ROSE NOLEN: When dreams of country living collide with reality

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

I was probably at least 35 before I finally gave up on the idea that I wanted to live in the country. This was my dream, and I was seriously affected by it. All I wanted was to live in a big farmhouse in the country.

A few days ago, I went with friends to visit a couple who live in the country. On that trip, I remembered my old dream and how I got over it. All it took was a long ride from the highway to the farmhouse to bring me out of it.

The fact that it was a summer day couldn't stop me from thinking about what it would be like to travel that road in the ice and snow. This was just one of the thoughts that made me glad I had chosen to remain in town.

Just to imagine what it would be like to be stranded on that road in the winter was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I have been stuck in the ice and snow, in the heart of town, enough times in my life to feel panic-stricken at just the thought.

I first began to think the situation over when I saw the movie "In Cold Blood." That's when it occurred to me — living out in the country was not safe for me.

If only I had five or six generations within walking distance of me — would I feel it was OK to live in the country? And suppose I was married and decided to get a divorce? Would I want to live there alone?

That is when I stopped looking for a home in the country. I finally was able to give up the old farm papers that advertised out-of-the way places, far from everyone.

Nowadays, when I pass farmhouses, I worry about the people living in them. I worry about their ability to defend themselves against all the dishonest people in this world.

I’m delighted when I come across people who live in little communities in the country. That makes me imagine that these are family members or good friends who have decided to live as neighbors. It's when I see people living miles from a next-door neighbor that I get uneasy.

Obviously, I don't have to worry about people who choose to live alone in the country. They are probably just as safe as people in town are. And undoubtedly they don't feel overcrowded.

It's probably just as well that I didn't decide to move into the country. Driving down long, uneven roads is not something I enjoy.

In ice and snow I would probably wind up in a ditch anyway. That's something I need to look out for anyway, even living in the city. Enough is enough.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at

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