Living the country isn’t as romantic as you think. Really.
While growing up on 2/3rds of an acre in the East Bay Area of California, I dreamed about the country life. Horses, cozy fires, galoshes, galloping through the dreary and heather to the fire roaring on the hearth of your English cottage.
Yes, I read a lot of British literature. One must exclusively devour that when your mother decides that the children must ascend from her coarse farm upbringing.
So I planned out my future country life based on all of these very British ideas about country life. And then we moved to a tiny town way out in the sticks. In southwest Idaho. To get groceries, you have to pack up and “go to town”.
Oh don’t get me wrong. The soil is rich and earthy, breathing outside is so often like the fine wine of oxygen. Flocks of pheasants creep through the hayfield that has now been taken over seeds from the neighbor’s very fertile ones. The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking, even in the dry, dry winter where we’re still suffering from dust because the rain scampered off somewhere.
My Thanksgiving list is a bit, uh, different than most. Hopefully, you aren’t too horrified ;)
I am very thankful that the racoons are now skins on the wall and not trying to tear up my little black dog any longer. Hopefully next year, the eerily bold, but highly elusive neighborhood skunk has been put on a journey to tear up the Great Garden Shed In The Sky.
I am very thankful that all of the gnat swarms, yellow jacket herds and clouds of black flies are now dead. My lungs were not designed to filter the simultaneous inhalation of 37 little bugs per breath.
I am thankful that this summer of roasting heat didn’t off me via the metal roof of our little old tin roof house. This one came in hot and close at 109 degrees for the high. What is this, Arizona?
I’m thankful that the sudden icy wind & 20 degree temperatures haven’t taken my fingers yet.
I’m thankful that the stove is now in service so no more mourning doves can crawl down the pipe, get stuck and die a quiet death only to be found by a horrified me once my (25% Cheasapeake Bay retriever)dog catches the scent and explodes in excitement.
I’m thankful that the skin between my fingers is only perpetually raw this winter so far and not bleeding raw.
I’m thankful for the sudden luxury of heated mirrors and seats. The decade of scraping ice until your fingers are no longer awake and shivering in the blast of the slowly heating ice air from my vents has passed!
I’m thankful for an old, but handy stove the doubles as a house warmer and a heating element for my cooking/baking/trying to get the everlasting grease off of this decade-old pizza stone experiments. (If the pizza stone is hopeless or unsanitary, please don’t tell me. I cling to hope.)
Most of all, I’m really thankful for the creaky Internet that works within 10 feet of the box. Wifi? Well after it seeps through the metal walls of the garage-turned-office-that-is-still-filled-with-paint-cans (so the paint doesn’t freeze), across the hammerhead driveway space and through another metal roof, there aren’t much charge.
Sometimes I can read receipes in the house. Goody.
The small town life ain’t for the faint of heart. It’s good to know that I can survive a lot more than I think! :) happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you for reading! A reader asked me to write more about life in rural Idaho so here is my first piece on the subject! :)