Monday, September 23, 2013

Living on the Fringe

When our children were younger, we took the plunge and moved out of town and into the country.  We were blessed to have 5 acres and no real neighbors so that we could "be" however we wanted to be.  It was peaceful and beautiful.  

Once that time was past and we had to move, we again were blessed to find a home on 5 acres to rent that was not quite so far out of town, but still far enough to be considered "out there".  

We've been pondering this a lot lately, however, because we are finding that as the kids get older and are doing many more things out of the house than before (oh, things like work, college, social activities, sports), living "out there" really has its drawbacks.  When you look at both sides of the coin, it really is hard to justify living in the country at this stage of our lives, but the thought of being back in a town, or a subdivision even, is just so hard to swallow once you haven't had neighbors for 10 years and have had as much room to roam as you want.

The way I see it, there are positives and negatives to both sides.  Living in the country, you get space, and more space, and no neighbors that can hear you being a family, room to roam, and a lot of space (did I mention that already?).  So, to summarize, once you've had space, it is hard to give that up.  And I don't mean interior space, although that is hard to give up, too.  I mean the outside space, where you can laugh and sing and dance as loud or as long as you want to without anyone seeing you (not that we do that all the time, mind you).  Oh, and usually it is a bit cheaper to find housing "out there".

The downside to the country is that everything is usually so far away.  With gas prices being what they've been lately, having to drive farther to everything gets expensive.  There are also less opportunities for employment in the small towns out in the country.

Living in one of the suburbs, however, gives you so many more opportunities for employment (even though it is tough around here, there still are more jobs).  It allows you to be closer to the things you are involved in which means less time driving and less gas money.

It does, however, bring smaller yards, the necessity to remember you have neighbors when you're having dinner conversation, and higher rental prices.  

We've been pondering whether it is time to make the move back to a more populated area because of the amount of time we spend in the car and the fact that we have more people looking for gainful employment.  What a tough decision this is proving to be.  Our heart is torn as we so enjoy the peacefulness of our area.  I was hoping that putting it all down on "paper" might make it more clear, but alas, it hasn't.  I would appreciate any words of wisdom and prayers for clarity that you would be willing to share.

Thanks in advance and God Bless!


  1. We live I'm a suburb and still regularly travel up to am hour to get to activities. We are selective and not everything we like is around here... although a million other things are. I would love to be free of the restrictions of our neighborhood. But I suppose the grass is always greener...! I pray that your discernment goes well!

  2. I will pray for you Laura. We are in the city and it is very convenient, especially for my older children...but I do not like being surrounded by so many people and having a tiny little yard. I dream of the day of being on 5 acres!!

    When we moved 6 years ago, we decided to stay in the city but move right on the border to a very nice area. It was a good older children were able to finish and graduate the Catholic school where they were two sons and myself work right across the street at the hospital...there are a ton of colleges to choose from...there is so much within reach to do and we are fortunate to have so many parks nearby.

    I guess you really have to balance the pros and cons...make a list...and pray for discernment as objectively as you can. It's not an easy one.


  3. Laura,
    For the past 18 years, we've lived "waaay out there" on 70 acres, 50 miles from town. That means my dear husband commutes 100 miles a day!! (His drive time, however, since we are so 'out there,' is 50 minutes also because there is no city driving - no traffic to speak of, really.) The nearest convenience store is 25 miles away. So, believe me, I know about high gas prices, teens trying to get a job, spending hours on the road, etc.

    However, we are not willing to trade off the inconveniences.

    We are in the beautiful stage of enjoying young grandchildren and still-growing children. (Our oldest child is 29 and the youngest is 6.) The married kids come 'home' with spouses and children, and show them, "This was my first tree fort. Don't jump out of it, you'll break your foot. Ask me how I know," and "Look Honey, this is the field I spent two whole summers with my horse," etc. They still come out here to deer hunt, to hike, to fish in the river.....
    and I want all this room for my grandchildren, whom all live in/very near the city, so that they have limitless freedom to run, pick daisies, sing to the dogs or kittens, help with farm chores, pack a picnic lunch 'just because' and enjoy it wherever they want.

    Every once in a while I wonder what it'd be like to live in town again... but then I always realize, "Nah. This is the life for us! No neighbors to deal with (cuz there was always some drama with neighbors...) and the kids have tons of room to just be kids. Singing with each other, yelling at each other, whatever.

    I just wanted to briefly remind you why you live out of town.... and I pray for your discernment. God bless your family.

  4. Oh my goodness, thank you all so much. Just these few comments have reminded me why we made the decision we did 10 years ago. Well, that and the fact that dh called me this morning and said, "We are not moving back into the suburbs!" and then proceeded to tell me about a news story he heard where two 7th grade boys got expelled from school because they were playing in their BACKYARD AFTER SCHOOL HOURS!!! with airsoft guns. Apparently it made the neighbor nervous so she called 911 and now the boys are getting expelled. HELLLLOOO! I tried not to bring neighbors into it, but, like Lori said, there is always drama involved. Thanks again.