Friday, July 26, 2013

Dollars & Sense




I've been thinking a lot lately about how fortunate I am to live where I do and have the things I have even though all I have requires a great deal of hard work and sometimes real penny pinching. A lot of my friends tell me they wish they could live in the country away from the stress of city life and they envy how much money we must save living the country life style. I'm here to tell you a cold, hard truth - it is not cheaper to live in the country! Sure, if you are a true back to nature, live off the grid, live off the land type that you see on the Discovery Channel I'm sure it is cheaper. But I like running water, electricity and heat. Oh yes, I like heat and electricity. God bless Thomas Alva Edison.

When we moved to Dogwood Lane 16 years ago we both knew that we would still have to work at full time jobs for a good long time in order to make our rural dream come true. Being able to finally retire has been such a blessing and has made it possible to tackle projects we've had on hold for many years. 

We chose to buy a place that needed a lot of work because it was less expensive and to keep the cost down we do all the labor ourselves and the labor is hard, sometimes backbreaking. It can take years to finish a project because we just don't have the money or the time after working at our paying jobs all day. The modern things I'm not willing to do without like Internet service, heating and electricity cost more because they have further to go and service fewer people (supply & demand), groceries are more expensive for the same reason and because I have to drive further to get them (fuel isn't cheap).

Please don't misunderstand me, I truly love my life. Both Chris and I love a challenge and we both enjoy the satisfaction of completing a difficult job. But I am not romantic about this life we've chosen and I wouldn't want to lead anyone astray by painting too rosy a picture. If your considering a move to the country remember to factor in some of these facts: housing, heating, water (very important), who will do the work of maintaining the land, transportation, can I afford to keep animals including fencing and housing them and accessibility during inclement weather and how close is health care as you age?

Always dream but dream with your eyes open!




Until next time,


8 comments:

  1. Thanks Patricia for this wonderful, thought provoking post. I too, live in the country, but love, love, love heat, electricity, running water, and internet service. After several years of freezing and working hard to feed a wood stove over the winter, I can truly appreciate an electric heat pump. We are fortunate, and I love my old fixer upper farmhouse and country life. Have a super day!

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    1. We mainly heat with wood and I hear the whine of the chain saw right this minute as my husband works to cut those logs for the coming cold season. It's the life we love but no walk in the park!

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  2. GREAT advice. Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks Jeanna I hoped to have a dialog about this life style and will be posting further. My life isn't even that difficult compared to those who truly life off the land!

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  3. So true---and great advice. We have lived in the country for over 45 yrs. We heat our home with wood. Have a well, and a generator for when the power goes down, which is often in the winter. We used to live far from town, but now "town" is coming closer to us as the years go by. We don't garden anymore for just the two of us, but we used to. We now buy our produce at the many Farmers Markets and road side produce stands. Living in the country is great if you don't weaken. As we get older we find ourselves hiring out the heavy work like weed eating, pruning the tree cutting. Bill still runs the wood splitter, but it's getting more difficult for him. We are looking into propane or electric fireplace inserts for the family room.

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    1. I love that Great if you don't weaken line. We wonder as we get older how much longer we can live here so far away from so much and how we will maintain the land. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We have a propane fireplace in the main room for chilly nights when we just want to heat that room and it works great but I don't think it's a good option for the whole house.

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  4. Mind opening! Thanks for the advice! But I still envy of your green environment and fresh air...I can't buy them anywhere here in the city!

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    1. Oh, I love that fresh air too!! Hate it when I have to spend too much time in the BIG city. I'm spoiled now for sure.

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Thanks for your comments. I love hearing what you have to say.