Tips for Moving to the Country, by The Novice

Civil unrest has rocked many American cities. Looting, arson, assault and murder are common. As a result, a growing flood of refugees is fleeing the cities and their surrounding suburbs in order to seek safety in more rural settings. For those of you who may be voting with your feet in this way, I have gathered some tips regarding moving to the country. These tips deal primarily with unfamiliar things you may experience in a rural setting, and how to best respond to them.

SurvivalBlog readers with experience living in the country are encouraged to supplement my list in the comments section with tips of their own.

Situation 1: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, the neighbors are shooting guns out behind their barn!”

Bad Responses:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Reply, “How terrible. Let’s try to get a local nuisance ordinance passed to prevent such behavior in the future.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “What a great idea! We should invite them over for dinner, and ask if they would let us sight in our new gun on their range?”

Best Responses:

    1. Reply, “What a great idea! We should invite them over for dinner, and ask if they would help us set up a range behind our barn?”
    2. Reply, “What a great idea! I wonder if they would prefer a box of 9 mm or 45 ACP with the plate of chocolate chip cookies that we are giving them for Christmas?”

Situation 2: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, the neighbors are spreading chicken manure on their garden!”

Bad Responses:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Reply, “How terrible. Let’s try to get a local nuisance ordinance passed to prevent such behavior in the future.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “What a great idea! We should invite them over for dinner, and ask where we can get some chicken manure for our garden?”

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “What a great idea! I wonder if we should raise chickens?”

Situation 3: Your spouse exclaims, “Look at this propane bill. It is outrageously expensive!”

Bad Responses:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Reply, “How terrible. Let’s try to get a local ordinance passed to regulate the price of propane.”
  3. Call the propane company on the phone and cuss out the receptionist.

Good response:

  1. Reply, “Wow, that is expensive. Let’s look into getting an alternate heat source like a wood stove or outside wood boiler.”

 

Situation 4: Your spouse exclaims, “Listen, the neighbors are running a chainsaw.”

Bad Responses:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Reply, “How terrible. Let’s try to get a local nuisance ordinance passed to prevent such behavior in the future.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “I wonder what kind of saw he has. I think I will go over and ask.”

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “That is great! We should invite them to dinner and see if they have any tips for us as we start cutting our own firewood.”

Situation 5: Your spouse exclaims, “The store is sure a long way away. We use a lot of time and gas going to buy things.”

Bad Response:

  1. Complain to the neighbors about what a backward, deprived hole in the wall their community is.

Good Response:

  1. Plan ahead so that you need to make fewer trips to the store.

Best Responses:

  1. When you go to the store, see if the neighbors would like to ride along or have you pick up anything for them.
  2. Plan ahead so that you have several months’ worth of supplies on the shelf at home at any given time. Rotate your supplies, so that you are using the oldest supplies first.

 

Situation 6: A candidate for Local, State, or Federal political office runs on a platform of “Common Sense Gun Control.”

Bad Response:

  1. Exclaim to your spouse, “It is good to hear someone sane around here. Let’s vote for the type of policies we had back where we came from.”

Good Response:

  1. Exclaim to your spouse, “Let’s not vote for that guy. That was one of the things that led to the decline of the area where we used to live. We moved away from there to get away from things like that.”

Best Response:

  1. Actively support the campaign of candidates who support the Second Amendment.

 

Situation 7: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, the neighbors are going to church.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “What a bunch of rubes! I sure am glad that we are more enlightened than they are.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “Naturalistic explanations are certainly not sufficient to encompass all of reality. I wonder what they know that we don’t.”

Best Response:

  1. Begin studying the Bible to look for better explanations.
  2. Recognize that you are a sinner who has offended a holy God.
  3. Receive God’s gift of eternal salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
  4. Join a good, Bible believing church and attend regularly.

 

Situation 8: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, the neighbors are butchering a cow.”

Bad Responses:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Reply, “How terrible. Let’s try to get a local nuisance ordinance passed to prevent such behavior in the future.”
  3. Reply, “How cruel. Why do they have to kill something, instead of just buying their meat at the grocery store like kind and civilized people do?”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “That reminds me. We should order a quarter cow from the butcher.”

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “Cool. I wonder if they would let me help the next time they butcher a cow so that I can start learning how to butcher too?”

 

Situation 9: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, our neighbors have a deer hanging from the tree in their front yard.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “Call 911. This may be a hate crime.”
  2. Reply, “How disgusting. Our neighbors are Bambi killers.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “Maybe I should learn more about hunting.”

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “Let’s invite the neighbors over for dinner, and see if they can give us any advice about how to begin hunting.”

 

Situation 10: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, the neighbor’s boy has a knife on his belt.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Reply, “Call child protective services.”
  3. Reply, “How terrible. Let’s try to get a local ordinance passed to prevent such behavior in the future.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “Good for him. Knives are handy tools. I should probably start carrying a knife too.”

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “We should invite the neighbors over for dinner and see if they have any advice about knife sharpening.”

 

Situation 11: Your spouse exclaims, “The water from our well tastes like minerals.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “Call 911. Someone is trying to poison us.”
  2. Complain to the neighbors about how bad the water is in this backward hole in the wall.

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “Wow, that is wonderful. Minerals at no extra charge.” (Depending on the temperament of your spouse, this may not be a good response).

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “Maybe we should start using a Berkey water filter to treat our drinking water.”

 

Situation 12: Your spouse exclaims, “Look, the neighbors are canning vegetables from their garden.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “Call 911. I doubt they have a license for that.”
  2. Reply, “What rubes. Don’t they know that canned goods should come from a factory.”

Good Response:

  1. Reply, “What a great idea. Maybe we should read a book about canning.”

Best Response:

  1. Reply, “What a great idea. We should invite the neighbors over for dinner and see if they have any advice about canning.”

 

Situation 13: Your spouse exclaims, “The electricity just went out.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Call the electric company and cuss out the receptionist.

Good Response:

  1. Procure flashlights, battery powered radios, and other equipment and supplies in order to be ready for occasional short term power outages.

Better Response:

  1. Procure a generator, fuel, and appropriate wiring in order to be ready for occasional power outages lasting several days.

Best Response:

  1. Procure an alternate energy solution like wind or solar power in order to be ready for a long term power outage.

 

Situation 14: Your spouse exclaims, “I just cut my thumb badly while chopping up some carrots for dinner, and urgent care is an hour away.”

Bad Response:

  1. Reply, “Call 911.”
  2. Call urgent care and cuss out the receptionist for being an hour away.

Good Response:

  1. Grab a clean dish towel, apply direct pressure to the cut, and drive an hour to urgent care.
  2. Put together an extensive first aid kit to help respond to future emergencies.

Best Response:

  1. Take a first aid class to help prepare to respond to future emergencies.
Conclusion

As you move into a new environment, the people around you may be an excellent source of information about how to live most effectively in that new environment. If you are friendly, humble, and teachable, they may be willing to share their knowledge, skills, and values with you.

Above all else, do not try to impose the values from the place that you left behind on your new community. Those values helped to make the place that you left behind the kind of place to leave behind. So leave it behind.




54 Comments

  1. Thank you to “The Novice”. Your tips for moving to the country were insightful, true, and funny. Your “Situation 9 & 10” had me laughing out loud, as I have heard that before. And yes the new folks always tell you how much better it was…back in (wherever they came from). The only time I have ever heard a really helpful back in so and so story was flying with Vietnam Vet pilots. Our unit still had Hueys, the Blackhawks were coming (Guard unit). We had a handful of Vietnam era pilots getting enough time to get retirement points. Anyway, I used to sit up straight in the seat, and noticed the Vietnam era pilots always were slumped over. So I asked my crusty ole CW4 PIC why he was all slumped over and lazy looking. He retorted I was going to ask you why you sit up so straight like a banty rooster. What? I thought. Then there it came…..BACK IN NAM! He said they tried to conform as best they could to the seats, since the seats that had the armor panels afforded some ballistic protection. Wow! Being a guy just out of flight school I thought , nobody told us that. Also got to experience full touchdown auto rotation (for real, not training) and one of “The Masters from Nam” slid it right in. And he didn’t even bat an eye. In conclusion, if your new neighbor says, back in Nam, in Iraq, in Stan…etc. they may actually have some insightful advice. You are never to old to learn.
    While working as a military contractor in Afghanistan years later, I was on the job, and heard one of my coworkers say, NEVER CHALLENGE WORSE. That has been most helpful. Rotor in the green, KB

    1. Hey Huey Driver,

      I started out in a Guard Huey unit (SMP Cadet) a long, long time ago. Learned a lot from those crusty old Warrants and NCOs that they didn’t teach in ROTC-Land. Then years later, I realized I was now the crusty old guy, having to teach a new generation things they don’t teach in ROTC-Land (especially like how to keep functioning when your electronics go down). Funny how that happens, ain’t it?

  2. How about… Your spouse exclaims, “I keep hearing tapping and creaking from the attic, and this bedroom door opened on its own twice yesterday. Surely this place is haunted!”

    Bad Response:

    Reply, “Call 911.”

    Call the realtor’s office and cuss out the receptionist for the ghosts not being included in the property disclosures.

    Good Response:

    Reply, “Get the popcorn! Let’s have a Ghostbusters marathon.”

    Better Response:

    1. Fix the bedroom door latch, or preferably replace it with something cat-proof! Trim the tree branch by the attic window.
    2. Invite those neighbors over for dinner and see if you can learn about any of the local legends, folklore, etc. Toast marshmallows for dessert, to show the Stay-Puft Man what you’re capable of!

  3. Good writing! Met a new neighbor for the first time, his comments were “can I fill in that low spot near your driveway, water accumulates there?” I said no, I got some pleasure watching the tadpoles there.

    Second thing he said “These gravel roads here sure dirty my car, I hope we can get them asphalted.”

    1. RandomMike,

      You are not alone. Our old “homestead” was accessed by a private dirt road. For decades we “neighbors” (actually just my son and I) filled the potholes on the quarter mile road with purchased fill material, wheelbarrows and a little sweat. It was good exercise.

      When two lawyers purchased a property within, they soon rallied (coerced?) everyone to chip in for paving. Seemed like a good idea to everyone but me. Five years later they demanded that the pavement be resurfaced to eliminate the “wows”. The cost was considerable for some (that would be me) and it was time to sell.

      The moral of this story is that if I had to do things over I would have told everyone to get snapped and become the neighbor from hell. Well, as Leo Durocher said, nice guys finish last.

  4. Country Rule #1: Never complain about anything or anybody the first 5 years when you move to the country.

    Best response to “how yall likin’ it out here? “We love it here; everyone has been so kind and helpful to our family.”

    Everyone one is related to 5 or 6 families in the surrounding counties. These families came here in the 1700-1800s and the kids married the neighbors kids, etc,. Country folks take their family ties very seriously, even down to the 4th or 5th cousin level. For sure there is a relative who is a mayor, business owner, county clerk or other county employee, maintenance chief, electrical lineman, church pastor/minister/elder/teacher, banker, school teacher, and so on.

  5. One of the best articles I’ve read on here for a long time. We should all make a copy of it and hand it to our new neighbors……..but most that leave the city to come to the country want to bring their old way of thinking with them and try to make their new neighborhood into what it was where they left. It’s hard for them to lose their “liberal” or “city” way of thinking. I wish they’d just stay where they are and suffer the consequences of the “utopia” that they have made.

  6. I guess some people aren’t meant to move to the country. We see it ,want gravel roads asphalt. Want HOA. CALL the police on a person while grading a private road.
    Complaining about fence around entire 20 acre homestead.

    1. That happened to us. The neighbors even blocked our emergency egress with boulders. They we’re there first and own everyone. We’re moving out. Had it with country neighbors that believe everyone conform to their way or else harassment ensues.

  7. I had some new neighbors who came from Kalifornia; they were very much like your 1st example. A few years later, they moved away and sold to a young family from TX. What an amazing difference!! We trade work, tools, animals, etc. Their son now carries a knife on his belt & mom has a large folding lock blade clipped to the pocket of her jeans. They are becoming like like extended family. Attitude and mindset are crucial!

  8. Super funny. Thanks. Any observations on whether these folks will remain in these rural areas? Friends moved to our intended retirement location and locals said you’ll be gone in 3 years. Even though they had spent a significant amount of time in the area as they grew up, the locals didn’t think they’d last. It’s 3 years this winter and they will remain, but I can see others not experienced with rural life would tire of it quickly.

  9. Thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! Being fifty miles from the nearest stop light, I must admit, people who make it this far out in the woods usually know what they’re getting into, but a handful of them,…

    Most of the people I’ve met moving to the Redoubt (whether they understand the term or not) are refugees of these other states and cities. Reminding them of that and that their new home has an intentionally embraced culture goes a long way. Help them to remember why they came here in the first place. When you help them assimilate it keeps them from wanting to “convert” the generations-deep locals and turn your town into what they just fled.

  10. One month after moving to the country after 5 years of trying to convince my wife that it was the best decision we could possibly make she commented to me that I might as well dig a large hole somewhere in our back woods because she loved it here so much that she never would leave. God willing she still has a long way to go before she uses it but in the mean time we use it for the ashes of all our four legged friends that have moved on. I even made a memorial plaque with all their names on it.

  11. When in Rural (Rome) do as the Rurals Do. Observe, be quite and listen and look to be helpful.

    We would figure out what kind of person you are. If you were a poor fit the word would go out that you were to be encouraged to relocate someplace else.

    Every community has it’s own flavor.

  12. Call the electric company if your lights go out, nope. No cell coverage here and the house phone doesn’t work without electricity. You’re not in Kansas anymore Toto so adapt and survive or get out and take your asphalt with you. Lol. : ).

  13. I am waiting a few years for the people that bought in rural areas to get sick of it and sell it for pennies on the dollar just to get out of there. There will be deals to be had, just wait.

  14. Great article and I can relate to so many of them with my wife and her family.

    This Ga. boy married a Yankee girl (Boston) whose idea of country was any place where the houses were more than 15 ft apart. Over the years with stops in Ct, Oh, Ma, and finally settling in NC she somewhat acclimated to being 40-45 minute drives from a Walmart, Lowe’s, Sam’s etc. Her first experience with a black snake on the back deck was hilarious and then my dog killing a rabbit and bringing it to her as a gift almost drove her over the edge.

    We lived in the same small 6 house cul-de-sac for 18 yrs and until the day we moved further out we were known as the “new people”. But one thing she learned quickly was not to offer opinions or comments on how great it was in the places we left behind. We are now 8 miles from the nearest grocery store, shopping etc and at some point I would like to make it 18 miles. It did take sometime for her adjustment to hearing gun fire from some of the distant neighbors where we are now.

  15. We are seeing a number of pilgrims moving to this area. For the most part, they are very conservative. But… there are a few idiots who drag their garbage along with them. I make it a practice NOT to be welcoming and friendly. I introduce myself and ask them why they moved here and advise them what sort of behavior folks around here will tolerate. It hasn’t been necessary yet… but I will have no problem adopting the “bad neighbor” policy, making them as unwelcome and uncomfortable as possible. I don’t want my bit of paradise defecated in by some half witted leftist.

  16. Hmm, this reminds me of a couple things that happened yrs ago, both were the same thing but miles apart. We moved here 20 yrs ago and yes we knew there was a gun club across and down the road from us, no problem. Then I / we heard that there was lawsuit against the gun club for excessive noises ( shot guns trap and skeet shooting ).And the complaining people were a mile away and then only when the wind was blowing in their direction. when the judge asked the people if they knew the gun club was there,they answered yes, and the judge asked them ” and you still move built your house and moved there ?” and their answer was ” yes “. the judge then said ” case dismissed “

    1. That’s like the prior occupant of my house. He didn’t like the gun range just down the road. The range was there since 1938, and the house was built in 1964. They moved here in 1976 or some such. They knew it was there. Why did they buy the house if they didn’t like the gun range? I’ll never understand some people. I love having it there, minus shooting money down range in this day and age.

  17. Oh my goodness! What a great chuckle this morning! It’s so true!! First story: When I offered fresh chicken eggs to a sister her response was “Those come out of a chicken’s butt!! I’m not going to eat that!!! I’ll get mine from the grocery store!” I kid you not!

    Second story: We had an unplanned power outage last night – the whole valley was dark. Two of my neighbors and I texted back and forth “do you need anything?” I have a wood burning stove with cooktop for warmth and heating up canned food, battery operated emergency lights, high powered flashlights, candles, extra blankets, etc. My neighbor sent me a pic of her propane BBQ and offered to bring me soup. The other neighbor responded with “Remember, it’s all fun!”

    Third story: I have a direct neighbor who owns every power tool/vehicle known to man. I have been often annoyed when the noise just goes on and on and on, until… he drove over and plowed my driveway. So, shut my mouth!! I sent jam home as a thank you.

    Fourth story: Costco, Walmart, etc are 2.5-3 hours away by car and sometimes the roads are closed due to avalanches in the winter or rock slides in the spring/summer. We stock up all summer and don’t worry about it.

    I love this life!! You run into a few folks that try to fix others. I just avoid them and they are in the minority. Thanks for the great article.

    1. Wow I learn something new here every day! Please thank your sister for educating me that the eggs from the grocery store come from somewhere OTHER than a “chicken’s butt.” 😉

  18. Yes, a smile is always welcome in times of stress. It’s the little things in life that are really important, looking back and smiling at all those little nonsensical things in life makes you appreciate how everyone that touches your life has their place.

    Many years ago, when the suburbs where still farmland and there where pretty white fences around all the fields a city lady asked her county friend why the put white fences around the field. The very pragmatic country gal didn’t try to explain the reality, she just said, “It keeps the horses happy.”

    I think sometime we on SB think that the ‘gray man’ idea only applies to the city, the reverse is also true.

  19. I have learned through the years, that the average person moving from the cities/urban areas to the rural/country are ill prepared for the transition. Greater numbers of them over the past 20 years are seemingly ill prepared to learn the lessons needed, stuck in their previous life mentality and ideology.

  20. That was entertaining. Thankfully, we hadn’t had very many people move to our neck of the woods. The fancy city slickers seem to think that our state is too stupid to warrant their presence. Basically, the advice in this article boils down to this: If something seems to be super barbaric, don’t judge, instead ask why and try to learn something.

  21. Reminds me of a time many moons ago. My father and I had a friend a couple towns over that owned a farm. All the farmers had gotten together to form a hunting co-op allowing access to many thousands of acres. Farm owners were allowed a certain number of permits to share. One year, one of the farmers brought up some New York city family to go hunting. Long story slightly shorter, one of the city folk shot another farmers cow. Cost him thousands of dollars and they were never invited back.

  22. White Knuckle disease.

    All city people have it. Country people, if they are suitable for you to know them, do not have it.

    Do a self diagnostic. When you meet an oncoming vehicle do your fingers automatically lift off the steering wheel to greet drivers in oncoming cars? If they do lift off the wheel, you can fit into the country.

    Smiling when you do do the finger lift will help build rapport.

    Be advised that grimacing when you do it will give you a different reputation normally accorded to old unshaven bachelors, who eat while leaning over the kitchen sink and wash their long underwear just twice per year. BTDT.

    If your fingers tighten on the steering wheel when you pass oncoming vehicles, especially pickup trucks, you are mentally and environmentally suited to the city. Do not leave it. Stay there.

    If you have White Knuckle Disease and find yourself living in the country, work very hard to break the disease or else immediately list your property for sale. Just do it. You belong with your own people. You deserve it. Enjoy.

    Please share this message as widely as possible.

    We can’t cure this disease for you. It is up to you to fight this plague on our rural life.

    God Bless

  23. An absolutely hilarious and perfectly true article.

    This is true: The closest metropolitan area to us allows people to have up to 5 hens if they own an acre. Roosters are forbidden because they make noise in the morning. The city’s biology curriculum needs a serious make-over.

    Also true: The same metropolitan area has a large Kurdish community. They’re accustomed to killing the goat for supper in the back yard. When one family did this, a nosey neighbor called the police, wanting them all arrested. The poor family, who are trying to be good Americans, were greatly distressed because they didn’t intend to break any laws. Americans, of course, only eat hamburgers from franchises where the cows committed suicide.

  24. on my second weekend to my BOL in the northern NH, I met my neighbor in my driveway. He too just moved in and started to give me the “we like to hunt, we like freedom”, and so forth speech to make sure i wasn’t a liberal. I guess he must have not looked me over because i was wearing a german combat shirt and open carrying a glock. we hit it off well.

    1. Had a great laugh up here in northern rural Arizona a couple months ago. I work in a small rural gas station. After dark, just before closing, had 2 guys come in driving a sedan. Asked for directions to their property, which they bought unseen. I just started laughing. The majority of our roads are not maintained. That means they are not even gravel, just dirt. Rutted from snow and rain and most lack signage as well. And nothing matches gps. Without clear landmark directions and a truck you aren’t finding anything in daylight, let alone after dark. City slickers!!

  25. Get it every year that we get a new neighbor, cops get called on opening day of duck season!

    There’s a city ordinance that allows those living on the lake to hunt ducks off of their properties during October and November. (this is a perk of paying the high taxes) They did have to close it in some areas due to some problems, but I’m in the open areas.

    Oh the day they tried to close it 30 years ago! The most attended city council meeting EVER!!! And I hunted with the City Manager’s son! The hunters agreed to allow the problem areas to be closed instead of a total ban on hunting. About 10 years later some granny complained again, but the hunters swarmed the council again and kept everything as is. But, with the amount of geese problems in the last decade, the city has never even tried to ban the hunting again.

  26. When I and my wife and kids moved to our country retreat (where we are now) I was visiting with my new neighbor and he felt like he should warn me that he and his kids like to get out in the back and shoot guns, no doubt wondering if that might upset me. Instead of telling him that I too enjoy shooting and plan on doing a bunch of it myself I decided to mess with him a bit. So I replied ” Oh no, guns just kill people!” Then he looked at me and said “Yeah if you do it right.” Years later he asked me if all the shooting they were doing was bothering me. I told him that hearing guns going off was like symphony music to my ears. It’s hard to tell which one of us does the most shooting but neither one of us ever gives a gun shot a second thought. About that time while we were moving in another neighbor came down to inquire if he could cut hay on my property. I gave him permission and we had a great talk. Later I found out from another neighbor that he had described me as “a redneck kind of guy.” That was one of the nicest compliments that I had ever gotten. And yes I is a redneck.

  27. Great article and great comments!

    As a tried and true grew-up-in-NJ girl (but had the good sense to leave) I laughed out loud. And, while over the years I have developed an open and teachable spirit..May I confess that was not always the case!!

    25+years ago, shortly after we we married, my husband and I and a friend traveled around the country for the first time. I had always wanted to see the country and so we sold what little we had, quit our jobs, piled into our Geo Metro (not kidding) and headed out. What an eye opener that first trip was! We kinda thought the whole country looked like Nj/NY. Well. Did you know you could drive all day and see more cows than people? Yeah, I didn’t. Lol. It was all brand new to us. And is was fantastic. And beautiful. We saw 35 states in two months. Lived on crackers and peanut butter. Camped all over the place and met so many people. They’d see our license plate and the ridiculous way we had managed to strap a roof carrier to this tiny car and come talk to us. Most conversations were great. I still remember stopping at Kanab RV corral somewhere in Utah and talking most of a night with the owner and his family. I was a vegetarian back then (oh…don’t worry..God cured me of that many moons ago) and never had touched a gun. We just sat at that picnic table asking each other questions about what life was like. I can still hear them laughing, “you’re weird!”. It was great fun. That repeated all over the country. We were friendly and well meaning but as I look back, probably occasionally insufferable. I don’t think I even knew that until years later.

    As I say this it occurs to me that I owe an apology to an owner of a little cafe in three forks Montana. We had stopped to do laundry next door and went in for breakfast. Again, we meant no harm and thought we were just having fun, but were loud and obnoxious. Ahh to be 22 and ignorant! I didn’t even understand why the cook came out and asked us “Well, was it alright then?” In a challenging tone (I don’t recall what, but something we said in our ‘fun’ was surely offensive). I answered honestly..it was the best breakfast I’ve ever had in my life! So sorry! Who knows, if God allows, I may windup being your neighbor someday. Don’t worry, He’s had plenty of time to work on me. My foot barely even fits in my [mouth] anymore!

  28. Great article and great comments. Definitely got me thinking. When we first bought the farm, we owned about ½ mile road frontage, now we own more, anyway one of my neighbors (since moved out, and I bought his farm), wanted to pave the road. Like previously mentioned, (we have a dirt road), if you want it paved the landowners pay for it. So, I said, “I don’t know, I’ll think on it”. He said his house was close to the road (in the old days they built farm houses close to the road, because everyone rode a horse or horse/buggy/wagon and they would stop and talk as they approached your house), he was getting a lot of dust from the car/truck traffic. I went down the road and checked with the older patriarch of the clan that owned most of the farms, and asked him what he thought. He said “If you pave the road, folks with no sense will drive 55mph when they should be driving 25mph, I ain’t doin’ it”. So, I went back to my neighbor and explained the situation, it wasn’t happening. He moved shortly after that, and we bought his farm, except for the house & a few acres.

    When we first moved here about 40 years ago, the first questions were: “Who is your kin”, “What church do you go to”, “Who is your momma and Pa”. They were trying to see if we were ‘alright’. Fortunately, my wife’s sister was married to a man that is kin to most of the county, so it worked out. While I have to admit, it has loosened up since those early days, now it seems more of “are you like us?” or are you some “crazy liberal?”. I am fortunate to live in a county that just voted 85% republican, so all our local elections are safe. The talk often is “You see that nut-job on Hwy XYZ put up a Biden sign?”

    Yeah, shooting is common out here, most folks have a range of some sort on their property. Although with the ammo shortage, it has been the quietest fall, except for a week before gun deer season, as most folks were checking their deer rifles to make sure they were sighted in.

    Totally agree with Wheatley: Liked that white knuckle line, Yeah we do the 1 finger (index, not the middle finger), lift off the steering wheel, 2 fingers if it’s your neighbor and 4 fingers if it’s your wife or girlfriend. The ‘white knuckle disease’ ones are usually the meth heads from the trailers further down the road, driving 55 mph in a 25mph that will have fire someday… Mray: welcome to my clan! Home of the Rednecks!

  29. I had to laugh as I used to catch all kinds of flack when it was chicken-butchering season from the yuppies who moved in next door to us. Eventually they calmed down and started to fit in a little better.

  30. Funny thing is when we moved here 35 years ago this was country.
    Not so much anymore. (sigh)
    If Big.Gov, and Little.Gov don’t totally screw all of us over in the next few months we will probably fire up the RV in the spring and head for Idaho or nearby areas to scout out a new home.
    At least being gainfully unemployed (aka retired) we wouldn’t be on a time schedule.

  31. We were told by the realtor most people don’t stay more than 5 years before moving closer to the city. We’ve been here 10 and never would live anywhere if the neighbor was closer than 1/2 mile. We always ask our “closest” neighbors if they need anything from town and they do the same with us. Everyone’s self reliant so if someone asks for help they really need it.

  32. Good article I live near small town 5 th gen on the farm, school district took 60 ac of farm ground for new high school built new school ( more property taxes ) and now have lots of traffic near me – school had to remove my fertilizer and fuel tanks and reinstall them according to new EPA laws etc failed to do properly so I had to pay for cleanup 20 K -file law suit didnt do any good since school supt played golf with state governor suit on hold now time has run out…
    The local PD and county sheriff use a back portion of farm for range – several people rushed into school and complained that they heard machine guns firing so school called PD and said machine guns were scaring her and others – PD chief answered the call and told school etc that his officers were using the range and the shots coming from range and echoing from that no she replied others hear it too so chief went to the school and listened talked with several who heard the echoes all who heard it said sounds like the noise machine guns make from listening on TV -PD chief told them that over 10 plus officers were qualifying as required by state – he had to get back to office and was laughing to himself at some of the people complaints since we live in farm area and one can hear gun shots…. the range is over mile frome school and we live in valley so lots of echoes at times… Too much TV also others forget driving to school speed limit 25 mph and sepereated by a thin yellow line but buses and other cars have beeen caught doing 45 plus so its like hitting solid object at 90 mph and people are worried about being late for sports events after going to Wendy’s for burgers (out because of no meat processed ) and they crashed so went to hospital for few days and missed the sports event – would like to have speed bumps or go back to gravel road with pot holes … LOL

  33. Remember some adages……like good fences make for good neighbors, grew up in the country, learned the country ways, remember show and tell in a four room country grade school principal asked what we wanted to do for that…..and we replied guns, so the 7th and 8 th grade brought guns ……it was great no problems, nobody got shot(we were brought up with gun safety first)….what young ones miss today, truly feel sorry for them. Point being we knew everybody, we helped everyone one, we were disciplined at a neighbors house if we acted up, country was synonymous with the word we, I miss and cherish those days.

  34. MYOB is a good response, too. If you don’t like something a neighbor is doing, and it’s not on your property, then it’s none of your business.

    I wonder if some of these nuisance complaints are driven by real estate developers. My family had a small farm with livestock in the early 1960s. The area was just starting to get built up. A new housing development went in across the street. The people there complained about the manure smells. Funny thing is, closer neighbors who had been there a long time didn’t complain. I suspect the developer urged the city slickers to complain, maybe gave them a discount on the houses if they did.

  35. Something like 30 years ago I moved from Da City to Ruralville. Helped my neighbor push his car out of a snowdrift. Joined the local rescue (was a paramedic). I never felt like I was an outsider: either because I was oblivious, or because I tried to be a neighbor.

    Didn’t complain when the (farmer) neighbor manured his fields, either.

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