The Seven Year Itch

Posted June 24th, 2014 by kerri and filed in small house living
Tags: ,

Our for­mer house in the city

I had to laugh when I read a post by The Minnesota Farm Woman a week ago enti­tled, “The Seven Year Itch.”

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.



8 Responses to “The Seven Year Itch”

  1. Sheryl M says:

    Oh, Kerri! What a relief to hear you are still in love with the small rural life!. When you titled this the sev­ern year itch, I just knew you would be writ­ing about how you are con­sid­er­ing mov­ing back. We are only two years into our full time small; dur­ing the first year, we were back at the big house at least once a month When we were there full time, I always thought it was a rel­a­tively quiet neigh­bor­hood, but then after liv­ing rurally for most of the month, the city was so noisy. We could hear cars on the high­way a mile away, and neigh­bors with loud par­ties late at night, etc. Now it's just crick­ets and tree frogs that ser­e­nade us. Cheers to your con­tin­ued small living!

    • Kerri says:

      LOL, Sheryl, fooled ya! :) After the win­ter, we did con­sider mov­ing back, it was bru­tal. We took a lot of things into con­sid­er­a­tion such as finances, jobs, secu­rity in retire­ment and yes, neigh­bors and noise. I don't know after liv­ing out like this for 7 years if we could go back to hav­ing "over the fence" neigh­bors again. This time of year is very noisy for us, though, with all of those cicadas singing their song of summer!

  2. Nancy Ryan says:

    Your blogs are so inter­est­ing when­ever I run across them which is often since I've become enam­oured with the tiny house move­ment. However, it is hit and miss. How do I sub­scribe to your blog? I would like to read it on a reg­u­lar basis. Thank you so much.

    • Kerri says:

      Hi, Nancy, Welcome to Living Large! There used to be a sub­scribe but­ton on the blog, but I'm not sure what hap­pened to it. I hope to do a redesign soon. We have a very active com­mu­nity on Facebook and I hope you can join us there. I always post links to my posts to alert our Living Largers to new con­tent. So glad to have you!

  3. caroline stilwell says:

    Kerri, I always read the Tiny House Blog. Mine was fea­tured ear­lier this year,a search on the blog of Little House in a Potato Field will bring up my lit­tle house. We do not live there full time but since we are retired we run down there often! However, the rea­son that I am writing(and I did not see a link to send you a per­sonal mes­sage) is that my grandmother's fam­ily name was Fivecoat. Such an unusual name, I think I know of or know all the Fivecoats in Ohio. Where do you live?

    • Kerri says:

      Hi, Caroline, Welcome to Living Large! I love Tiny House Blog and saw your house. So cute! Would love to fea­ture it on our Facebook page. We live in North Central Arkansas, between Mountain Home and Lead Hill on Bull Shoals Lake. We're pretty iso­lated here in our 'holler," but we are get­ting more peo­ple out here and we don't like that. Before the reces­sion, this was the fastest grow­ing county in Arkansas, but that's not always nec­es­sar­ily a good thing. :) Glad to have you here!

  4. We bought 105 acres of rural prop­erty in 2000, which turned out to have a native prairie rem­nant on it, land that had never been tilled or plowed or treated with chem­i­cals. The Missouri Conservation Department has it included in their Natural History Database as "Southfork Prairie." Among the plants that grow there, the lit­tle prairie rem­nant includes many rare native species and at least one milk­weed that is listed as endan­gered. We had only really been look­ing for a pretty place to build a home and have some horses, but the dis­cov­ery of the lit­tle rem­nant changed every­thing. I guess it's true what they say, "life is what hap­pens when you're mak­ing other plans."

    In 2010, prop­erty came up for sale that is just right across the road from our land. The house is earth con­tact and sits on ten acres. It was designed with many energy sav­ing fea­tures built in. We real­ized that it had vir­tu­ally every­thing we had planned on incor­po­rat­ing into a house that we'd intended to build on Southfork Prairie, so we bought it, moved out of our sub­ur­ban Prairie Village neighborhood,and have never looked back. I love our coun­try life, love walk­ing out­side on any typ­i­cal sum­mer night and being awestruck by the glit­ter­ing stars, the twin­kling fire­flies, the howls of coy­otes, hoot­ing of owls and all the other sounds and sights that make an ordi­nary coun­try night feel mag­i­cal. Despite the fact that things did not go exactly as planned, I have no regrets about the choices we made. It sounds like you and your hus­band feel the same way. Good for us! :-)

    • Kerri says:

      I think that's become our theme: "Life is what hap­pens when you're mak­ing other plans." This hasn't been easy, but another say­ing comes to mind: "Nothing worth it ever is." :) Yes, good for us!