perspective

We’re letting go. I cried easy tears last Sunday in church… the kind of tears that come from the deep realization that this girl will be leaving “home.” Church. A new church. A closer church. It’s hard to explain. As I looked around, I saw family and heart and hurt and the tears just came. It may be 6 months down the road, it may be 2 years… we honestly do not know yet. The reality is, we live 45 minutes away from our church. We believe church is active community, and we simply cannot be involved to the extent we want to be from 4 zip codes over. It has been our home for 6 years now, and I have never left a church before.

I am still wading through all of this. I hate leaving things. I don’t gather things without purpose and so to leave something behind is a really hard decision. What will I be without it? We knew that moving to TexasNorth would change our lives. We expected it and we desired it. Saying goodbye to some things has been difficult… as it should be. But, I do not regret our decision to follow our hearts and drive a dirt road everyday.

Country living has few requirements. People keep to themselves but are always available when you need them. Even when you need them at 11:30pm with their tractor and a tow strap. Ask me how I know this. After being out here for the past 18 months, I can honestly say the only ‘rule’ I’ve come across is the ‘greeting from afar’ rule- the ‘wave’. But, that’s not hard, really. It’s almost instinctive, whether you know the person passing you or not. I like it.

When we first bought the property, we envisioned a future dream house out back- in the quiet, off the road, unseen. But then our neighbor Dan said something I’ll never forget. He had no idea of our future building plans, but one afternoon whilst shooting the breeze with The Boy he said, “You know… we get a lot of folks who come out here from the city looking for peace. And they buy their property and put in this long pretty driveway and they build way back in the woods… and you never see them again.” And what he was saying was, “We’re looking for community. We like to wave at you when you’re in your yard. We want to share this simple life, just a little bit, with you.” Now isn’t that exactly what we we’re looking for? Yes. Yes, I believe it is.

So, no house on the back 40. We’re staying out front in the Shoebox. That’s just fine. We now have much clearer visions of an upstairs addition over the walkout basement. The existing basement will be finished off with a living room and 2 bedrooms and many prayers that our little family will grow.

We’ve decided to move the old red barn to the front of the property- where the original barn once stood some 30 years ago. This will happen, with your help, in a couple years. Picture a big, old-fashioned barn raising with macaroni and cheese and dancing. The cattle fence will be put in next month and the longhorns will come shortly after. We went to visit the baby cows again this weekend and I got licked/slimed by a pretty little girl with huge eyes and a loooooong eyelashes. I think I am in love.

The chickens are growing at ridiculous rates. I am constantly chasing birds back into their mini-coop… and they are quickly outgrowing their digs. And, when I say chasing, it’s exactly as you picture it. The Boy is building them a permanent home like no other. I have dreams of flower vines growing up the side of their new coop and old gasoline advertisements nailed into the siding. The babies will start laying eggs around early November- and we’ll have upwards of 20 a day, so get your cartons ready.

And my garden… well my garden is growing. Mister Dan and his big tractor came over to help us dig up the earth and get started. We flipped to the East this year (it’s an even year, 2008), and next year, we’ll flip to the West to keep the dirt even. My broccoli and beans are started, while the rest will go in after Memorial Day. I am learning so much… it’s simple but hard work. I am finding I can do hard work.

Even if it means leaving behind a bit of the familiar.

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About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

16 responses to “perspective

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    We want to come to the barn raising, can we bring the camper? Myron may not like the idea of actual labor but he does like the idea of actually meeting you…and yours!

  • KatieKate

    Yes, absolutely bring the camper. And tell Myron he can be in charge of ripping out old stumps with the Land Cruiser and the winch. That’ll get him!

  • sunday

    you know i was just wondering about that old red barn and here you tell me all about it. you are going to have to tell me more about flipping east and west and all that stuff. yeah i think that myron would like that stump removing. i was thinking that i would love to come up as well and do a little barn raising! i love this post. i had a church in college that “just felt right”, and that was the hardest part about leaving, was leaving the church. i love this post, i love your life. it is so wonderful.

  • K Moore

    hey kate.
    leaving your church= heartbreak. girl, that is just plain sad and hard. but just as your chickens are nesting and getting bigger, so will your family. and i bet you’ll flourish even more. . . .
    your garden plans sound lovely.

  • CortneyTree

    There is so much change and sacrifice involved in becoming an adult, raising a family, and deciding just what direction you want your life to take, and it can be so overwhelming some times. But look at how beautifully you’re carving out your existence, and making it exactly what you want! I feel more fulfilled just knowing you 😉

    A barn raising sounds right up my alley–can I help with the cookin’?

    I have this crazy idea of kids I don’t even have yet spending a week or two every summer at Aunt Katie’s farm, chasing chickens and pickin’ beans–with me and their daddy coming up at the end to pick them up, all sunkissed and happy, and spending a few days ourselves, taking walks and sippin’ drinks and laughing a lot. We’ll have to work on making that crazy idea do-able.

  • KatieKate

    Well, if that just isn’t the best idea, Cort, I dunno what is. You put those kiddos on Amtrak and we’ll pick ’em up 🙂

    And yes… I’ll need some help with the cooking!

  • Jimmy

    And when the barn is raised we all will go north and go swiming in Duck Lake and play on the sand dunes

    When will your book be completed?

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    Aww I know what Church Sunday is talking about. I compared it when we moved here to all the others.

    I think Myron might like that idea!!!

  • The VanderPloeg's

    Kate – what a sad day it’ll be when we won’t see/hear your beautiful voice from the round. we will miss seeing your family in our church community.

    please promise we’ll stay in touch though – i think we’re due for a trip up north…rory and lainy are ready to experience some chickens!

  • the bantam menace

    oh, kate… it’s sad, but it’s beautiful…simply beautiful. you are bravely living the life you want, the way you want and know it should look like for you and your precious family.

    mwah!

  • EllieRichellie

    oh.. you have chickens. How I would love a chicken or two. Thanks so much for stopping in at Cabin Life and sharing your adventure. We have set some major lifestyle goals, and are dragging two school age girls along. Less really is more, and sounds like you are finding it TexasNorth. What a great name, by the way. I want to find a town called WashingtonEast. I would be just perfectly at home. . in a tiny house w/ geothermal heat. A girl, albeit a hard core downsizer, can dream!! I’ll be keeping up with your adventures and sewing. EllieRichellie

  • Lisa and Gary...

    It would seem you have chosen the path of this life with great consideration. It’s not some flight-of-fancy. It is purpose driven. I’m sure when you make the decision to leave your home church you will also be purposefully guided to a new church family. They will, undoubtedly, welcome you in with open arms and fill the emotional holes you currently perceive as loss.

    Kate, I don’t know you but for the details you share here. But it seems the life you are weaving for your family is a tapestry rich with texture, depth of color, and a diverse and remarkable pattern. When it is complete, it will be a beautiful, whole life. A life well worth living and a life for which you should take great pride.

    L.

  • Miss Laura

    I almost lost my breath when I read that first bit…and thought to myself, “How could Kate and Curt have had their last Sunday there and NOT TOLD ME?????” Big sigh of relief that it isn’t happening yet. At least we live relatively close now…I’m going to lobby hard to stay out in the far NE.

  • Wende

    Oh, girly! I know this pain. It’s so hard. You’re in my prayers.

    And I want to come to your barn raising. I’d be no help, as I’m useless. But I still want to come.

    Now I must go finish my coffee with IZ so that I can pack like a mad woman. We leave for the wedding today and as usual, I have more to do than time to do it! (I’m officiating the wedding, so keep me in your prayers on Saturday.)

  • sunday

    when Worth saw these pictures he said “why can’t we do something like that”.

  • the dicocco gang

    yes sweet… I know about the suck-your-breath away pain of following your life but having to leave things that are very dear to you in order to fully embrace what you have been called in to.
    You are living well darlin’. I , for one, am proud of you.

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