Friday, August 13, 2010

Country Living

McCormick's Creek
McCormick's Creek State Park. Only 10 miles from our front door.

I am a city girl at heart.

At least that is what I kept insisting as Cale and I slept outside on mats in tiny towns in Southeast Asia and Samoa, like this one.

Clem's Lunch Hut

Also, I do not camp.


I didn't grow up in a big city like New York or Chicago, but Indianapolis is still the 14th largest city in the country (population-wise). I think I might have gone to an apple orchard as a field trip in elementary school. When my parents took us to the state fair as kids I saw farm animals in cages. And that is about the extent of my country living in America. Even when I left Indy for college, I still moved to a respectably-sized town. Columbia has a population of over 100,000. My first job was in Evansville (a city I considered way too small) with a population of more than 120,000. Next on the list was Orlando, population more than 230,000 (metro area, more than two million).

However, outside of American Cale and I like to stick to the tiny towns. The entire population of Samoa is just slightly more than Evansville, Indiana. Our village, Faleula, had an estimated population around 2,000 (the smallest place we have ever lived). In Thailand, Bangkok was obviously too big (nine million people in the city alone), but so were Chiang Mai (just under 150,000) and Chiang Rai (62,000). We had to get out into the country in villages of less than 10,000 to be comfortable. Our favorite place in Cambodia had a population of less than 40,000.

Now we are in Poland for our first attempt at small town living in the States. Poland is unincorporated, so it is tricky to find population information, but it appears there are about 2,000 of us out here. In Samoa we were 20 minutes out of Apia (38,000). In Poland we are five minutes out of Spencer (20,000).

We've decided to approach our new lifestyle here with the same sense of adventure we used to explore the rural in other countries. We've already been to a county fair (take note that one of the top links on the site is hog wrestling), swam in a farm pond and burned our trash in our backyard.

Farm Pond

One of the benefits to living in the country is all your friends and family have huge gardens and are constantly insisting you take free food with you.

At Cale's Mom's Place

In the spirit of more food than you can possibly eat before it goes bad, Cale and I have decided to start experimenting with canning. Recently we turned about 20 pounds of tomato (and other ingredients) into seven pint jars of salsa.

Canning Experiments

I am also learning about maintaining huge tracts of land (actual farmers will of course mock me and my "huge" three acres, but it is immense to me). In the picture below, I am not driving a lawn mower (as you city folk might think). That is in fact a tractor. A surprising number of things in the country are tractors.

Sara and Manual Labor

However, this thing, that Cale is driving, is a lawn mower. Yeah, it confuses me too.

At Cale's Mom's Place

I quickly learned that my delicate hands aren't used to all this manual labor. Took the skin right off my thumbs after raking for only 10 minutes (there was much more raking in my future as well).

Sara and Manual Labor

Cale promises to take me to "the races" and fishing! Stay tuned for more country living adventures.

— Sara

Canning Experiments
Smack wanted to help can.


Barb Carusillo said...

I know you have a not so good memory, and tend to block out certain things, but come have been camping. A lot, at least as a kid..Pokagon, Land between the Lakes, Clifty Falls, Brown County, Fort Wilderness at Disney, Turkey Run, Versailles, Warren Dunes, Indiana Dunes, Sleeping Bear Dunes Nat.Lakeshore and the list goes on.

Cale and Sara Go Back to School said...

I wasn't saying I haven't camped. I am saying that I do not camp now.

Anonymous said...

Very nice lanu moli ie lavalava, Cale!!!

Barb Carusillo said...

You are did not say you haven't camped. Mea Culpa. But the beach fales in Manase are darn close to camping...though the most picturesque, beautiful site we have ever stayed at.

Farmer Joe said...

wow you guys are living the life.