One year ago...

We just finished our big June Birthday Bash Blow Out, and I'll tell you about it and show pictures on Monday. In the meantime, I realize that today is the one year anniversary of us owning this house. It's been quite a year.

One year ago today, we closed on two houses; the Big Ugly House in the morning and this one in the afternoon. We had slept in a hotel overnight, complete with one dog, two cats, and one quail. The five younger people left for church camp from one house, and returned to another. We had no furniture, as the floors were all going to be redone. The next day would be spent cleaning out every shed and out building because they were packed full with stuff the previous owners had left behind. We were relieved to have the stress of selling the house and packing done, but it all felt vaguely disorienting.

What a difference a year makes.

I am so very glad to be on this side of all of that. While parts of the year have been very hard, I can say we are all feeling much more settled and glad we are here. What has happened in the past year?

  • I've stopped getting lost, and making wrong turns. I know where most things I need are, and can get to them without getting turned around or having to resort to the map on my phone.
  • We were able to get rid of the storage locker, having found places for everything. J. creating my linen storage closet helped a lot.
  • We have a new (to us) stove which I can actually cook on, rather than that stove imposter which came with the house.
  • We have found doctors in the area, and I know where the closest ER is. (I didn't actually know this piece of information at first, and found it a little concerning, given our family history of semi-annual visits.)
  • We got rid of the hard-to-start and hard-to-use lawn tractor which came with the house, and replaced it with a shiny, new zero turn mower. (Do you start to see a theme, of accomplishments often requiring outlays of largish sums of money?)
  • We found a new church which we love, and is a good fit for us. Style-wise, it is about as opposite from our old church as you can get. I'm coming to terms with that. 
  • P. got her driver's license, which is good because you really need to drive to get anywhere from our house.
  • We brooded chicks and ducklings in our house, and having checked that off our bucket list, feel pretty confident that doing this particular activity inside the house doesn't ever need to happen again.
  • J. and children built a chicken coop to house all those chicks and ducks.
  • We have met people and are making friends. 
  • J. tilled two different garden plots for me, and built fences around them. I started seeds and got them all planted. Now, if the weather and my schedule would cooperate long enough for me to actually weed them.
  • We cut down a lot, really a lot, of weed trees and bushes that had grown up. We are still not done with this task. It feels never ending. Kind of the like the burn pile. It's never ending as a result.
  • We have a burn pile and a place to burn it. We are not in the city any longer.
  • Our property tax bill came, and it didn't cause a week long bout of fretting and worrying. We paid the property tax bill without having to borrow money.
  • A. got a Great Dane, and she is now a year old (the Great Dane, not A.).
  • Five children became readers.
  • We celebrated holidays in this house and have started new traditions.
  • The zip line was put up, though people have plans of building a platform for it to make it easier to get on.
  • Painting of the out buildings has begun, so they all match and are colors we like. See?
  • Existing garden beds are slowly being tamed into more manageable and attractive places.
  • Yesterday we had a new well pressure tank put in because the (very) old one was leaking. They were able to put it down in the crawl space, making room in our utility room for a new upright freezer. I will be so excited when we can find one and have decent freezer space again!
I'm sure there is more. Good friends came out early last week, and I loved hearing that they thought we had done so much in the past year. It truly feels like a drop in the bucket, compared to what we'd like to do. On our list for this next year, we'd love to:
  • Get rid of the hot tub on the back porch (Really, if anyone wants it come and get it!)
  • Replace the kitchen sink with the lovely, large cast iron one I have waiting
  • Build a barn and fence the pastures
  • Do some interior painting. (I keep thinking, would it have killed us to leave the furniture in storage one more week and get the ugly walls painted, too?)
  • Use second hand cabinets to build a bigger kitchen island
  • I would love, love, love to demolish the silly pantries we have and figure out a better shelving method. I keep threatening that one day J. will come home, and I will have taken a sledge hammer to the pantry walls in a fit of frustration.
  • Screen in the back porch
  • Continue to tame the overgrown wilderness that passes for our yard
While we miss our friends, this has been a good move for us. I have felt more relaxed here this past year than I have in a very long time. Since I am still feeling this way even after J.'s recent job loss, that's saying something. This house and this place feel comfortable. We feel God's hand all over us being here, and even with the uncertainty we face at the moment, it truly feels as though we are right where we are supposed to be.


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