Urban dwellers live in a convenience rut.
They drive on paved roads frequently blocked for repair work or demolition, and interminable new construction. Upon completion, paved roads are already obsolete, and urbanites find the demolition crew ripping out the new concrete a few days or weeks later.
As you might imagine, country roads are a combination of paved and dirt. However, with the increased migration from urban areas to the country, the increase in paved roads is also on the rise. But if you own sizable acreage, dirt roads abound.
One of the greatest illusions of living in the suburbs or cities is everything folks need or want are close to home. People ignore the fact that most places they frequent are at least a 30- to 60-minute drive away.
A part of living in the country means most errands will include driving 30 to 45 minutes or more to most destinations. But if you compare city and country folks, usually the time spent driving to the store or restaurants is about the same. If you live in west Texas or the wide open spaces of Montana, the drive time can be longer.
When it comes to the daily work commute, it matters little where we live.
Some unwritten law demands that our jobs be a tedious and long drive from our homes, whether urban or country. Before we retired, Hubby and I drove a two-hour daily round trip.
Contrary to the misconceptions held by urban folks, country living is not an overall-clad, straw-between-teeth, laid-back existence. The difference between the two is in the priorities and various chores.
While the city folks must frequently manicure their lawns and yards at the dictates of intrusive Homeowners Associations, country dwellers mow when the grass becomes unsightly. No manicuring allowed. But then, country folks mow acres rather than a few hundred feet.
At times, country chores tend to overwhelm the body, affecting our muscles, and even our nostrils. We often wish for nose plugs to lessen the aromas generated by the droppings of our country critters.
If you happen to be a city girl transplanted to the country, you would never have imagined the size and stench of chicken droppings. Compared to cattle, chickens are small, and logic demands their poop should be small as well.
If you believe such nonsense, you are beyond delusional.
To prevent the destruction of nose hairs and her lungs, this writer has learned to purse her lips against her nostrils and hold her breath while scraping mounds of chicken droppings off various areas in the chicken coop, using disposable gloves.
In her wildest dreams, she never imagined performing such a necessary but gross task. But when you consider urbanites must pick up their pooch’s poop or risk the ire of the neighbors, you realize both tasks require a strong stomach and periodic fumigation of our nasal passages.
Out of necessity, we keep the chicken feed and scratch (a treat of sorts for the cluckers) in covered barrels. The reason being, field rats, mice, and even snakes enjoy an easily accessible treat the same way humans like the convenience of drive-ins.
The barrels are deep enough to hold four 40-pound sacks of feed. Since they are quite deep, the barrels present a potential hazard. Consequently, this writer’s nephew worried he might arrive one day and find his short aunt upside down in the empty or nearly empty barrel.
Well, give the woman some credit for using her head. When the barrel was almost empty, she tipped it on its side to scoop out the remaining contents. And then, her eyes gleamed with mischief.
She recalled finding the lower half of a mannequin tossed out by a fabric store. That mannequin ended up behind her boss’ desk upside down in the wastebasket. Believe it or not, the boss laughed and immediately knew who perpetrated the crime.
To replicate a similar trick, this writer spent considerable time searching for a picture of legs sticking out of a barrel. She sent it to her nephew with a note.
“Help! I’ve fallen into the barrel.”
He showed the picture to a co-worker. “Who is that?”
“My aunt,” the nephew replied.