The Best of Both Worlds
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Many times, my husband and I (mostly me) get asked a series of questions by both friends and family about moving to a farm in Rural South Dakota.
· Are you happy?
· Do you like living in the country?
· Are you sure you can handle it?
· Is your wife bored, lonely?
· Do you understand how different this life is?
Truth be told, sometimes these redundant questions started to wear on me and even be hurtful at times. I felt I needed to prove myself, that this “city girl” could hang with the “country folk”. Change can certainly be hard, but without change, there is no growth.
I was born and lived in SD until moving to Kansas City in the 4th grade. I always really felt connected to SD and loved going back to visit my grandparents 3-4x’s per year. I’ve always been close to my grandparents and their farm always felt like a second home to me. Although I didn’t grow up in an agricultural lifestyle, I’ve always appreciated and respected the work ethic, determination & dedication it takes to make a living, especially in the grueling SD winters! I absolutely love the quiet, family centered way of life and always hoped I could live in such a manner with my family someday.
I was fortunate to meet my husband, Garrett, who also found a love of SD through his yearly pheasant hunting trips. He too had the opportunity to experience both urban & rural life. He grew up on his family farm in KS, not far from Kansas City. He also played college football out east in Philadelphia & Delaware, so he experienced BIG city life. He met so many friends from different cultures and backgrounds and was able to try so many different types of food. I appreciate discussing the good, bad and ugly of both worlds which allows us as a couple to have an open and honest dialogue about the differences and similarities we’d like to incorporate into our life. I think it is more rare than common for people to have experienced both worlds. Instead many live in one and that’s all they know their entire life. I’m glad to have found Garrett who also shares the hybrid (city / rural) experience.
So back to those questions.
Am I happy? Of course, I’m happy! That’s a choice each of us make daily. I have my frustrating and challenging days but I am thankful for the opportunity to build a house with the love of my life on my family’s farm! I can tell you it’s not without struggle though; we’ve had things come up that make us question the choices we’ve made and the path we’ve taken. This experience has brought us closer as a couple to God; for which I’m happy & thankful! The relationship we’ve created with him and one another has helped us check in with each other to stay connected and to ensure we’re both happy.
Do I like living here? Absolutely! It’s peaceful, quiet and beautiful. Not to mention, you have so much freedom and privacy. Time slows down in the country and moves at a different pace. It isn’t the same as city living when your schedule may revolve around traffic and so much is happening. Don’t get me wrong; I love people watching, entertainment and the ability to run out and get whatever you need at a moments notice. With the convenience of online shopping and all the technology available to rural America I’ve likely found it much easier to adapt than previous generations. It’s ok to miss things such as friends, family and Starbucks coffee. We’re blessed to have so many friends that support us from afar and will always be there when we’re back in Kansas to see family. I cherish my time in Kansas and wouldn’t change one second of how or where I grew up.
Can I handle it? Seems like a silly question to me. I’m a strong individual, with a well-defined work ethic and am committed to things I believe in such as: family, faith, ability to and raise our children in a safe, loving, environment. I knew what I was getting myself into and for all the reasons mentioned above I’m certain I can handle and maybe even flourish with the day to day challenges we uncover. I think the other thing that has helped me is having a partner that I can voice my frustrations and opinions; I seem to have more as a mom now. Haha! We have many conversations on what we want our future to look like and the expectations on how we hope to get there so I’m confident I (we) can handle it!
Am I bored? Lonely? Prior to Mila, I worked an 8-5PM desk job and had many night and weekend events I coordinated for work. I was able to meet up with my friends and play/coach volleyball in KS as my husband’s family farm was just an hour outside of Kansas City so I could experience city life while living on the farm. When we had Mila, I was fortunate to become a stay at home mama. My most difficult, yet rewarding job I’ve had! It challenges me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I love every minute of it! You wouldn’t think I’d have time to be lonely as a stay at home mom, but it does indeed get lonely and, of course, boring at times. This I’m sure is the case whether you live in the city or on a farm. I’m in an exciting time right now, young daughter, new puppy, new baby on the way, and building a house. I have so much to be thankful for and look forward to, if I am bored or lonely it’ll only be temporary, and I may need to appreciate it. ;)
Do I understand this way of life? I don’t feel there is one understanding of this way of life. I think every farm, ranch & family dynamic is different. This life interests me, frustrates me, and excites me all at the same time. Isn’t that how everyone feels when choosing a path and just getting started? I certainly understand our family’s way of life and what our individual goals are to find success. Communication is our key! I know that certain times of the year, I won’t see my husband much and he’ll have a lot of stressors weighing on him that I will have to support him as much as he does myself. I realize my detail-oriented way of life won’t always fit the farm / ranch schedule and will need adjusting. I will always have more to learn and am up to the challenge. I’m thankful for all those around me that can help be my guiding light!
I’m thankful to have seen the beauty in both worlds and happy my family has chosen this path.