Friday, 5 April 2013

Being a townie . . .

If you count the rural years of my childhood and after twelve years recently as a “once and future farmer”, I have lived in the country for almost half of my middle-aged life.  Until I moved to town three months ago following my divorce, my nearest neighbours were chickens, a goat and a horse.  I could see across the field from my sub-standard, rat infested hovel to the farmhouse where my ex-wife and my kids lived but beyond that, no other neighbours were visible from my vantage point.
Since moving to town, I am frequently asked how I like it.  The truth be known, I have enjoyed living in town.  I would explain to those with inquiring minds that I have a very nice house on a quiet suburban cul-de-sac and I’m enjoying my new life.  Originally, my plans were to move back to a farm when my youngest son moved on to a life and career of his own after graduating from high school.  Further to those thoughts, Bill and I have spoken about buying a farm together in the future. 
Recently, I even began telling people that there was now only a 50/50 chance that I’d ever go back to the country.   It’s pretty easy living in town, especially when one has no pets to look after.  I think Bill was still resolved to live on a farm in the future as my conversion of him from city to rural life had taken root.
We don’t have alleys in this part of town so we share a common backyard fence and even though their land is down-slope from me, the size of our lots brings us into close proximity with one another.  This neighbour has two little girls and a very large trampoline.  One of the neighbours beside me has two beagle hounds.  One of the beagles must’ve been unsuccessfully “debarked” as is evidenced by the whiny, whistley sound it makes when aroused from its usual afternoon slumber on their deck and occasionally at 1:00 am.
Last week, with my youngest son hanging with his buds somewhere other than at home, I settled onto the couch to spend a few quiet, relaxing moments to myself before having to make supper.  Then it began.  I literally had to look over my shoulder out the window because I thought the girls’ peals of laughter and shrieks of joy were coming from directly outside my family room.  They were actually on the trampoline in their own backyard.  This is when I also realized that their father has a booming voice that carries right through my house as he’s calling to them.  At that moment, I was 60/40 heading back to the farm.
Last weekend, another re-evaluation.  Helping our friend Martha trim her goats’ hooves I was reminded just how much I love farm animals and farm life.  I think I’m up to 80/20 for farm life in the future.  I suppose, in fairness I should probably not decide this far out about being a townie . . .


  1. Very interesting. I've spent most of life in cities and suburbs. But now for the last ten years I live in the country (but not on a farm). I love the city life, but as I get older, not so much. I hate suburban living with a passion. But I'm enjoying the country so much more than I thought I would. I look forward to your future decision!

  2. Lived on a farm, no running hot water, no indoor plumbing, heating with wood for twelve years with my first partner (he's lived there twenty-five now). Loved it. Would sooo move back.

  3. Wherever one lives, good and considerate neighbors make all the difference.

  4. I think I am the luckiest guy around. I live on a suburban cul-de-sac, but hear no neighbor noise, save an occasion car door, no screaming fathers or tittering girls on trampolines, no traffic (though on clear nights I can sometimes hear the racetrack a few miles away, but it's not annoying). So close, yet so far!
    Peace <3

  5. Mother grew up in a small town. I loved going there, and thought is ideal. I was amazed 'why she didn't stay". She explained everyone in a small town knows everyone's business. I thought growing up I could not be 'out' and safe in a small town. I suppose now (thank goodness) it would be safer.