"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Monday, December 26, 2011

This Ain't No Green Acres

Green Acres is the place for me.  Farm livin' is the life for me.  Land spreading out so far and wide...Keep Manhattan just give me that country side.

New York is where I'd rather stay.  I get allergic smelling hay.  I just adore a penthouse view.  Darling, I love you but give me Park Avenue.

SM and I see eye to eye on lots of the important things in life.  That's a good thing in a marriage.  But we are still two very different people choosing to walk the same path.  

To have a successful marriage you have to accept compromise.  Maybe that's one of the reasons why divorce is so high.  It's hard to give up what I want in favor of a watered down version of what you think I should have.

I admit it's tough.  But walking any road is less satisfying if you're doing it alone.  If you love someone though and have that partner in crime, walking the middle of the road is still an adventure, it's just not the adventure you'd originally hoped for. 

After 25 years of marriage and compromise, we still look at each other from time to time and say "Are you nuts?"

SM is the extrovert in the family.  He gets his energy from outside stimulation.  People, places and things.  Example:  He went to the mall the other day "just to look around and get into the Christmas spirit."  He asked me if I wanted to go. 

"Are you nuts?"  I hate crowds.  I hate traffic and noise and concrete and fluorescent lights and stuffy, stinky places.  Home is where I want be.  Outside if the weather allows.  Nothing says heaven like the sun on my shoulder, the wind in my hair and the sound of birds singing.  Peace and quiet.  That's for me.  If you guessed that I'm the introvert, you'd be guessing correctly.

Now that's not to say that SM doesn't like being outside.  And it also doesn't mean that I can't be sociable.  I can have a good time at a party.  If you can pry me out of the house and get me there in the first place.

So over the years, SM became more and more of the city boy while I have always longed for the wide open spaces.  So we compromise.  It's the suburbs for us.  Always has been and likely always will be.

But it's hard sometimes.  I go into withdrawals where I hate the suburbs and really, really, REALLY want to move to the country.  I start trolling the real estate ads searching for some land.  I have Eddie Albert's dreams.  And while SM is no Zsa Zsa, we do see the world a bit differently.

And in SM's mind this ain't no Green Acres.

SM came home the other week upset that a deer had dashed out and clobbered head first into the side of his van.  He's not upset that he has to have body work on his new van, he's upset that the deer died.  He's telling me how he and others had stopped to check out the situation.  The deer had a broken jaw and was flailing around a bit.  Fortunately a fellow pulled up who had a gun and put the deer out of it's misery.  SM was so sad.

Me?  I said "Damn...wish I'd learned how to dress out a deer.  Think of all that free venison." 

SM looked at me like I was nuts.  I think he was hoping for some wifely sympathy and here I am matter of factly wishing I could have a deer hanging from the maple tree in my back yard.  (SM did say that he went back that way a while later and sure enough the deer was gone.  Someone had the same idea I did.)

These are the differences between SM and I.  He won't hunt.  I'd have no problem with it.  I talked to SM once about buying a gun (rifle) and the two of us taking shooting lessons.  "No Thanks."  It's just not for him and he didn't like the idea of having a gun in the house. 

We don't have chickens because a certain someone says "NO chickens"!  He'd likely name the chickens while I'd be the one to cut off their heads. (I'm surprised he's not a vegetarian, he's so tender hearted.)  I mentioned the idea of raising meat rabbits to him once and SM looked at me (again) like I was nuts.

And I guess in his mind I might be. A few years ago when I talked to him about growing our own fruit and vegetables, he agreed to help.  Maybe because gardening is an acceptable "quirk" to have.  We all grew up with gardens so that's not hard to imagine.

But I can't do all this by myself.  The garden is getting bigger every year and with a full time job, my free time to pursue my "quirky hobby" is limited.  I need SM to help out.  And if he's not into farming or animal husbandry, well, I guess that means no farm for us.  No small homestead either. 

But I'm adaptable.  I'll take my half acre and do the best I can with it. 

SM does dangle one carrot in my face though.  A carrot that I actually sold to him.  He knows that I hope to eventually live a part time life.  That within the next 10 years or so, I'd like to live the summer months (April-October) here in NC, gardening and preserving, and then spend some of our "downtime months" (November-March) RVing and seeing the country.  I guess you could say that I hope to have it all.

We both love to travel.  But SM won't camp.  He wants to be in a hotel.  I wouldn't mind camping.  So again with the compromise.  We stayed with my Mom in her RV a few years ago when we went to Alaska.  SM liked the RV.  So that's what we're working towards.  And SM points out that "It's easier to leave if you don't have animals."  



  1. Ah, compromise--hard to learn to do, but oh so important. Sounds like you guys really have it together!

    Hope you had a great Christmas. Can you believe it's the end of the year already????

  2. I really enjoyed your post. I love the idea of RV'ing in the off growing season... something to think about.

  3. Tami: I think you and your husband have carved out a great life. I understand the romance of the Country Life...but in your own way you have already created that. You don't need lots of land and mooing cows...they come with major headaches, big taxes and big poop. Enjoy what you have..I find your blog, photos and stories so refreshing...and human. Good wishes to you this coming New Year.