The Country Wins

Chicken and Eggs

You may not have realized this (or cared), but for the past few weeks I’ve experienced an inner turmoil: if I could, would I choose the country or the city?

We’ve recently experienced both extremes in backing our country/city trips up like we did. The entire time we were in the country (I have to use this word when I write because, as Craig likes to point out, I cannot properly pronounce the word “rural”), I was thinking about everything I loved about it, while still looking forward to what was to come in Chicago. Then, while in Chicago, I was thinking about everything I loved about it while still thinking about the country.

The ideal? A little patch of land on which I can keep my own chickens and develop my gardening skills inside the Loop of Chicago. Because land like that is soooo available inside the Loop of Chicago.

Really, I’m torn. I LOVE both. But I may be more in love with the ideas of both.

I do want to have my own chickens now more than ever. I wanted them when we lived in Colorado, but there was something about living in a neighborhood with a zoning ordinance that prevented this from ever happening (that and the fact that Craig doubled over in laughter every time I mentioned it; he does do that sometimes, you know – double over in laughter).

I kind of lost my desire for chickens when we lived on the seminary campus (which I’m sure all the folks there would be relieved to know), but after visiting our friends the Gillmans a couple of weeks ago and seeing their land with chickens, goats, and horse, and taking organic living a little more seriously now, I have some serious chicken envy. I assured Craig that I didn’t want any goats or horses; just chickens. And possibly a cow. *wink*

But a week in Chicago made me really love that existence as well – being right in the middle of everything with good public transportation so easily accessible (and affordable). I realize I have a much greater chance of seeing the chicken dream come true than the downtown Chicago dream, and I’m okay with that. The next best thing would be to have a bit of land to do the green-living thing and be a five hour drive from high-living city action (because you know I did the high-living city action thing all last week running around Chicago with four young children).

Of course, all of this is just dreaming, as we’re in no position to make a move in either direction. I’m pretty sure our landlord isn’t going to sanction a chicken coop in our backyard, just as I am equally pretty sure our neighbors don’t want to hear any crowing in the morning.

But I have to decide for the sake of deciding. As of today, the country wins.

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17 thoughts on “The Country Wins

  1. Megan says:

    Well, if the chicken were mine, I would definitely keep it. As it belongs to the Magic House, we don’t get to vote! 🙂

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  2. Christy says:

    My mom had chickens and a rooster in her backyard up until this year (yes, the same house I grew up in). My sister was always mortified when she met someone else in the neighborhood and they said, “YOU’RE the family with the rooster that crows at all hours of the day and night?!” I have to admit, when we went to visit, I wanted to take a shotgun to that crazy rooster when he started crowing at 3:00 a.m. So yeah, wait until you’re in the country for the chickens!! 🙂 Seriously, tho, I know this yearning you are talking about. I’ve had it for a good year now. This weekend, we’re going to look at a little house and some land across the road from Allen’s parents. Remember when I told you I had a funny feeling we’d be in a smaller house before long?? The vibes are getting stronger and the yearnings are growing along with them.

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  3. Christy says:

    My mom had chickens and a rooster in her backyard up until this year (yes, the same house I grew up in). My sister was always mortified when she met someone else in the neighborhood and they said, “YOU’RE the family with the rooster that crows at all hours of the day and night?!” I have to admit, when we went to visit, I wanted to take a shotgun to that crazy rooster when he started crowing at 3:00 a.m. So yeah, wait until you’re in the country for the chickens!! 🙂 Seriously, tho, I know this yearning you are talking about. I’ve had it for a good year now. This weekend, we’re going to look at a little house and some land across the road from Allen’s parents. Remember when I told you I had a funny feeling we’d be in a smaller house before long?? The vibes are getting stronger and the yearnings are growing along with them.

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  4. caron easley says:

    i know a little town just outside of a city…that’s only 2 hours from chicago…and i just happen to be moving there…and i just happen to think you’d like it, too. 🙂

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  5. caron easley says:

    i know a little town just outside of a city…that’s only 2 hours from chicago…and i just happen to be moving there…and i just happen to think you’d like it, too. 🙂

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  6. martha10 says:

    i have the perfect idea for you! when you are done with school, move to hanna city:) (with caron) we’re close to a big town (peoria) you can have as many chickens and grow as many vegetables as you want and you won’t be far from either corn or soybean fields. depending on which city you want to go to, you are 3 hrs. from either chicago or st. louis. i think this may be your kind of town:) m

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  7. martha10 says:

    i have the perfect idea for you! when you are done with school, move to hanna city:) (with caron) we’re close to a big town (peoria) you can have as many chickens and grow as many vegetables as you want and you won’t be far from either corn or soybean fields. depending on which city you want to go to, you are 3 hrs. from either chicago or st. louis. i think this may be your kind of town:) m

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  8. Rose Bexar says:

    I’m with Martha–small towns for the win. I hate cities. The trick is finding a nice small town with good schools, good health care, and good churches far enough from a city to avoid big-city problems being brought out by commuters but close enough that you can still enjoy the amenities when you’ve a mind to.

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  9. Rose Bexar says:

    I’m with Martha–small towns for the win. I hate cities. The trick is finding a nice small town with good schools, good health care, and good churches far enough from a city to avoid big-city problems being brought out by commuters but close enough that you can still enjoy the amenities when you’ve a mind to.

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  10. carrie says:

    Megan,
    Great post. My husband and I both grew up in decent-sized cities (500,000). I always thought I was more of a city person, or at least I wanted to be, but we have discovered that we much prefer small town life. It can be inconvenient, but right now the pros outweigh the cons.
    We have some friends who are in the process of getting chickens, and I’m excited to get some farm fresh eggs!

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  11. carrie says:

    Megan,
    Great post. My husband and I both grew up in decent-sized cities (500,000). I always thought I was more of a city person, or at least I wanted to be, but we have discovered that we much prefer small town life. It can be inconvenient, but right now the pros outweigh the cons.
    We have some friends who are in the process of getting chickens, and I’m excited to get some farm fresh eggs!

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  12. Renae says:

    Martha, how funny… I grew up in Peoria and never thought of it as “big.” But you’re right, it does have good amenities. Even a few drive-thru Starbucks! (btw, my nephew married a Hanna City gal, so I’m becoming familiar with it)
    Growing up, I thought I wanted to live in a small town and go to a small college, but changed my mind after I got to college (Illinois Wesleyan, which felt like an overgrown high school). I transferred to U of IL (huge! loved it!), and have been living in increasingly bigger cities ever since… we’ve gone from Syracuse to Kansas City to St. Louis, and are considering Chicago for the future. I never woulda guessed it.
    So Megan, does this mean the chicken above is NOT slated for the Goodwill or freecycle bag? If she’s sticking around, does she want a sow and a few suckling piggies to hang out with (*wink*)?

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  13. Renae says:

    Martha, how funny… I grew up in Peoria and never thought of it as “big.” But you’re right, it does have good amenities. Even a few drive-thru Starbucks! (btw, my nephew married a Hanna City gal, so I’m becoming familiar with it)
    Growing up, I thought I wanted to live in a small town and go to a small college, but changed my mind after I got to college (Illinois Wesleyan, which felt like an overgrown high school). I transferred to U of IL (huge! loved it!), and have been living in increasingly bigger cities ever since… we’ve gone from Syracuse to Kansas City to St. Louis, and are considering Chicago for the future. I never woulda guessed it.
    So Megan, does this mean the chicken above is NOT slated for the Goodwill or freecycle bag? If she’s sticking around, does she want a sow and a few suckling piggies to hang out with (*wink*)?

    Like

  14. Aubrey says:

    I’d vote for country too. Which is good, considering where we just moved to has no Target. And I’m surviving. Although I’d love chickens, too, what I’d really like is a donkey. When we get some land that’s what I’m getting. An A**. 🙂

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  15. Aubrey says:

    I’d vote for country too. Which is good, considering where we just moved to has no Target. And I’m surviving. Although I’d love chickens, too, what I’d really like is a donkey. When we get some land that’s what I’m getting. An A**. 🙂

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