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Old 12-21-2012, 06:36 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,926,100 times
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I live in a small town and I always wonder what the locals do to survive. They ain't farmers, some of them ranch but in general it is not obvious where the new duallies are coming from

So, if you have a story of how you made it in a small town, please share.

If you inherited 3000 acres or moved from somewhere with a fat bank account, don't bother...

I myself work from home doing IT or software engineering. However, living rural, my Internet connection leaves a lot to be desired (esp. in my field of work).

Thanks!
OD
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
7,774 posts, read 13,226,987 times
Reputation: 32235
A lot of small towns thrive on the industry. I used to live in a coal mining area. Lots of people, as soon as they graduated from high school would take the miners' training courses and head for the mines. Then there's the farmers. I lived in a county where agriculture was the #1 industry in the county. You work on the family farm till it's yours or you can buy one of your own. Where I live now used to be home to a General Tire plant. Just like going to the mines where I used to live quite a few people would get out of school and go to the tire plant. I spent 26 years working for the state highway department. I used to joke that we were the ones who made the potholes bigger. But we were on the roads year round. There are always factories around. I had a friend who used to work in a plant that made car dashboards. This was close to 30 years ago when there were still ash trays in the dash. Her job, 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, was to hook that little spring to the lid on the ash tray to make it shut. That would get to me after a few hundred ash trays. lol
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,147 posts, read 50,318,661 times
Reputation: 19849
I am on pension. My Dw commutes into the city for work. We produce a few veggies that we sell at market.

Among my neighbors:
I know pensioners,
a gunsmith [our only store-front business],
a few on disability,
a college professor,
a university entomologist,
a bureaucrat for the state Department of Environmental Protection,
a game warden,
2 different guys that run construction companies,
and one guy who works for another town's Public Works Department.


No mines around here.
A few small scale subsistence farms.
No factories.
This state is over 90% forest, but most mills have shutdown [can not compete with Canada].
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:35 PM
 
1,458 posts, read 2,266,041 times
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Good thread idea.

I would love to return to a small town, if I could figure out how to make a living.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
76 posts, read 110,760 times
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We inherited 40 acres and a "big-boned" bank account, but I decided to take up truck driving so I wouldn't be paying fuel or maintenance on a vehicle.

Curiously, I don't blink at expecting to drive 50-100 miles for errands. Back when we were city folk we sure didn't put 20k+ miles on the car each year.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Multiple jobs of a wide variety for some of us.

I used to work at two schools three days a week that were 35 miles (and no stop lights) apart, cleaned houses, washed dishes at a steak house, did day work on ranches, substitute taught at both schools, and worked horses for people. It was worth doing those things so my kids could attend a good, small school and have the opportunities that gives.

Now I have a great day job and only do ranch work and housepainting/cleaning because I like to and for the little extra income.

A friend worked at the post office, drove school bus, was the mayor of a town, sold insurance, and tended bar. It was worth it to her in order to live there.

I know some families where mom or dad works at a mine or for the county or has a job in town, while the other farms or ranches. I know some single adults who have a day job in addition to their cattle.

I have a degree and could be financially better off in a city, but will not do that.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,820 posts, read 6,442,620 times
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I wxould love to go "retire" in a small town but that's my worry too..."retire" is not what I'd do but getting away from rat races in general is where it's at. I guess having a few jobs also gives you variety and that can't be all bad.....
great thread!
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,433,956 times
Reputation: 2415
School teacher.

I can get a job anywhere. However, I don't currently work full time.
My husband is driving a truck in the ND oil field (cowboying wasn't paying the bills), and I work part time at the local sale barn, my online fabric store, and, of course, substitute teach.

Quote:
I know some families where mom or dad works at a mine or for the county or has a job in town, while the other farms or ranches.
Undoubtedly you know that old joke that behind every successful rancher is a wife who works in town.
Farming, OTOH, you have to pretty much be an idiot to not be able to make money these days.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:35 PM
 
2,570 posts, read 2,609,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsMeFred View Post
Farming, OTOH, you have to pretty much be an idiot to not be able to make money these days.

Unless you're in part of the country hit by the drought and only harvest 32 to 38% of your normal crop. Then it hits everybody in the area, farmer or not.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,147 posts, read 50,318,661 times
Reputation: 19849
Quote:
Originally Posted by branDcalf View Post
Unless you're in part of the country hit by the drought and only harvest 32 to 38% of your normal crop. Then it hits everybody in the area, farmer or not.
Huge portions of the USA are drought-prone.
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