Rural vs. City: The Running Score

26 02 2011

Now that I find myself in the big city of Urbana, IL I have discovered there are a lot of things I took for granted throughout my rural childhood. Like the fact that you can have a bonfire anytime, anywhere of any size… without the police showing up. Do city people roast marshmallows in their fireplaces and over stoves? I simply wouldn’t even know! But seriously.

And what about pets? Our family had every kind of pet imaginable: snakes, toads, snapping turtles, mice, pygmy hedgehogs, pigeons, button quail, doves, deer, turkeys, a peacock, snails, etc. But the one thing we never had: a pot bellied pig.

And the thing is, in the city I guess you can’t own barn animals. This I learned from an episode of Animal Cops on Animal planet… when they confiscated a woman’s baby pot bellied pig. In the end, I can see where having roosters would annoy the neighbors (I can hear our neighbor’s from half a mile away!).

And how about the whole well water deal? My brother just opened up a bottle of “Spring Water” and seriously considered dumping it out in favor or good ol’ country well water. I have considered packing a suitcase of well water to bring with me if I ever study abroad. But here I am in the big city with chlorinated water.

Now one would think cities would be preferred in winter weather with better snow removal for their larger populations. But that just isn’t so! I would take my snowed-in driveway I could easily fish-tail my way out of than this: 

Yes, that is my car embedded in snow with an ice consistency. Yes, it took longer to dig my car out of that than to pull my car out of a snow drift with my Dad’s tractor. So farms win again.

Except in ice storms. If a farm loses power your only communication with the outside world was through a land line non-cordless phone. Remember what those look like?

A traditional land line phone for the home or office.

An even bigger annoyance than not being able to pace around your house while you chat up a friend: you loose your access to water. Therefore, a rural family must anticipate such a problem and fill various pitchers, gallon jugs, and even the bathtub with water. Yes, I did say bathtub because a lot of families, including mine, function perfectly well with only one bathroom with one bathtub. Another issue with the loss of water: going to the bathroom. There is the wait and flush later method or the use your water preserve method where you manually flush the toilet with said water.

So these are just a few of my farm vs. city observations. In case you were keeping track the running score is: Rural 4, City 1.

But you don’t have to take my word for it (phrase from Reading Rainbow, a popular television show of my youth): comment if you can think of any other pros/cons for either side or have a different opinion. I’d love to hear from you!


This Blogger Visits the Hospital…

24 02 2011

Sorry for the delay in posting… I started my Wednesday morning with a trip to Memorial Hospital in Springfield, Illinois to visit my boyfriend’s father who had a severe heart attack. He had three stints put in and looks much, much better today. Thank goodness.

However, I did end up finding a copy of farm journal in the cardiac waiting room which sparked a conversation about agriculture. One gentleman was a hired hand, another talked about his experiences on the farm, my boyfriend’s sister-in-law talked about how her parent’s are considering selling a vacation home in order to buy some farm land and I of course had a lot to offer on urbanization near our home farm.

It surprised me that within this room each of us had something to say about agriculture. It was a topic of conversation like where we are from and the weather. I wonder how many generations later will be so far removed from the farm that they don’t have anything to contribute but questions, but that’s okay.

As agriculturalists we should take every opportunity to talk about agriculture (it’s not as taboo as politics, yet!). And as non-agriculturalists we should take every opportunity to ask questions.

Now, I am going to jump off my soapbox I’ve stood on for most of this week and go back into the hospital room.

And please keep this blogger and her almost-family in your thoughts and prayers!

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