I’ve followed Chris (the farm woman) and her adventures of moving to rural Minnesota for a while and we’ve even become friends on Facebook. I think it’s serendipitous that we both embarked on our journeys at the same time.
I had been planning this post for this month and had the same title attached to it, so I hope Chris doesn’t mind if I still use it. Great minds do think alike!
It was 7 years ago yesterday, June 23, that we loaded up a moving truck, trailer, my Blazer and our pick up and headed south for our new lives in rural Arkansas.
We put in storage things I thought would later be moved to a 1,000 square foot house we planned to build here, loaded the three dogs (we arrived with four, Sade found her way to us) and two cats and were on our way to our Big Adventure.
And what an adventure it has been!
If you’ve followed our story, you know that the bigger house never got built. Finances and that little thing they called the Great Recession got in our way.
But that’s OK, it may not have been the life we had planned, but sometimes the life we have planned is replaced with something better. I love Our Little House and The Belle Writer’s Studio.
We’ve had our share of other challenges in adapting to rural life, which is quite different than the suburban life we left.
We still miss our friends and loved ones and there are many times I miss concerts and having our choice of restaurant and entertainment venues.
We’ve waivered back and forth about moving back to the city, returning Our Little House to a part time residence and getting a small bungalow in the burbs. But then we think of the cost of living such as high taxes and the prospect of having neighbors we actually have to listen to rather than the owl in our hollow or the coyotes at dusk.
When we visit, we drive by our old home and nostalgia takes over, we remember the good times and our friendly neighbors, but somehow forget the many times the police had to be called to the neighbors for “domestic incidents,” the two times we awoke to our neighborhood barricaded by police due to a shooting and a home invasion, or the morning we woke up at 3:30 because a young man so whacked out of his mind on drugs had walked right into our home. He mistook our house for the party house three doors down. We still shudder at the thought of how that night could have changed all of our lives forever.
We don’t think about how Animal Control showed up to our door one morning wanting to take our Emma because she had been misidentified as another dog that chased a kid at a bus stop that day.
Yes, there are many challenges to living in Our Little House, not so much with dealing with the square footage anymore, but the culture, the isolation (especially with a winter like last one) and the drive for the simplest of errands, but it’s those challenges here that keeps us from having the challenges we had to face in the city.
It’s all relative. And as each year passes, we feel less a part of that other world and more a part of this one and that is a good thing, especially on mornings when the fog is rolling over the mountains and the owl and mourning dove's calls are competing for our attention.
Right now, the only 7 year itch I have is from the mosquitoes and chiggers and one cannot even escape those in the burbs.