5 Unexpected Lessons of Country Living
We started building our house in rural Missouri country nearly 12 years ago. When building a house and planting roots, there’s always things you don’t think about until you’re living it. Here are some of the things I didn’t count on back then and some tid-bits that I’ve learned since.
- – Flies, in large quantities. Even when our house was finished, plenty of flies took up residence in our new home while there were no windows or doors. Flies are dirty and spread disease, so regardless of how you feel about killing bugs, they had to go. If this happens to you, make sure you always follow up your fly-swatting by wiping down the cabinets, countertops and stovetop with a good bleach wipe. We still have our fair share of flies, but never like that summer we moved to the country.
- – So. Much. Dust. We live on a gravel road. When we moved in, one of the neighbors visited, encouraging us to pay for dust control. Dust control is a liquid that, when sprayed on the road would help keep dust clouds from rolling across the landscape and toward our house. I’d never thought about needing dust control spray before moving to the country, but it does help to keep our property clean.
- – Stars, and lots of them. Our life in the country offers amazing opportunities for our boys. It has taught them to appreciate nature and learn about the animals for which we provide care. However, one of the most unanticipated benefits of living in the country is the number of stars we can see. The boys will often join me on the deck trying to identify one of many constellations that add grace and beauty to the night sky.
- – Birds of prey. A couple of days ago, Jeff came in the door with a warning: “Don’t let Dexter [our rat terrier] out by himself. There’s a hawk hanging out in one of the trees in the front yard.” Apparently, Dexter, who weighs about 11 pounds – and other animals his size – can be carried away by big birds of prey. If you move to the country, make sure you’re on the lookout for larger birds.
- – Mice. And they all want to come inside. It’s harvest time, and we are surrounded by corn and soybeans. When the combines start making their way through the fields and the weather turns cooler, it’s game on. In case you are wondering, we are a trap-and-release family.
Living in the country isn’t always what you think it will be, but it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences for our family.