To have the amount of land we need to run the ranch, we live in the middle of nowhere (TMNW). The Rancher would say we GET to, that it’s a privilege. We have the space to ride and play. We can have as big of lawn as we want (or the lawn mower can handle). There aren’t too many neighbors to worry about being quiet for. We get to live life how we choose to! I can agree with him now that I have learned a few tricks to living away from civilization, some that are definitely worth sharing!
1. Get a freezer. Or maybe two… You will curse yourself every time you run out of food, every time you make an extra trip for more food, and every time you try to cram your groceries in the little freezer space above your refrigerator. Yep… get a BIG freezer.
2. Since you bought a freezer, you have room to buy extra groceries… so do it! Load up on your favorite frozen fruits, veggies, chicken nuggets and of course BEEF! I even have butter and cheese in there! And just to be on the safe side, grab a few frozen pizzas for the days that dinner just doesn’t work out. Stick it all in and enjoy it later.
3. Every visit to town warrants a trip to the grocery store. Even if you think there isn’t stuff you need, go. I always end up grabbing a couple of gallons of milk. My family can never have enough milk! In fact, I get so much that I freeze some to ensure that we don’t run out.
4. Living far away from a gas station makes you realize how precious fuel is. In an ideal world you would have your own gas tank at home to fill up at. But if you can’t manage that, always leave town with a full tank of gas. Running out of gas in TMNW is SUPER frustrating and there is nobody to blame but yourself.
5. It’s sad to say, but since there are less trips to town (because it takes up way too much of the day just to get anywhere) you don’t always have fresh stuff. Either learn to live with that or learn to grow a garden. I suggest the latter because there isn’t much more satisfying than a good green salad from the backyard!
6. Those man car skills really are not just for men. Learning how to change a tire, check the oil, airing up tires, and using jumper cables is something that every person living in TMNW should know. Cowboy Charming (instead of Prince Charming, right?) is a LONG way away and really doesn’t have time (or even want to) to come save the day.
7. You will spend lots of time in the car… LOTS. Make sure you have a car that will be able to go the distance (especially if you didn’t learn those mechanicing skills we already talked about…). Just accept already that putting more than 15,000 miles on the odometer in a year is normal.
8. And if your car is getting that many miles, so are your kids. There have been a lot of late nights spent on the road. Teach the kids to sleep in the car. Take pillows and blankets, at least one for every person… or maybe two. Heck, take all you have in the house and borrow from the neighbors if you’ve got to! The extra work is worth it! And since the babies will be falling asleep always take pjs so they can just got straight to bed once you hit home.
9. Take out doesn’t exist in TMNW. Nor does delivery. Sorry, you GET to have a home cooked meal every night. I highly recommend meal planning, left overs, and guilt trips to get someone else (hubby, anyone?) to make dinner. If all else fails, get out the frozen pizza- that’s why you have a freezer, remember!
10. We don’t have a time to make lots of trips to town, nor do really want to. So with each trip, make it worth it! Hit up the grocery store, the bank, the hardware store, the post office, CAL Ranches, and the local Good Will. Or maybe just Walmart… they’re supposed to have it all, right?
Living in TMNW can make life tough, but choosing to make it work makes it all worth it. For us, getting to live where we have the space to do what we love is always worth it, even when I have more milk than I know what to do with!