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The Joys and Concerns of Living in a Rural Area


This weekend is a prime example of why I usually try to make do with what I have. I did more running this weekend than I ever like to do, just to find three rolls of the kind of fencing I wanted. I was not a happy camper, but I have accepted this part of life.

Living in a rural area has its joys. I love the quiet, the openness, the lack of city regulations, the lack of noisy neighbors who can see every thing you do, and the space to do what I want to do. 

Living in a rural area also has its concerns. You have to drive to get what you need, often needing to go farther to get it, and you have to plan everything out to make sure you don't make a wasted trip. This last weekend was one of those weekends. 

Let me get started at the beginning. 

I have to get a fence put up around my garden. I have rabbits running wild on the farm, the chickens are pretty sick of being cooped up, and the dog thinks nothing of running through the garden, destroying whatever happens to be in her path. My onions are up and doing well. The tomatoes, squash, and peppers are planted and thriving well. I have broccoli and potatoes ready to be planted and seeds that want to be planted. None of those things will be surviving without protection.

I already have a fifty foot roll of 28" rabbit wire fence. I needed three more rolls and stakes to attach the fence to so I can surround the garden. Saturday we went to Spencer to see my grandma in the hospital (broken hip) and stopped at Menards. Normally, I love Menards. However, they did not have what I was looking for. I still bought the wooden stakes, two elderberry bushes (on the garden bucket list), a bag of composted manure (for the rhubarb), and a packet of sunflower seeds that my kids felt needed to be planted in the garden. 

Sunday morning, I went to Bomgaars in Algona. They had one roll of fence for a price I didn't remember paying for the last roll. In fact, I think I had sticker shock. I didn't buy the one roll left because I needed three rolls and didn't want to be stuck with having to find an alternative. However, I bought four more tomato plants and some flower plants for the planters in front of the house. And a packet of jelly beans because I was getting a bit stressed. I eat when I am stressed. 

I knew I needed to get this fence put up pronto. I made the executive decision to go to Fleet Farm in Mason City which I should have done in the first place or second place. I got to Fleet Farm, walked around the garden center inside the store, picked up a new trowel, and found the fencing. I was able to buy their last three rolls of exactly what I was looking for. The cost of those three would have been the same as two rolls at Bomgaars. While I was at Fleet Farm, I got wire to secure the fence, four tomato cages, eight broccoli plants, one lemon balm plant, and one mint plant. 

The three trips were all fruitful in what I purchased, but a waste of gas for at least the trip to Algona which I live closest to. I tried to make do with whatever I had, but I just did not have enough of anything on hand. I drove over an hour one direction, fifteen minutes in another direction, and fifty minutes in yet another direction.

When I got home, the rain started to fall. Doesn't that about figure?

This isn't the first time this has happened to me. The driving to get what I need, not finding it, and driving to another place. A lot of the local places are not open on Sunday which I respect. I didn't plan far enough ahead which is key for living in a rural area. 

I will get the fence up after work this week. Tonight I am spraying for mosquitoes because they are becoming quite annoying and Paige is allergic to their bites. Maybe if I have time after that, I will get the fence going. 

The joys of a homesteader!

Thanks for reading,
Erica



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