About a year ago we moved up to the ranch. “The Ranch” is actually situated in a real town with a real name called Likely. Contrary to popular belief, we do have a post office, so it technically does make us a real town (yes - even if it’s only open M-F from 12:00 to 4:00). I know what you’re thinking, you probably watched the documentary on PBS that aired right after the 700 Club, and are dying to move here right? Well, before you drop everything and pack up that U-Haul, there are some things you should know:
1. You’ll be the only one with a painting of your dog hanging in your house. Actually, you’ll be the only one who allows their dog in the house. Wait, you allow your dog on the bed? You might not want to move here.
2. Speaking of - someone’s dog will probably make their way into your yard. Not to worry though - you’ve got the entire town’s phone numbers on a list in your kitchen cupboard; and if you’re not sure who the owner is, Carol down at the general store surely will.
3. Your neighbors will become your best friends, and you’ll finally understand how that’s even possible.
4. You’ll think of age as just a number when making new friends, so what if she’s 60, she has the personality of a 30 year old, and that’s all that matters. When you’re 1 of 7 under 30, beggars can’t be choosers.
5. You’ll break down and make friends on Instagram. Your city friends will look at you like you’re bonkers, but like I said, beggars can’t be choosers.
6. You can bring home kittens and chicks on the same day, and not even have to think twice about it because you’re the weird one for not having kittens or chicks in the first place.
7. You’ll get really good at meal planning and making grocery lists, because the nearest grocery store is half an hour away. Oh, and if you forgot an ingredient, you’ll become really good at improvising. “Best by 2012” means nothing to you anymore, no, not even when it’s Indian curry sauce, because you’ve already poured the “best by 2014” coconut milk in, and the nearest grocery store is a) 30 minutes away and b) closed 10 minutes ago.
8. When you do make it into town - you’ll schedule at least an hour for the grocery store because you know you’re going to see an average of ten people you know, with a standard deviation of 2; and they’re all talkers.
9. You’ll find a job in town and be the only one without a horse trailer attached to your ‘rig’. You’ll also be the only one without a gun in your car (heck - you’re the only one with a car and not a truck). Until you get smart and realize the ground-squirrel problem needs the entire community’s support to tackle. Is shooting out of your car window illegal?
10. Speaking of community support, town hall meetings will become your Friday night entertainment. You’ll be looked at funny if you bring popcorn, but the drama is better than Bravo.
11. If you really want to catch the new movie playing, you’re going to have to wait until the weekend for one of the three showings. The matinee is your best bet, they serve pizza by the slice.
12. Don’t remember what time the movie starts? Put away your Fandango app and tune into 94.5, the only radio station in town. The movie times will be right after the lost pet announcements.
13. You’ll have a healthy rotation the 5 restaurants in town because you’ll be judged for eating out, “did something happen to your stove again?” will be your waitress’ favorite question.
14. You’ll join a bunko group. Age is just a number right?
15. Remember those trendy bars you used to go to? They’ll become a thing of the past. The saloon will have swinging double doors and original carpeting. It’s acceptable to bring your own booze, but only if you plan on sharing.
16. You’ll become besties with the florist in town because you miss the Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods floral department like you lost your right hand.
17. She’ll graciously let you raid her back room and occasionally give you a free rose for being a friendly customer.
18. You’ll develop a serious online shopping addiction.
19. At which point you and the UPS guy will also become besties. If it’s raining, he’ll put your packages inside for you, because your door won’t ever be locked.
20. You’ll join a “Ranch Animals for Sale” facebook group, and participate regularly. There’s only one breed of goat you’ll go for, and she ain’t cheap!
21. You’ll become obsessed with baby animals, and risk your need for a baby goat over your fiance’s anger.
22. You’ll have a serious plan in order for how you’re going to instagram your new baby goat with a perfect pink velvet ribbon around her neck.
23. You’ll get a painting of that done too. It’ll hang next to the painting of your dog.
24. You’ll learn to garden, can, cook, and sew.
25. You’ll then be forced to start a blog because your city girlfriends are sick of hearing about your new canning recipes and sewing ideas.
26. You’ll invest in an off road vehicle and it’ll be the best purchase you’ve ever made. Especially when it’s snowing and you’ve got to go catch a horse.
27. That off road vehicle will also turn into your date night limo, driving up the ridge with a glass of wine looking for a lost calf has never been so romantic.
28. You’ll find the lost calf and happen to look up and see the stars for the first time. I mean really SEE the stars - and it’ll take your breath away.
29. One day you’ll be weeding your garden, and look up to catch the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen, and have so much appreciation for the fact that your horses, garden, dogs, goats, cats, cows, lambs, barn, heart, and home are all in one place, and wonder how you ever enjoyed life before this.
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