The Code Of The West

The Code Of The West

Herb October 17, 2020

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22170 – 740:

One of the strangest and most annoying things to me is city people who move to the country and then whine about how much better they had it in the city. Several years ago I used to ride the bus with a twerpy little guy from Los Angeles who always had something negative to say. “Back in L.A., the buses were never this slow.” Or “They think they have crime here, back in L.A. the gangs…” “I couldn’t believe what I heard about an ambulance getting stuck in a snowdrift on a dirt road and they won’t get it out until Tuesday!”

Finally I couldn’t stand the guy anymore. We were usually the only ones on a certain part of the ride, and even if I sat in the back with my face toward the window and my nose in a book and didn’t answer, he would still grouse out loud. “Back in Los Angeles it never snowed and got cold like it does here.” And that was the day I turned around and said, “IF EVERYTHING WAS SO MUCH BETTER IN LOS ANGELES WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING HERE?!? GO BACK TO LOS ANGELES, ALREADY!!!” And yeah, I did use my “cap-locks voice” to say it. I was tired of it. And do you know what the guy told me? He actually said, “Oh I couldn’t stand the big city any more and moved here to get away from it all. I just didn’t expect it to be so small-town and rural here.”

But really, his problems are not as unique as you might think. He was actually part of a group of people that are migrating here to get away from the big city (And in my opinion ruining the place for the rest of us) and live the rustic, rugged life of the pioneers. Except that the people who settled out here did without a lot and still do without a lot. Now, just because you decided to honor us with your presence by moving here, doesn’t mean that we will necessarily appreciate the honor right away or even in your lifetime.

If you move somewhere that doesn’t have a paved road, it’s likely not going to be paved just for you any time soon. It may not have been paved since the first wagons pulled in here and likely never will be paved. This could mean a lot of dust in the summer and mud in the spring and fall. No, that road never gets plowed unless you belong to a property-owners organization and pay your dues in. Then it will depend on whether the guy that does it can get out of his yard.

There are places in the mountains where phone service was still on a party-line until a few years ago and there are no cell phone towers. Water is pumped from a hole in the ground and if that hole runs dry you better say your prayers that you find another one. It can be a long and expensive process and I know people who live out on the plains who have to drive into town with a 400-gallon water tank and go to a special dispenser to buy water to take back home. Sewage is done by a septic or other system and in some areas, the system may be a little shed-like building out back.

Colorado is an open range state. Don’t know what that means? Maybe you aren’t ready to move here yet. If you don’t want cattle, sheep, or other livestock on your property, you are responsible to build a fence to keep them out. Also, if you hit one with your car, you are responsible to pay for it. Oh, and if you live in a farming area, the summer breeze will gently waft the smell of freshly mown hay to your nostrils as well as the smell of its byproducts. You will have to live with this. Also, farmers and ranchers often work around the clock and at all hours of the day and night.

And there is more. I live in a suburb near town and there is a family of bears that goes through people’s trash if it isn’t secured. I have had a bobcat in the yard as well as a fox. And deer, which are pretty to look at but will do damage to your landscaping. All I’m saying is that if you are thinking of moving, do some thinking, first.

17 thoughts on “The Code Of The West

  1. I grew up in the wilds of PA. I now live in suburbia. If you try you can find something to complain about everywhere. nstead of telling him to go back to LA you should have invited him on a Good Ol Snipe Hunt.

    BTW “I Didn’t Think The Country Would Be So Rural” is going to be the title of my next book. I love that line

    Laugh all you can

  2. I’m definitely a city-girl and I know it. I have no plans to move ever. However, I do understand the charm of the country, and I know I could probably be reasonably happy there now that we all have Amazon. I’ve have to make sure my area was connected. 😊 If that sounds shallow, it’s because it is.

  3. I think the pandemic has actually cured me of some of the problems I would’ve had living in a more remote area. Now getting things delivered is practically all I do.

    “And that, kids, is how he became a recluse.”

  4. Herb, I caught myself doing this thing as a teenager. My parents moved from the mountains in TN to Charlotte NC. When I was in Charlotte I sang TN’s praises. When I was in TN I sang Charlotte’s praises. I caught myself early and stopped.
    It’s hard to be happy where you are because the grass does always look greener everywhere but here!
    Bless the fellow’s heart (threw a little Southern in there on ya 😂)
    Maybe he’ll get lucky enough to figure it out one day!

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