer, where city dwellers can buy fresh things, too, but guess what….the farmers that are selling you the good stuff probably grow them in the country.
In rural areas, it is just the norm for people to have gardens. A common conversation starter during hot summer months is “how are your tomatoes lookin?” In our tiny town and within a five mile radius, I can think of at least 5 large, beautiful gardens, a peach and nectarine orchard (they’re seriously the best, ya’ll!), 5 families with chickens and fresh eggs, and just from my grandparent’s yard alone comes fresh plums, figs, muscadines, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, zucchini, okra, peas, green beans, and corn. One of my best friends has blueberries in her yard. Much more fresh and healthier than the store, I promise you! You really can’t beat that!
My kids love going to my grandparent’s to help them plant, water, and tend to the garden. I think I may enjoy watching them even more. I totally understand that people in cities have gardens too. My father in law grows an amazing garden each year right in the middle of town. So, really we get the best of both worlds from both sides of my family 🙂
It may be another cliché of country living, but it is one that I’ve definitely learned to be true. Life in the country moves at a slower pace. In our small town, we have one country store, and it’s like traveling back in time. They will fix you a fried baloney sandwich and you can eat in inside or on one of the wooden picnic tables under the porch out front. This is the same country store that I went to when I was a small child. Back then, my Gran’s best friend ran it, and we loved getting to “charge” our food to my grandpa. Now, my kids still get to charge. Charge accounts at country stores-I told you it’s a slower pace. People still trust each other.
The Aubrey Country Store is the “hub” of our town. This is where retired farmers, preachers, and veterans gather every morning to drink coffee and tell tall tales of how big the fish were they caught the day before. My grandpa is usually the ring leader of the BS.
Our city hall just got a baseball field and pavillion and we are waiting on the playground equipment. Our ladies auxiliary for the fire department is having a yard sale next month. People wave at each other, whether you know them or not. Traffic jams are typically only caused by a tractor. We move slower, ya’ll.
Everyone Is Family
This is my favorite. While I really am related to many people in our small town, the others I have known pretty much my whole life. Or we might go to church together. Even if we don’t know you, chances are, we will take you in. Country people are kind like that. My grandmother once hosted 5 farm workers from South Africa at our family Christmas when they were away from their families. It’s almost a joke that we never know who will show up to Christmas or other family gatherings, and it would be strange if it was only family there! The more, the merrier.
When anyone is sick, hurt, has a baby, or has a death, we bring food. I think this may be more of a southern thing than a country thing. In the country, we don’t bring take out or pre-made food. (hehehe-where would we take it out from?) It’s always real, homemade food. When we congregate at our small churches, we usually eat.
My cousin from Texas (the same hellion I mentioned earlier) was recently telling me after she had her third child, that her small group in church brought her take out meals from different restaurants in their town. Such a sweet gesture, but it’s not the same as a home-made Poppyseed chicken casserole with fresh veggies from the garden, and a gallon of sweet tea brought in an old milk jug.
So there ya have it, what more could you want? Great people, gardens and farm fresh eggs, no traffic, beautiful sunsets, and lots of food.
Have I convinced you to move yet??