For long time blog readers, you know that we knew exactly what we wanted when we moved. In fact, we had been looking for a place in the country in MO before we knew we were moving. We were pretty determined that we wanted 40 acres (we got 45). For what we want to do with our land, 5 acres would have been plenty but we wanted to be away from close neighbors with barking dogs or dogs that run loose and kill our chickens. Why do I love to hear a rooster crow at daylight but a barking dog isn’t a pleasant sound? We’re past the point of wanting to spend money on a home and land and then have someone tell us what we can and can’t do, how tall our weeds around the mail box can be, or what kind of siding we can or cannot have on the house we’re paying for. We no longer wanted a big house. We left behind 3700 square feet with a four car garage for just under 1700 square feet with no garage. We aren’t the kind of folks who want a house that folks drive by and drool. We just wanted to live out in the woods and enjoy out life in peace and quiet. I’m definitely not saying other lifestyles are wrong . . I’m just saying that we knew exactly what we wanted.
When we started looking for a home here, we hit a brick wall. There was nothing that fit our needs/wants/desires. We even threw our budget out the window and still couldn’t find what we wanted. Finally, after a lot of stress, tears, disappointments and everything else . . you know what I’m talking about because I blogged about every miserable minute of our house search, we found our perfect spot.
I blog about all our efforts here so you know what we’re doing but behind the scenes, we’re working our tails off! Last night we were laughing about the days when we lived in a subdivision in town. We had a little bit of maintenance and chores in the afternoons but here . . the work never ends! We have been in bed by 9:30 p.m. almost every night for the past few weeks and we’re dead tired. I’m not complaining . . it’s all what we wanted. At any time we could stop, sit on the porch in the evening and watch the deer, the wild turkeys, the hummingbirds, the cows . . and not do the work. About the only thing we HAVE to do is cut the grass but we want more. We want fruit trees, the garden, the chickens. We want water lines added so I can water the garden without dragging water hoses all over the place. We want a strawberry patch.
Several of the big projects we’ve had are one time projects. Getting the garden fenced, the chicken coop built, and fruit trees planted and fenced . . there will still be work with the garden and with the fruit trees but the major part of those projects are done now.
While I’m blogging about our accomplishments and the fun things we do, remember that we’re going into the house at dusk, covered in dirt, sometimes mud, sometimes a bit of chicken poop. We’re having fun and we’re never bored and no matter how tired we are at bed time, one of us always says “Don’t you love living here?”. In the end, what else really matters?
Moving is expensive . . especially if you have to sell one house and buy another but I encourage you to think about what you want out of life and work towards that goal. There may be a time when we move back into a neighborhood with rules and regulations (I don’t see it happening but you never know). For now, we’re right where we want to be . .
Odd you posted this today. We are going this afternoon to look at yet ANOTHER house. ugh I’m tired of the roller coaster. And ours is totally self-induced! We have a very nice house on 2 acres but DH wants a few more (this one is 14) and he wants irrigation and on the river. Every time we look at one and get all excited and then something happens and it doesn’t go through I think of you. You guys HAD to find something and I’m sure that raised the stress level by about a thousand percent lol. But when the right one comes along things will fall into place and I’ll know that is where we are supposed to be. Until then I need to try and enjoy the ride…….
Julie in WA says
You are living the life of the pioneers from 150 years ago! And what a blessing to fall into bed and fall right asleep! Yep, it is hard work, but it is work with a purpose. Thanks for sharing your living reality with your readers!
Mary Jo says
Sounds like such a great life! It is so good that you and Vince both like and want the same things and that Vince is so willing to work on the projects you want done. I dearly love my hubby, but building a chicken coop is the LAST thing I could get him to do. He will keep the grass cut, but that is the limit of his interest in the great outdoors. He would much rather be rebuilding old cars, with is both his hobby and his business..although business is really not the right word, since there is extremely limited income from this little business of his. Most of what he does seems to be for his friends or for himself! But he is happy and I know exactly where to find him!
It’s been fun reading about your ups and downs – hang in there! You are doing what you wanted to do and you will be rewarded with good health, good food and a long life.
Linda in NE says
The more property you have the more work there is, but if it’s what you love then it isn’t really work, is it? And, with as crazy as our world is getting, a home out in the country with some land for raising food is probably the best place to be. Living here in such a small town can be tiresome at times but it’s still better than being in a city and depending on everything being trucked in. I have good neighbors but I’m really glad the nearest ones are a block away and we only have open fields to one side of us.
Mary C in WA says
So happy you found your place and are living the life you dreamed of without all the “rules”. I have friends moving to Nevada, Mo end of April and I told them I ‘know’ someone who used to live there. The only thing you are missing is your Son within 1 hour visiting distance!
Ah…yes…I recall how hard you had to work to get there….and now you are also working hard, but a different kind of work…the kind that is very fulfilling and gets your place exactly as you want it. I’m really happy for you!!!
Dora, the quilter says
The fact that you are exactly where you want to be, even with all the really hard work, is absolutely wonderful! I think it’s great that you are living your dream and that at last the timing is just great!
I don’t think I would want to live in town and have people tell me how short my grass has to be or that I didn’t trim next to the sidewalk – for goodness sakes! When my son in law was in the military and they lived in base housing, some one came around with a ruler and measured how tall the grass was!! if you got 3 warnings you had to move – give me a break. My niece lived in a housing development and I guess didn’t read the fine print because when they painted the front door red someone came by and made sure they knew it was unacceptable and would have have to repaint it!!
Sharon Spingler says
I envy you my friend. I would give my eye teeth (oh wait, I had them pulled) to have a place like that where I could live the way I want.
My hat is off to you and Vince for getting all that you dreamed of and more. I admire your stamina to put up fences, build chicken coops, plant a huge garden (well, it seems huge to me!), work, quilt, cook, etc. I enjoy watching the progress and I do recognize that it is a heck of a lot of work. Bottom line – Bravo! You are doing exactly what you want to be doing.
When I moved to San Diego from NH, I lived in a neighborhood with rules and regulations. It was foreign to me. I got involved and they sucked me in to the Architectural Committee. I changed my name to “Chief of the Lawn Police” . 🙂 I had a really difficult time telling my friends and neighbors that their colors were not Association approved, etc. It was the one thing I was glad to leave behind when I came back to NH. No rules at this house! Thank goodness!
Pauline Fisher says
Your reflective post today has prompted me to come out of lurking! I’ve been following you for at least two years and our paths have been parallel. Today we are where we say several times a day to each other “I love it here!”. For us it is being back on the family fruilt farm on the shore of Lake Erie, caring for our critters and each other, planning our gardens, exploring our interests, and enjoying each sunset. Thank you, Judy, for a blog that puts life in perspective with thoughtful explanations. Long live the good life!
I love going to bed tired when I am tired from doing things I want to do, It doesn’t matter to me if it is physical work or paper work as long as I am able to achieve something towards an end goal.
I too live in the country, but we still have some rest restrictions because it is in a subdivision. The good thing is we own enough property around us that we don’t have close neighbors. We are surrounded by woods and in the summer can hardly see the short road in front of our house.
It is good that Vince and you have acheived a goal of having a smaller house with acres of land. Your progress may seem slow at times, but you make progress daily. You worked hard and are still working hard to have the life you want, not the life someone else tells you to have (well for the most part). Enjoy!
Linda in TX says
Great post! I loved the update from misery to joy.
Julie B says
Eleven years ago we bought a dreadful house on my dream plot. Eleven years on the house is unrecognisable. We have worked our buts off, but the result is worth all the effort. I know EXACTLY what you are saying in your blog, because we feel the same. Every day we look at each other and say how much we love living where we live, living the life that we live. Living the dream is worth all the heartache and all the work. The important thing is to recognise the dream and get on with it.
Doe in Mi says
I’m truly happy for you and Vince. I’m in the house I’ve been the happiest in and I’m loving it. And I know you are loving yours too.
Marilyn Smith says
Judy, this post has been music to my ears! I am so happy that you are so thrilled and excited about your new home and property. And, best of all that you and Vince are living exactly the life you had always dreamed about!
Becky in VA says
I know exactly why you and Vince LOVE where you are, because my husband and I retired early, left the suburbs and built our house in the country. Everyday, we feel like we won the lottery! Yes, there is plenty of work and it’s doing what WE LIKE. We are tucked away from the rest of the world enjoying privacy and peace and quiet. Cows are our nearest neighbors. 🙂
shirley bruner says
i am having as much fun as you are….except not in TX. we have 40 acres and are always covered in dirt and sweat. LOL isn’t country living the best? no loud cars….no neighbors. love it. keep on having fun and telling us all about it.
Judy, I can’t tell you how happy I am for you and Vince. Your life sounds wonderful and if I was 20 yrs younger I’d be green with envy! Now I’m quite happy not to have all that work – I can sit & knit or sew. Or I can go to the country with Bob and enjoy our uninproved acreage while & knit or sew.
Debbie R. says
I think we are on the opposite end… loving having less to “take care of” and enjoying quiet and each other…. simple….
I know exactly how you feel! My husband and I bought 6 acres away from town a few years ago and then literally built the house ourselves to make our budget work. Since we moved in 3 years ago we’ve been busy with the “one-time” projects that come with country living (even small sized) like fences, gardens, chickens, workshops…. I am never moving again! I love being in the country.
My, it certainly sounds like this post hit a common chord!!! For the past 37+ years we have lived here….rural S.E. MN, 24 (approx) acres surrounded by 1700 acres of state park land. Years ago, our youngest son (who, when a teen, vowed that when old enough he would leave and not look back!) built a home just up our drive way. It has been very special watching him, wife Tracy and their daughter over the past 22 years. Now they are grand parents! Time passes quickly. We are blest that our family lives close and all love rural life. Judy, have appreciated, and understood, all your posts…and still do! We feel the same way today! Hugs, Doreen
Helen Koenigl says
Judy – I’ve BTDT – and would love to be back there again. No – not at the place where I used to live (farm and all) but back out in the country where I could stretch and not have to think of seeing my next door neighbour stretching in his back yard.
LOL – my son says I’m trying to turn my area into a small farm – I have a huge (acc to my neighbours, not me) garden, a mini greenhouse, fruit trees and small berry bushes/vines. I can probably have some chickens – but they would be horribly at risk from some of the animals in the area – dogs, cats, raccoons, and even bears.
However what I wish is that I could be in the country again – could adopt and raise a large family and homeschool them all over again. I wish I could have my 2 or 3 dairy goats, some chickens, ducks and geese, some sheep as well as my garden. I miss that. I miss the fresh milk, the homemade cheese, churned butter.
Yes, I would work from sunup to sometimes well past sundown – working by a neighbour’s tractor light as we put in fence posts and strung fence at night. I miss having a decent pantry and/or cold room that I built in one corner of my basement with shelving galore. I miss having geese – and scooping up one of my ganders and carrying him back to where the others were. I miss the big pond and fishing and then cooking what we caught.
We ate what we raised – if we didn’t raise it – we probably had to do without. Essentially we homesteaded – and I loved it every inch of the way. We also left it, in good part because my son was seriously ill with asthma and allergic to much of the grasses we had in the area plus we had been snowbound for over a week during one of his worst asthma attacks and the blowing snow prevented helicopters from lifting him out of there. He survived – but at that point I decided we had to live closer to town – and so we moved. I don’t regret it – but I sure do miss it!
probably the reason I smile so much when reading your posts is because I understand. the deer and turkeys are our “pets” and we refer to our life as “living the dream!” if only our kids and grands weren’t 1500 miles away.
i’d love chickkens and a large garden, but won’t commit to so much work, especially with our extremely short growing season and the fact that visits to see family come in two-week chunks of time away from home. but let’s hear it for the beauty of day-to-day living — even if today did include snow all day long!
I am so happy for you and Vince enjoying your new life. That is what really matters. Hard work is good for you!
You sound like me, until last summer when we found out my husband had terminal cancer. Moved from tx to ar 7yrs ago. Got our place in the country, good life and hard work. One day i will be tx bound again, it is where my kids are, only i will be alone. Enjoy every minute, we still do.
When we decided to move to OH from CA 19 years ago, we thought that what we wanted were about 10 acres, out in the country. But our teenagers told us that they would prefer not being the ones who lived “out there” , away from the possibility of after-school jobs, activities that they had to drive a distance for, etc. We surprised them, and ourselves, by becoming “urban pioneers”- moving into the heart of the capital city into an “emerging” neighborhood with old Victorian homes that begged for TLC! We started 5 community gardens on vacant lots that are still operational today, we have enjoyed renovating our 5200 SF house (handy when we had 10 kids at home!) and according to our work crew (otherwise known as our children) “dug up every square inch of land on our property at least twice!! We have a quiet courtyard with a twice-built Koi pond, espalliered apple trees along our side yard fence, 288 Square Foot raised bed vegetable garden, cherry tree, raspberry, blueberry bushes, Artic Kiwis and a great tumbling composter on a stand! Yes we have neighbors close by, but we have all worked together and when we hear someone using a nail gun at 11 PM to put down their new hardwood floor, we smile because it’s a sign that our neighborhood is continuing it’s upward movement. Most of all, DH is not commuting 72 miles each way to work as he was in CA when we lived in the mountain resort town. We have always been “back to the land” folks and enjoy that self sufficient life, but, for us, right now- we can’t imagine ever moving again! I think that’s what it’s all about for all of us- finding that place and circumstance that is our “bit of heaven”!! So glad you found yours!!! Enjoy!!!
Oh my! What a lovely post…we are doing exactly the same thing on 11.5 acres. I was up with the sun in the barn with goats and chicks. After breakfast (and reading blogs) it is mowing, turning compost, planting strawberries, asparagus, and spearmint, making sauerkraut, fixing my soaker hoses, cleaning the goat stall, and on and on and on and on and I’m sure it sounds perfectly awful to some folks, but to us it is HEAVEN…Heaven is muddy and hot, but beautiful!
Linda S says
OMGOSH! One thing I never imagined was that you were just out there in the woods playing, Judy! You accomplish so much every day, you always amaze me. Just the amount of sewing and quilting you do. Then add the cooking, shopping, cleaning, gardening, canning, planning, unpacking, blogging, knitting, killing poisonous critters (and looking around for the ones that got away!), arranging quilting retreats, writing books, teaching, etc., and I am thoroughly exhausted just thinking about it. I am so happy you have what you want. That is the most important thing in life, isn’t it?