I’ve lived in charming Lexington, Virginia for nearly eight years — eight years already!?! — and while there is a lot to love about a rural community — the leisurely pace, fantastic neighbors and friends, ease of parking (you can see other things I like about it here) — there are a few things about living in the country that drive me crazy sometimes.
Consider this required reading for anyone planning to move off-the-grid anytime soon.
1. Some Prices are Weirdly High 1 of 11
Some things are bargains (property taxes) while others — food — are crazy expensive: coffee, croissants, dinner at a decent restaurant and organic produce will set you back the same if not more than at the average New York City restaurant/grocer, making you wonder if food is shipped in via donkey riding Sherpas.
2. Cops are Always on the Lookout 2 of 11
Don't get me wrong, a solid police presence is on the whole positive, BUT if you're going to get a citation anywhere in the world for something like jay walking or flouting the open container law on a friend's balcony, it'll be in a small town because cops around here don't have much else to divert their attention.
3. Public Shaming Rules the Day 3 of 11
And if you DO break the law? Whether it's murder or a misdemeanor, your name and address appears in the local newspaper for all to see and jeer at, whether or not you're actually found guilty.
4. Local Stores Close Early 4 of 11
Many local shops close at 5 and/or have limited hours on weekends, lunchtime, and even after school, so proprietors can enjoy good quality of life that comes with living in a small town. The downside is that full time working stiffs have to try to squeeze in all their weekly errands between the hours of 11:30 - 12:15 p.m. on a Tuesday.
5. This Store 5 of 11
Behold, the Death Star hovering over all small communities, sucking up everything in its path. (And it's the only store that's always open so there's that.)
6. "Redneck Noises." 6 of 11
When I first moved to the country, I assumed when I walked outside I'd hear nothing but birds twittering, wind rustling through trees, and the mournful low of cows. Not so. Living close to the land also means living close to the sound of chainsaws, Saturday morning gunfire, revving truck engines, dirt bikes, back hoes, and the midnight barking of neglected dogs. There's no escaping it. No matter where you build your country retreat, the redneck noises will find you.
7. Your Mailbox Might Get Bashed In 7 of 11
Because teenagers have nothing better to do on a Friday night.
8. You Start Getting Magazines Like This One 8 of 11
You don't know why. What's worse, you actually start to look forward to it.
9. You No Longer Have a Reason to Wear Sky High Stilettos 9 of 11
And that is a sad thing. (Unless, of course, you're trying to stake the ground for tent posts.)
10. There’s Nothing Much to Do on Weekends Except Chores 10 of 11
So you find yourself hauling lumber to an indeterminate point on the horizon.
11. Nightlife Options are Limited 11 of 11
But I probably didn't need to tell you that, did I?