I’m back! It’s been a wonderful and grueling summer at the same time, so I think I am rested up enough to tell you what is in the works around here. The last month and a half has been spent in a frenzy of work on our house, patio and yard. Since Jamie’s layoff, he’s been freed from the bonds of his oilfield salary and we’ve reflected on what we want our next chapter to look like. Together we have decided to sell our house here in Louisiana and head north to Ohio, where he was born and raised. For the 12 plus years we have been married, we have always lived near my family and now it is his turn. It’s time for our boys to get to know his family better. They are a close-knit group of wonderful people, so I am totally excited!
Louisiana is beautiful and I love my family here, but we all miss the seasons, though many people call me crazy for this. That’s okay, because I can think of few things as wonderful as watching it snow over a hot cup of coffee, a cozy fire, chili, soups and gumbos on cold nights, white Christmases, autumn leaves, hay rides and trick or treating while not sweating and being swarmed by mosquitoes, rain that cools rather than creating oppressive humidity…and so on. Yes, I love many things about Louisiana, but I miss the northern part of this beautiful country and I want my kids to know it now that they are old enough to remember it all.
Anyway, the boys and I drove up to Ohio a few weeks ago and looked at some properties:
a fish farm,
a retired dairy farm,
a beautiful bed and breakfast,
Jamie’s best friend’s mother’s remodeled century farmhouse,
and more. There are several possible places in which we can see ourselves building a life where we are able to live off the land and teach our kids the value of a good day’s work.
My kids are amazing, but let’s face it, we live in a society teaching them to stare down at their phones rather than look up at the stars. I should note that my kids don’t have phones yet, but all of their friends seem to, so it’s hard to live in a suburban area and teach them what we deem important.
The thing that really struck me while we were up there was how different things were because of the environment. My boys have cousins their age there and played outside with them from almost dawn to dusk. They built a fort, rode scooters, caught fireflies, explored and more, all with no fear of total dehydration, snakes, fire ants or being carried away by mosquitoes. Here in Louisiana, it’s been such a hot summer that, unless they are in the pool, I’m reluctant to leave them playing outside for too long. They rarely want to go out anyway, so it’s a constant chore trying to keep us busy in the air conditioning. Even at night, where it might actually cool down a little, I’m running to shut the chicken coop like I’m being shot at because of all the mosquitoes.
Anyway, we are looking at a simple efficient home with enough acreage to be able to grow most of our own food and perhaps earn a little money from the property. I can’t do that here in Louisiana because I seem to be unable to fend off the pest of the month in my garden and, though I’m not opposed to using neem oil, seven dust, DE, etc., I feel like we would all glow in the dark if I used what I needed to for successful pest control. Yes, people have offered help and advice, but I am willing to admit that, other than the basics like tomatoes and cucumbers, I’ve given up. Besides, once I can grow more things AND I have a basement, LOOK OUT! Canning paradise!
So after much, much, much work and flirting with being institutionalized for exhaustion and almost losing it, we finally listed our house last week. Now we can only sit back and pray that it sells quickly. We’ve done a ton of work and this place has a lot to offer, so even though it will be sad to say goodbye, I think we might just pull this off. We are in a desirable neighborhood with great neighbors, close to amenities and have more acreage than is normally available here, so fingers crossed!
Now you know. I hope to be much better at posting now that we are in the “wait and see” mode, but I have a few projects in the works. Hopefully, I will remember to take before and after pictures for you this time!
Talk to you soon!