Life Under The Party Lights
So, this has been on my mind and added to the 'When I get time' list for about a year- write
a blog about all that we have created, changed, updated, started, re-arranged, moved, planted,
raised, torn out, stopped, and changed our mind about since we moved to this small farm ten years ago. Every project and life happenings in that time frame on this seven acres have roots in 1887, as that is when the first buildings were constructed on the property. Each of our ideas that transitioned from a thought into a work day begged the questions- Can it remain the way it is? How does it need to be improved? Can it be improved? Must anything be removed? Replaced? How will it look there? Can we do it ourselves? Do we have the skills? Do we posses the right tools? After hundreds of ideas passed through those series of questions a small or big project was begun, worked on, and completed.....ten years of projects.
My husband Steve wanted to purchase this farm and move here from Waterville, Ohio when
he was close to retiring from his career as their Fire Chief. My first time walking around here was completed only because Steve requested I look at it, and I love him, so I complied. We lived in town...in a nicely updated house.....with central air, city water, concrete driveway, and a big
garage. This place possessed none of those things, and appeared to me to be in the middle of no
where. Thirteen miles to the closest grocery store....What? Who does that? It was suggested I look at the potential- the possibilities. OK, I can kind of see it....maybe, but this was going to take a lot to make it comfortable and girl pretty. I realized how deep we were going to have to dig into our time and resolve to get it done....this was not a one year plan by any stretch. We did decide
together to go forward even as our friends who saw it asked "What are you thinking?" Yeah, it was that ugly, and completely an unusual choice as a prime location to retire and rest.
Now, after the years of changes and improvements we simply don't see ourselves being
anywhere else- yes, myself included- I've come around to the quality of living in the country...it doesn't equate with 'things.' The peacefulness and solitude are a trade off for a scheduled trip to the store, and window AC units cool our most used spaces quite well on the few really hot days. It's so much more than just the property, it's the life that we have lived here. The interesting experiences, both public and private, which simply could not have unfolded anywhere else.
When I sift through hundreds and hundreds of photos in my online folder it hits me how much we have done and possibly someone might be interested in seeing and reading about those experiences.
Honesty - I have put this off because I compare. I struggle with it daily. I place myself way below others- my blog won't look that good, I am not completely sure how to navigate the techy requirements, my family room will never look magazine worthy etc. I have decided to learn the aspects of this as I go, like anything new. I am going into this allowing myself giant doses of grace. I will not place strict rules on myself. I enjoy writing and I want to compose this without rigid parameters. I will go back years for a post, or I will write and share about yesterday. The posts may be short or long- once a week or two in a day. I want to be open to God's leading in what to type each time I'm seated at the keyboard.
We have shaped this from an empty house with outbuildings to a home and an event venue. We have transformed it with much help from family and friends, with memories being made that are meaningful to all involved. There have been some great, monumental, funny days and many difficult, challenging ones as well. We have done things that were never even considered when we signed those ownership documents- besides making the house livable the radar screen was blank. Adventures have evolved because of the fact that we have been willing to try completely unfamiliar tasks, and we both care about each other enough to jump on board with the other’s requests and what they envision. Steve and I have become significantly closer during our years here compared to our eight years in town. We alone know the stamina it took to bottle feed quadruplet lambs in the middle of the night for weeks, the absolute joy of seeing our children's friends be married in the barn, the agony of deciding where and how to bury a dog in the dead of winter, the daily familiarity of the odd noises an old house makes, and the assurance of relying on someone who always comes through for you. We are fully aware, and extremely grateful that God has allowed us this time together here and we have always savored watching others enjoy it as well.
One of my favorite quotes is: "Live the story you want to tell." Everyone has a story- this is a
season of ours. Come along if you choose....to look back, learn, laugh, and also look forward....to
Life Under The Party Lights.