Are you ready to move to the country?
on earth. In the far right corner of the grassy area notice
a peace symbol carved into the weeds. A new piece of alien art
appears every year.
It was Valentines
day 2000. It had been raining heavily for several days. Ric
& a neighbor left for work about 6:30a.m. that day... the
couple of minutes later than Ric (I think Ric knew what was
coming and left early to avoid the work!!!) Just as I was
getting my business day going the neighbor's wife called in a panic... their
garage was already flooded and the water was getting higher
I dropped what I
was doing, grabbed some tools and boots and raced to their
house... problem was whether walking or in the car I had to
cross through water that was now about 7 feet deep and racing
like only a flash flood could.
As I approached
in the car and saw the situation, I backed up the hill above the
flood and gunned it hoping the momentum would carry me across
and I wouldn't end up in their horse pasture. I got lucky and
Suzie (the wife) and I
worked furiously to redirect the water. A neighbor quickly
joined in, and Milton returned when he saw the creek downstream
and knew we'd be in trouble.
up ok, and we used it as a great excuse to be exhilarated by the
force of nature that we survived once again (flash floods occur
every couple of years here - click here
to learn how to minimize their impact).
country life -- in
all it's glory!
There's no question about it,
living in the country isn't for everybody. You'll have lots of hard work to do
to maintain a country place, and you'll have fewer options of finding
The roads won't be as good. The
commute will be farther, and your current city friends will think you're
so far away they won't come to visit much any more.
You'll have to shop in bulk, be
prepared for more down time of phones and electricity, and, if you want
to continue your city activities, it'll cost you more in gas.
city friends may find it too far for a visit, but you will get
other "drop ins" from time to time.
But, most of us who live here
wouldn't trade it for anything. This book is being written by four
professionals. We're neighbors and friends. We share in heavy work at
each other's places. Help each other out when there is a problem or
medical emergency, and share food from our gardens. Let me introduce
this motley crew....
fine artist, rich media guru
(that's all that animation and special effects
stuff you see on CDs and the web) by day - holey-man (that
means he's always diggin' holes to plant something new) nights and weekends
Hornor, author of a
best-selling marketing book, and lecturer to business organizations
across the US by day -- killer (just the poison oak folks) nights and
weekends. I'm also the primary writer of this book, so any
misinterpretations of wildlife data or other topics in which I'm not an
expert, are solely my responsibility. Please let me know, however so
they can be corrected.
Since you are here as strangers, you should
rather confine yourselves to the customs of our country than
impose yours upon us.
Believe it or not, what we're
most proud of is not our education, awards or career achievements, we're
most proud of the fact that we can truly live in an almost untampered
environment... in conjunction with nature's laws, enjoying anything and
everything it throws our way. We respect nature's balance and hope
others around us will do the same.
What do I mean? Well, we've had people move into the area and want to
get everyone together to exterminate the rattlesnakes. Sorry
Charlie... they have their place in the balance of things and if we
tamper with their existence, we're also tampering with ours! Besides, if
you do go to the trouble of trying to chase off rattlesnakes, they'll
come right back. Cats pretty well
solve the problem over the long term.
- named so after being struck by lightening in a 1990 storm. I'm
proud to say that many of the pictures in this book are taken on
our property or in our neighborhood.
Other newcomers have been seen taking their kids out to see the mountain
lion their dog cornered. That's an excellent way to reduce the number of
tax deductions you have the following year. Frankly it's
just one of many things we've seen that let us know people who move here
don't do their homework to learn about their new environment, and how to
happily coexist within it.
So, we've created a simple, (tongue
in cheek) quiz to help you understand whether you're ready. Although
this is intended to be more fun than real value, the points we're making
may be enlightening to you.
Can you pee on a tree (under
for you ladies)? If no, maybe you don't want to be here.
Do you want everything just
like the city, but with more room around your house? If yes, we
recommend you stay in the city.
Do you want to drive like
you're on a freeway? If so, then buy a house on the freeway. Country
roads are small, and usually low speed. Neighborhood roads are often
dirt and have a 10 MPH speed limit.
Are you afraid of wild
animals, snakes, and
bugs? Better get over it or not come to the
country... you're in their territory and need to learn to live with
a "what's it?" It was on our property, but we don't
have a clue what it is. If anyone knows what kind of moth this
is, please drop us a note..
If you decide you can live with
these basics, then the rest of this online book will help you learn how.
It incorporates about 45 years worth of experience in taking care of the
many new aspects of life you've never experienced before in the city. So
keep reading. You may find other qualifiers within the text that will
help you make your decision.
Country Values (and we ain’t talkin’
Most of the people who come to the country and stay
here share similar values.
|Values We Enjoy
We enjoy the quiet. Loud dogs, kids, and radios
spoil the peace most of us came here for.
Our property is our property. It's been assumed by
some that because we're in the country everything is there for
everybody. Case in point. We went to our pond one Sunday to find the
neighbors and about a dozen of their friends on floats having a party.
Had they asked for permission, we would have said it's OK. Many
neighbors like to have gatherings there, but they ask ahead of
Needless to say, we were outraged. We didn't even know
these people. Never met them, didn't know their names, nothing. Their
comment, "well this is the country you know".
There is a minor little thing like liability. And
because we own the property if anyone drowns, is hurt,
etc., we're liable. When we told them that they said... no problem, we'll sign off on
the liability. But, legally, we're responsible anyhow.
The bottom line... respect others' property. Ride your
horses across... only with permission. Let your kids go to someone's pond
to fish... with permission (and adult supervision).
Respect nature... don't start killing wildlife,
even if it does scare you. If you're going to live in the country it's
your responsibility to learn about the wildlife so you know what
precautions YOU must take for you and your family to remain safe in your environment.
Don't trash your property, dump non-organic
material, toxins, or other pollutants. So many people come to the
country and think they can throw anything anywhere. Just remember what
you throw out pollutes the ground water that you're drinking
Don't let your
pets go wild. Many people think that
because there's so much room they can simply let their animals run. The
fact is that more domestic livestock, cats and other pets are killed by
domestic dogs that have returned to their wild instincts (packing)
because of lack of training or supervision. These dogs also tend to
attack people and pets (now there's a nice liability suit for you) so
it's in everyone's best interest to train pets and teach them
their territory so they stay home.
country etiquette is
part and parcel with living here, and probably is part of
why you'd like to be here yourself if you aren't already.
The old cliché "when in Rome..." is very
appropriate. If you admire, but are unwilling to live
this culture, then you will probably be unhappy here.
Ok, now you've got some of the basics. Click on the links for more
details, or use the menu on your left to find the subjects
you're most interested in.
All photos on this site are copyrighted.
Many are available to purchase, however, at www.19thCentury.us