Twenty years ago today, Man and I moved into this stick built. It was a step out of his comfort zone, he had never lived anywhere that did not have paved roads or sidewalks, more-less a septic system.
We arrived in fashion, err, with a bit of a show, I believe there were 5 vehicles in the caravan. A U-Haul enclosed truck, 3 cars full to the top with people, stuff, house plants (feel for the family member that had to deal with the cacti), pets, a few bottles of beer (cold beer), food and Carol pulling up the rear of the caravan with the van pulling an enclosed U Haul trailer, again, full to the brim. There were 6 of us I believe, maybe 7.
We drove into the yard and I heard rumors that the neighbors started with palpitations, wondering who was moving in and how many of us there were. It would take us till Thanksgiving week to get settled in, put in carpet in the three bedrooms upstairs, paint a bit, hang the art and such. We would eventually purchase two mowers, the garden tractor/mower and the Gravely. Also purchased a large generator, chain saws, a large snow thrower, my little trailer that goes behind the garden tractor (Carol's Toy) and so many other "country" toys I cannot remember them all.
In the 20 years we have built a pole barn and had the front part of the house rebuilt due to water damage. We have replaced the furnace, while Man was conveniently at his Mothers and I was home freezing my keester, err, back side off. 50 in a house is just toooooo cold, the heating blanket was my savior! We replaced the pump on the well and the water softener. The central air is still going, much to our surprise!
We even built "Carol's Folly" a bridge. It was always wet down there, except for the 3 or 4 years after we built the bridge, then, it was dry, dry dry. Of course.
We have wildlife, wild turkey, skunk (eww), possom, rabbits, deer, wood ducks, mallards, geese, snapping turtles, sand hill cranes, lots of song birds, hummingbirds, and one blue herron that comes only in August. And, those are the creatures I have seen.
We have cut trees down, planted others. Every hole we dig to put in flora is a challenge as we sit on a gravel pit created by receding glaciers a few years back. Every hole is full of sand and rocks of varying sizes.
The first few years I drug hoses from April till November, 300 foot of hose all hooked together. I watered flora for up to 12 hours a day. It takes that long when you have 30 some new trees to water, not counting the bushes and flower beds. Truly, it is a miracle I did not burn up the pump on the well (it lasted 18 years!)
We have had our share of storms, a few tornado like storms, and one doozie of an ice storm. Said ice storm took out the power, of course. Man hooked up the generator in the pole barn, but, we could still hear it running all night. We also heard the crashing and crunching as the ice broke and shattered in so many pieces and took down so many limbs. It was unforgettable! And, it took a lot of work to clean up all those limbs. Thank you chain saws!
The seasons change, the fog rolls in, the sun rises. I listen to the geese arrive in the spring and depart in the fall. They make a lot of honking noise, but, you get used to it. Even more amazing is hearing the "peepers" in the spring. Sometimes I have to close the windows and doors to have some peace and quiet to fall asleep to. They are louder than trains at some campgrounds we have been in.
We have had some significant snows, one or two that were 18 inches and more. Driving out in 18 inch snow storms can be epic, or at least thrilling. Driving out the gravel roads during an ice storm is not so epic or interesting. That is because after the first 360 degree turn, at the end of the drive, you just limp back up the driveway and stay home. It is about 1.5 miles to the paved road, when it is icy, it could be 150 miles. Makes no difference. Just. Stay. Home.
Yes, 20 years. It is hard to believe. Laughter, tears, fear, joy. 6 yorkies and 2 kitties. Marriages, births, deaths. Graduations. Life goes on, good and bad, happy and sad. And, yet, every spring, life renews.
We truly are blessed. Twenty years. And counting - - -