When I was a kid, my mom had stacks of Country Living magazines all over the place. From the comforts of our suburban home, she was absolutely in love with the idea of country living. Who wouldn’t be? Spacious yards, quiet calm, porch swings under knotty pines. Sounds relaxing.
Most people who live in the country experience a crippling combination of rural poverty and the inconveniences of everyday life that urban communities long ago left behind. I’m talking, of course, about untamed wildlife. Ever walk out to your kitchen at 1am to find a possum digging though those dishes that didn’t fit in the last load of the dishwasher? I have. I’m talking about traffic. Not car traffic; train traffic. Ever been stuck by a stalled train in front of you and a stalled train behind you only to realize it’s the same train and you’re in the middle of a loop? I have. Ever get your septic tank backed up and failing the week of Thanksgiving? I have.
Country living is a disaster. If you’re able to handle the cross-town commute, tame the critters, and keep back the jungle of backyard overgrowth, you’ll probably still end up exhausted and scrambling for an exit. But that’s just the thing: you won’t have one, because you’ll probably be stuck in a house no one else is a big enough sucker to buy.
By the way, it’s Thanksgiving week and my septic tank is failing. This is the second time that’s happened in time for Thanksgiving. And I just discovered that some critter got our crawl space door open, which is how the possum got into the house a few years ago. Oh, and my wife got stranded by a train Monday night for 45 minutes before rerouting all through the country to come home a different way. She was bringing home dinner. At least it had been hot when she picked it up.
So now we’re looking at more of the costs of living in the country as we have our septic repaired. Which means I’ll have to put my education on hold again so we can afford to flush our toilets.
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