some of them are a bit…well, GROSS
Note: I chose this picture because a cow exactly this one was recently found roaming the streets in my community. A farmer took it in but had to keep it secluded from his other cows because it was “creating a ruckus.” No one ever claimed the missing cow.
Living in the country is a blessing. I cherish the country air, the country sounds, and mostly the country atmosphere.
But there are a few drawbacks that will make you cringe.
Here are my top weird and gross, or maybe scary things that you may not idolize about country living.
Trash is, well, gross. When you live in the country there aren’t these smiling folks on a trash truck coming around to take away your bags of garbage, neatly tucked inside a trash bin at the curb.
Nope. You have to haul that mess yourself. Think — trash, ooey slimy sludge in the bags — IN your car. Or, get a truck for this. Those guys leave litter trails all the way to the dump. Which, by the way charges you per bag to take your trash. In our town the recycling is free you just have to dump it out into the recycling receptacle, which is this large metal container like an open dumpster.
The trash you put in the trash bin and pay the trash guy who sits in this little cubicle.
My boyfriend drives a small SUV and I drive a Beetle — so you can guess whose car gets trash duty. On the day after a “trash haul” I hate having to borrow his car. Peeee — yeeeewwww!! (We keep a tarp in the back on which to set such trash — he is not so good at taking the tarp out of the back of the car afterwards. Thanks, babe.
So — where to put the trash until it is hauled off. How to store it. Carry it. Dispose of it. ONE silver lining though here — I LOVE burning things. I have a special place for “burnables” and I am in charge of the burn barrel WIN!
Yes, country living can be noisy. Country roads are often cut-through roads or they are mid-sections of larger highways — and the transfer trucks cut through on the road next to us to get to some manufacturing facilities nearby. Loud.
Country boys and girls like loud vehicles. Those big roaring trucks are the worst.
Get used to gunfire, especially on the weekends. Nothing unusual. People like keeping their target-shooting up to par. Holidays? Get ready for gunfire and a spectacle of fireworks. This past 4th of July we stood out in the yard and watched the neighbor damn-near set the yard on fire with a rogue aerial firework. I’m not sure who moved faster — the rocket or people running from the rocket.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet — you’ll have it mostly out here, but when we make noise, we do it big, rumbly, and BOOMING.
Get ready to driiivvveeee, because the nearest anything is too far to walk. Our grocery store is nearly 10 miles away, along with most everything else. The little town nearest me is a mile away — 3 stoplights, a bank, a gas station, post office, and the tiniest little library you ever did see.
Worry about getting stuck behind a school bus? Try getting stuck behind a tractor, or a gigantic combine in corn-harvest season. Or a guy on a scooter, in the rain, carrying tires on each arm. (True story.)
Yep, it happens. You’ll put country mileage on your vehicle and you might want to have AAA.
Speaking of driving — am I totally weird in saying that the smell of a skunk carcass doesn’t offend me? It is almost pleasant, in a very strange way.
But I will never get used to the cow manure fertilizer smell that hangs on the air like a gross, invisible funk-fog. Thank goodness that’s usually a few times a year and not all the time. But if you live near either a paper factory or a chicken farm, forget it. I can’t even tolerate those smells driving by!
There are some funky smells that occasionally ruin our fresh air. One not-so-stinky smell that you’ll get a lot out here in the country is the wafting smell of burning leaves. In general, country folk like burning things.
😉 #countrygirl #pyro
(Speaking of smells — did y’all read this? Good Lord — what is that smell?)
If you live in the country — you are in their territory.
Cockroaches, spiders, wasps, worms and slugs, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, and a whole lot of other things — they make noise, they come through your yard (or your walls depending on the size of the critter), they have babies under your house, or decide your trash is their favorite hang out spot — and you will have to deal with them.
This is not a place for the critter-squeamish.
I’ll be honest, wildlife is part of the reason we love living here — but not when it moves under your home and dies between the insulation and the shell of the bathtub. Yuk. (True story.)
Not when a snake falls from the front door as you open it and lands on the dog. (True story.)
Not when a bear rips all your bird-feeder poles right out of the ground and peels open the bird-feeders like peeling bananas. (Get pepper suet — they don’t like the pepper taste!)
My least favorite — the roaches. Prepare for war. One you can win, but have to continue to win over and over and over. They will inherit this Earth. No doubt.
My very favorite country critter was when we were living in this sprawly wild space in central Florida. The armadillos. They really do bury their heads in the sand and pretend to be invisible… like, little dude, I can STILL SEE YOU.
Stay tuned for more tales of country livin’…
Christina Ward 🌼 is a poet and nature writer from North Carolina. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science, and a writing minor from Catawba College.