Recently, a couple purchased one of the lots in our development. The lots are all nice sized ranging from around 10 acres to as small as 3 acres. All back up to undeveloped land or farmland. It is the country.
If you move to the country you are choosing a life style. Unlike city life where activities of daily living such as buying groceries or getting gas are just a short distance away being in the country means a trip into town to fulfill such chores.
Town might not mean a large metropolitan conglomerate. In fact, our closest town has only two stores. One is a Dollar General and the other is the “Good Hope General Store” which has stood in its location since the early 1900s. The “Good Hope General Store” offers a limited supply of groceries, has a deli, and sells gas on the side. Major grocery shopping for us means a trip to Watkinsville, Madison, or Athens.
Good Hope is the closest town to where we live and the where the recent couple built their new home. Good Hope has a population of 288. The Atlanta metro area (a little more than an hour away), by comparison, has a population of 5.6 million.
The lady, who amounted to 50% of the pair of our new neighbors, was accustomed to a more metropolitan area. When she settled into her new home she noticed her Internet reliability and speed were mediocre. Admittedly the Internet here in the country is substandard. But, those of us that prefer the country are willing to deal with inferior Internet.
If you’ve never lived in the city then you don’t have a frame of reference. City life offers high speed Internet, easy access to food of all sorts, and plenty of entertainment if you’re willing to pay for it.
We’ve lived in Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta, Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Savannah and Augusta don’t really come up to big city standards but are indeed cities that seem massive compared to Good Hope. We’ve also lived in Easton, Maryland a great small town.
We moved to Good Hope, Georgia from New Hope, North Carolina that has a population of 3104. We sold that New Hope house to a couple from South Carolina preserving the population balance. The Internet was better in New Hope, but we were further from gas or groceries. We lived on the fringes.
In New Hope it wasn’t unusual for horses to roam into our yard, escapees from down the road, and chickens that weren’t ours were common visitors. We also knew most of the local dogs by name. It is a truly country area.
There are chickens here in Good Hope as well. Once again, not ours that roam our property. There’s a rooster that crows a lot which I don’t mind. In fact, I enjoy his declarations and his cocky attitude. Many days while I’m practicing archery he or some of his harem of hens drop by to watch and peck.
Our new lady neighbor didn’t like the rooster. She made a point to visit the owners of the chickens to issue a complaint. Honestly, you can’t hear the rooster if you’re indoors. If you go outside you might be hear his melodies floating over your background. Roosters aren’t for everyone. This one wasn’t for the new neighbor.
Then, there are the dogs. In the country people have dogs. Dogs bark. Here in our development we’re far enough apart that occasional barking isn’t a bother. There are no psychotic hounds yelling all night. There are occasional night barks because there are occasional visits by critters out of the woods who are less tame. Barking dogs warn those visitors away.
The new lady wanted to learn, by asking, who is everyone in the area that owns a dog. She didn’t explain why she needed that information. There are 16 houses out here and 9 of them come with a dog or dogs. A few folks have two or three dogs. One family has three dogs and a few of pigs. Pigs don’t bark and don’t bother people with loud vocals.
There are also lots of cows around us. They can be heard at night and during quiet days. Cows don’t bother most people. Somehow the cows got on the former city dwellers nerves.
Not only were the cows audibly offensive to her they contributed to an olfactory insult. I believe that sense’s infringement was imaginative.
What she most seemed to abhor was gunfire. One night a chicken house raid a by a skulk of foxes led to four blasts from a shotgun. The urban transplant was out in her nightclothes demanding whether or not the chicken protection crew knew the time. It was dinnertime for foxes and they had not be invited to enjoy a chicken dinner. (The human time was 9:45 PM)
Later, she was heard to complain about some boys being taught to shoot by their father. The boys had been armed with BB guns, a pellet gun, and dad held a 22, the calibrations ascending with age. They weren’t learning near her house but the reports could be heard. That event led to police being called.
The officer responding explained that in rural Georgia gun owners could shoot their guns. He explained the father of the boys was supervising them and their targets were safe. She left in frustration; the officer took a few shots with dad’s 22 before continuing on his rounds.
Our lady friend may have reached her limit after giving grievance to innocent dog owners regarding howling that went on during the night. No dog had been left outdoors the unfairly accused pleaded. Her country neighbors explained what she’d heard wasn’t a pack of dogs. She’d stood out in her backyard during the night fuming over coyotes.
Our new neighbor, the one that remains, is a bachelor. His ex-wife offered a non-contested divorce and has fled to Jacksonville, Florida. Perhaps, she’ll have a simpler life dealing with traffic, hurricanes, flooding, and power outages.