Country Living

People who live in the city might not understand this story but those of you who have lived or still live in the country will understand this completely. I think most people believe that living in the country is cheaper than living in the city. It is just the opposite. Our electric is higher, our gas bills are higher, mainly because of the open area surrounding the house that winds blow through. A lot of the homes outside of the city are older, way older and therefore need more work done to them.

Water is a big problem. In the winter months pipes can freeze easily and even if you get them thawed out, if the weather remains cold, below freezing, they will only freeze again. This can lead to more problems with your washing machine, dishwasher and plumbing in general. Not to forget the worst of all problems, no bathroom functions. It can be like living on Little House on the Prairie. Not an option! Septic tanks are part of country living. Not too much of a worry but every few years it has to be pumped out.

Collecting your mail in the winter can be a chore in itself. Sometimes with the best intentions the snowplow will knock over your mailbox and there goes your mail or if you by chance do not notice that the post box has been knocked down, you do not receive your mail until the box is replaced. Now the box isn't a huge problem but if the wooden pole is knocked down in the winter that can be a problem. The snow banks can be taller than your car and keeping your driveway cleared is an ongoing battle. Thankfully, my husband enjoys driving the John Deere and has always loved winter so our driveway is always cleared. Even in the summer months we have had our mailbox knocked over. Sometimes by teenagers with a bat, especially during summer vacation, sometimes by people who just misjudge the curve in the road. We had a man that had to be ninety years or older, run our mailbox down. At least he stopped and apologized but I didn't have the heart to charge him for the mailbox or even criticize him. I just told him to drive carefully and wished him a good day.

Loss of power is by far the worst problem. If it is in the winter, you freeze. Summer, you roast. You have no water and again no bathroom facilities. No lights to read by and no television to watch. Sleep is usually the only option. Loss of food in your freezer can be a concern. The sump pump is another concern because it takes the water away from the basement that leaks in from somewhere. Speaking of that, every time we try to improve on something inside or out, it seems to lead to another problem. When the barn was taken down, we moved everything into the basement. We had never had water in our basement before and as soon as we made that improvement we had water in the basement, hence, the sump pump. The year before I had cleaned the basement from top to bottom and painted the walls and floor. Well, after the water problem it doesn't look like I did anything.

Here are some of the solutions to the above problems. We planted Pine trees above the house to eliminate some of the wind. As just mentioned, we put a holding tank in the basement and ran new pipe to the house so we don't have the frozen pipes anymore. We have written down where the septic is exactly and have that pumped every five to eight years. We have our newspaper delivered and the post for it is before the driveway and the mailbox is located right after the driveway so the plow doesn't leave very much snow at the beginning of our driveway. We just recently installed a natural gas generator that sits on the side of the house. So if there is a severe storm of any kind, we will now have power. Living in the country is wonderful but it keeps you busy and in the long run, keeps you fit!

From our backyard to yours, as far as I know the grass is only greener on top of the septic tank!


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