When a city dweller thinks of country living, I believe a few words come to mind: peace, quiet, serenity, natural , to name a few.
Such words came to my mind just four short years ago as we were putting the finishing touches on our remodeled farm house. I was ready to leave town; be on our own without neighbor kids to chase out of our yard or barking dogs to wake my new baby in the night. We were getting ready to move to not only the country, but the exact house where my grandparents lived, a place where I spent nights as a kid, chased kittens through the yard, and spent every Christmas night in a warm house, filled with cousins. I couldn't wait to leave our little cul-de-sac in town for the country life.
While I was busy thinking of how I would love to have the open space and quiet nights, nowhere in my mind's eye were the pictures of what country life really would be like. While it may seem to be ideal to live on a road off the beaten path, the night that a drunken fool left his girlfriend's trashed car in our ditch, only after stealing it and dragging it from town makes for an interesting morning discovery.
I never considered what life on a gravel road would really entail. Sure our cars would be dusty, but that's what car washes are for, right? I never considered how, on a perfectly warm day in November, after a entire family bout of the stomach flu, one would want to open the windows and let the fresh air in. However, I must weigh my options: cake the house in gray/brown dust and fight the urge to write my name on every flat surface, or just re-Clorox everything?
I choose re-Cloroxing.
Never did I consider the wonders of curbs and paved streets for ease of rolling a stroller or a bike or a trike. Thank heaven I have tough girls who have learned to ride bikes, trikes and scooters on a small pad of concrete, and graduate up to navigating their modes of transportation through divets- that resemble small craters- made by tractor wheels in the gravel drive.
Nor did I consider anything but the charm of living in a new/old house. We made our 1871 farmhouse new: new walls, new carpet/tile, refurbished hardwood floors, the works. However, on days like today when so many of my Facebook friends are rejoicing the beauty of a warm fall day, I'm counting the dead fly bodies on my white woodwork in the upstairs. In one window, I counted 25. TWENTY FIVE DEAD FLIES!!! Seriously, that's in just one window. Where do these guys come from? I have a pest man who sprays something in our house that makes the little buggars become drunken sailors, and eventually keel over and die, but where do they come from? New insulation was sprayed in the walls...new walls were hung...new windows were installed...WHAT THE HECK??
Thank heaven I have a fleck in my carpet.
An impromptu visit from a friend is few and far between, living this far out, which is a good thing on a day like today. If a buddy were to show up, my housekeeping skills would not be something to behold. Instead, I would have to suck it up and pick up my dead fly bodies with my bare hands from the window sills, and consider my choice to have a short frieze carpet with a fleck a good decision. Even if the flecks seem a little more three dimensional on days like today.
There are pros and cons of living anywhere, that's for sure. However, always consider your bug options when deciding to move to the country...or choose a carpet with a dark fleck in the pattern.