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.