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How to Adapt to a Rural Community ... Maybe

| 9/18/2011 2:25:03 PM

Paula Ebert headshotMy situation here may be a bit different than others who start their new lives in the country. But it is still illustrative of another aspect of country life.

You see, I came here to marry a farmer. We met on line at Catholic Match. That is a story for another day. What I’m talking about today is that I came as part of an instant community. He has something like 95 first cousins, many of whom are still in this area. We live in his ancestral home, a century farm. That means that there have been Eberts in this home for more than 100 years. We go to the same Church where he was baptized.

When my son and I lived in Baltimore, I kept my Wyoming plates on the car as long as possible. I figured I had the only Wyoming plate on the eastern seaboard. Same thing when I moved to New Jersey, I kept the Maryland plate as long as possible. I didn’t mind standing out a bit.

When we moved here, I ditched the New Jersey plate within the first month. Here, I really didn’t want to stand out. Why?

Well, it’s one thing to be a little different in a huge community. It is quite another to be different in a small town. I’m always amazed that people think they can “hide out” in a small town. Really. Not a good idea. Now, this has some very positive aspects, don’t get me wrong (a popular saying around here). For example, people come down the lane to tell us that his brother’s cows are out, and there’s no one home at his brother’s place. So, we go over and get the cows back in and all is well.

When I first got here, once in a while someone would meet me and say something along the lines of “Oh, I heard about you.” I never knew what to say to that, so I never inquired exactly what they had heard. I think I assumed they wouldn’t have mentioned it if it was bad.

Nebraska Dave
9/22/2011 10:22:14 AM

Paula, I had to smile at you comment about hiding in a small town. Won't happen will it? It does take time to become a part of the social life of a small community but you definitely have an advantage by marrying into it. It takes a bit longer if city folks decide to come to green acres for their back to the land experience. Many just don't make the transition from 8 to 10 hour days to sun up to sun down and beyond days. Oh, yeah, and holidays? Don't exist on the farm do they? Life in the country is quite different than life in the city and most of it is not the glamorous life portrayed in books and magazines. Quite frankly I like my Urban Ranch life. Have a great transition to country living in the midwest.

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