Due to living in the country as well as trying to pinch every penny I can in order to save up for horse things, barn things, house things, all things…I have given up several of the luxuries of modern life. Other things I’ve given up due to the fact that they just aren’t feasible here. I’m treating it as an experiment really. One of mind and practicality.
Everyone knows I value entertainment as air. I’m a movie, TV watching fool and I’m always on the hunt for something, anything, to transport me to another dimension, time, world. I read too and reading used to be my go-to but visual entertainment has gotten SO.MUCH.BETTER in the modern era that some time ago I actually did purchase a really nice TV to assist with my “therapy for normal life”. Now, as a result, I have a really nice TV with all these apps that I can’t use.
See, my internet is slow. Painfully slow. And it is one of the better services for rural America. Plus I’m on a 10GB per month limit to save on cost. So, really, not much more than email and some blogging/social media stuff can be done on it. I gave up Hulu. I thought about giving up Netflix but I just couldn’t bring myself to. I watch it on my phone because I have unlimited data on that (grandfathered in because I had the first gen IPhone when limits on data were something no one could ever imagine). Watching Netflix on your phone is not ideal but, it is what I have.
I dropped every extra thing on my satellite TV. I have the basics. In my humble opinion it is still a ridiculous amount to pay to be able to watch The Walking Dead and Vikings but… Hey, I haven’t gone over completely to the anti-tech side yet!
I gave up XM radio. So I’m old school now, which results mostly in me grumbling because regular radio is not so much music but a lot of annoying conversation and commercials. This led me to go back to listening to NPR on the way to work (something I used to do long ago when I had an extended work commute). I always enjoyed it but for whatever reason, even though it was on my XM dial, I never used that button. Probably because my commute was shorter and I just didn’t have time to get into it. So, yah for me I’m actually learning about the world again and am at least a little informed. It has also reopened my option for listening to entire episodes of podcasts at one time. As it stood before I would basically end up chopping them into 20 little segments by virtue of “oh, I’m here I’ll finish this one later” and then by the time I got back to it I couldn’t remember what I’d already heard in detail.
There were other tiny things too. Memberships to internet sites and such. All gone except for one horse site that I use for training. All in all what it amounted to was not a huge savings per month but over the course of a year or more, every little bit helps. And much of it is just no longer practical.
What is also not practical, interestingly enough, is being obsessive/compulsive about dirt. I’m not talking being gross. I have enough of that to deal with from the prior owner’s disgusting lifestyle. But, farm dirt is an animal all in its own universe. You simply cannot have a spotless farm house. LOL. It might be that way for five minutes right after you clean it, but the moment you walk down to the barn and come back, or a cat comes through the door having slept in the hayloft all day, your clean house is toast. Just let it go is what I’ve learned. And, I have a basement now, which is great because it gives me extra storage, a place to put the cat boxes, the washer/dryer are down there… But, basements are dusty and dirty. Back and forth I go several times a day. The dirt comes with me. I also have a mud porch. Yeah, a WHOLE enclosed porch dedicated to not tracking mud INTO the house. But, that is folly really. Barn dirt is like a tick. You don’t even know you have it on you most times.
Last, learning to live within a half-finished house has been a challenge for me. SO.MUCH.STUFF needs done. My neighbors, who operate an organic farm, told me about having to completely gut their house when they moved in and just start over. For three years they lived in a tiny house next to the farm that the husband’s aunt and uncle owned and had used for years as a weekend getaway. They did the kitchen, living room and one bedroom over those three years (because they were also trying to get the business up and running) and only then were they able to move into the house and continue working on it. So, I guess compared to that my three rooms and kitchen area without flooring, my badly needing of painting ceilings and walls, my busted out kitchen wall that I demolished in search of the lingering smell of dog pee and all the other repair work that needs done (too much to list), aren’t so bad?
Well….I’m home! I will catalog the process with photos later this season but right now I’m just trying to keep my head above water. The leaky roof has finally been replaced, which took forever due to the horrible weather we have been having. As it stands it became the least of my issues once I got here.
First – OMG what a bunch of effing weirdos these people were! And a disgusting mix of dirty, nasty living folk on one side and hoity-toity very privileged on the other. LOL it was a goddamn sad comedy. First, the woman that was living in the house did not own it. Her brother oversaw a “Trust” that actually owned the house. I later found out that 13 years ago she and her ex purchased the farm IN CASH for a hefty amount. Then proceeded to have a failed boarding business, a failed relationship business (resulting in her having to buy him out of his half of the value and hence the formation of the Trust administered by her brother, who fronted the money and decided to retain control). Then, she just literally let everything roll downhill into the shit pile of a mess that I was able to purchase for about ½ of what they slapped down. So, that should give some indication of how bad it is.
Now before anyone starts feeling sorry for this greasy bitch, pllllleeeeaaaassseeeeeee….I know things are hard by yourself as I’ve been by myself for the majority of my life. I know women sometimes find themselves in overwhelming situations due to divorce. BUT, this woman came from money, her family has money, she is privileged beyond any means that I myself have ever had the good fortune to experience, is gainfully employed and by all accounts had a local support system of friends and family (other than her hoity-toity brother and his equally ridiculously self-involved wife who live in Maryland and the wife must’ve made negative references to West Virginia about 17 times during the closing). The woman who lived here is simply lazy, dirty and hasn’t the common sense to even clean a toilet every once in awhile. And if you are still feeling sorry for her, just wait until I get the pictures posted.
Anyway, I had to rent a 6-ton dumpster to clean out the house and barn. I loaded about 4-tons of shit in it by myself. Goodbye and many prayers of forgiveness begging to Mother Earth for every bit of it had to go in the landfill. I don’t understand how people live like this. There is also a bunch of metal to be hauled away. My sister-in-law is working on that. Around here you have a good number of people who are hurting for cash and will sometimes take it off your hands in order to turn it in for money. But, you have to be careful of who you invite onto your property.
My girlfriend and I have been cleaning room by room from top to bottom. Her mom has helped us out on a couple of days. She got a first coat of paint on the front room of the basement last week. My brother re-plumbed my dishwasher hook-up, put a receptacle in for my dryer (they had it jacked directly in to the breaker box) and is going to rewire the pump house for me so it is a little more safe and convenient. My dad and I demolished a wall in the basement yesterday. My idea is to have part of it as a small partition separating the washer/dryer area from the “cat room” where the litter boxes are. There is also a good bit of storage space in the cat room with shelving so it will become where holiday decorations, crafting supplies, etc. are kept. Everyone has helped me out so much it is like a trip home really. I remember people helping people when I was growing up. People don’t do this stuff in my former place of residence.
The house. OMG the house. So disgusting I could not even stay there the first couple of nights and instead slept in my brother’s spare room. It smelled of wet dog, pee and shit. Obviously she just let her dogs do whatever, wherever they wanted. The cabinets were SO FULL of grease that I had to use automotive degreaser to clean them. Grease coated the walls, the cabinets…there was a light with a fan above the stove and when we took it down and were dismantling it the blades were stuck even after we removed the screws. Held in place by grease and thirteen years of grime! I ripped out carpet and linoleum. I am still waiting for flooring to come in so half the house is just plywood floor. I am also still fighting the smells although with each thing we clean it gets a little better. The ceilings will need painted. Even they are covered in a layer of “we just live like pigs” grit.
It will be a very long and heavy workload process. Right now it seems like every time I turn around some other plumbing fixture that was completely, inappropriately installed or “fixed” by these dumb fuckers is leaking. I estimate it will take two to three years to even get the house into the condition that I want it due to time and funding.
Then, there is the barn and field. We are desperately figuring out fencing. Some is salvageable. She had her horses in a very small area and was keeping them in it via that cheap electric tape fence. Not gonna work and not even an option in my opinion. Fence building is a dying art even in the country. No one wants to work anymore it seems but I do have some numbers I’m calling this weekend. I feel like if I can get someone to at least put up a perimeter, even if it is smaller than the whole field we intend to allow them in, I can get them here and THAT is my main goal right now. Then, we can work on the larger field over the next couple of months.
The barn is actually awesome. Once it was cleaned out from the piles and piles of junk there are good bones to work with. One side of the roof needs repaired but overall it is solid and OMGosh the room! The barn is bigger than the house. Maybe I could live in the loft and be close to the horses? LOL.
She also left two barn cats (which she was supposed to take) behind and my first thought is to re-home them to another farm. They are nice cats. But, the other night Obi got in a huge fight with one of them (prior to this I thought they were all actually getting along) and I saw him spray outside the house on a bush this morning. Obi’s MO is that when he is stressed he sprays. Most times, his medication and our behavioral modification plan (which includes loads of attention and reassurance) will follow through and he’ll do this outside. But, there is always the chance that he’ll lose it and decide to spray a door (his most common victim) on the inside. THEN we have big trouble. I can even tell in the litter box when he is getting stressed because if he is happy-go-lucky the pee spot is completely in the litter (he squats, in other words). If he is slightly stressed he will get some on the sides of the box. I have always had to use tall, plastic storage boxes with a door hole cut into them for litter boxes with him for this reason.
Now, other than all that (lol) my little Lord Satan is loving his farm! OMGosh he spends more time in the barn than in the house, he comes home covered in hay and dirt and seems super happy. On warm nights he absolutely refuses to come in, sleeping in the hay loft instead. I snapped some pics of him the other day in the loft, surveying his kingdom. Lilly is still deciding but I think she is cool with it for the most part. This is only the second place she has ever lived. Rowdy, well, wherever mom is, he is good.
So far, I’m fine with the aloneness. Sometimes I think how odd it is that it is so quiet in terms of human noise. You will hear a vehicle out on the road once in awhile (there are four or five houses further up the road from me and two driveways before mine). I hear cows and loads of birds and peeper frogs. I heard coyotes last week on the only night it was actually warm enough to have the windows open. The coolest part is that in between my farm and the organic farm there is a cemetery, which I have yet to explore but cannot wait to do so.
Most of the issues with isolation will happen in the Dark Season. Winter has a way of robbing me of my belief in myself. It will be difficult to combat.
So that is how it stands. At some point this farm is going to need a name. Remember it will be my home, a home for my horse and a sanctuary as well. I’m completely not feeling creative right now so suggestions are welcome!
I am! Well, almost. I'm still actually holding my breath a bit but I have closing dates for both my house and the farm. I don't think you get those unless things are good, right?
So, this is my barn. It is relatively young as far as barns go - about 20 or so years. The man that originally built it and had the farm bred and raised Arabs. There are ten stalls and some attached storage areas, a tack room, etc. The fence needs some work throughout, although the woman selling it has three horses. I'll just have to get in there and have a look to determine exactly how much work. In the far right background you can see a field. That field is currently not fence (used to be but she has let it go) and I want to re-fence it. I like the idea of giving horses as much room as possible to graze and play and be horses...
And this is the house! Part of it is a refurbished log cabin (which is one of the things that I had to go round and round with the bank about) to the point where I was screaming it isn't like it has a dirt floor and an outhouse haven't ya'll ever watched Barnyard Builders???? Gah....anyway... It wasn't my choice to go out and look for a refurbished log cabin, it is simply that it was the house that was on the property that had the barn and the land....that is the thing about horse people. We always look at the barn first. Then we say, oh, yeah we should probably at least look at the house.
There are some "fixer-upper" aspects about the whole place - hence the waaayyyy reduced price that allowed me to pursue it. The fence, some of the barn, the house needs some rehab, the chicken coop I don't even think the current owner used so it will need almost completely redone... There is a ton of work in my future. And I'll be commuting almost an hour to work (also one of the reasons it was affordable for me. See, a "normal" person simply cannot afford land in the county in which I work). Commuting is sort of a way of life here though, for that reason AND because most WVians live in tiny little towns in the middle of nowhere and have to drive to bigger towns to work. When I was in high school I would drive 30 minutes to my after-school job three days a week for instance... It just is what it is...
So, in less than two weeks now a new chapter begins for me. It will be full of pitfalls and obstacles and challenges. There will be tears. And blood and sweat. There will be times when I want to give up. But, there will be, deep down, a soul that has been awakened and a fire that I have stoked for years alone and in the dark and it will finally be set free.
There is this problem I have with relaxing into that even moderate celebration mode about pretty much anything. That problem is that you just never know...
I see this in entertainment all the time. On my favorite escapes (AKA the other worlds brought to me by the magic box of joy involving things like zombies, spies, Vikings, pirates and outlaws...). I say to these dumbass guys - stop being cocky cause the shit is gonna rain down at any moment dude! And, it always does. So, I guess in my case life really is like the movies...and that's not even funny.
I'm only updating my diary today for purposes of not leaving it on the incorrect note. So, the appraisal on my farm was rejected by the bank. Apparently I am the lucky person who's would-be property got a lazy appraiser removed from the approved list of professionals at this particular lending institution. But, only after the equally lazy loan officer let the unfinished appraisal linger for a full month before deciding to request assistance from her "team" (that is the term they use for the group of dipshits that sit in rooms bean-counting other people's lives these days and it consists of processors, underwriters, etc.). So, after another full week of back and forth bullshit they declared the appraisal "unacceptable" due to "too much liberal use of comps" and "shoddy and lazy work". Now, a "review team" appraisal has been ordered and a "mega rush" put on it, meaning someone else has to appraise it, turn in another opinion to the same "review team" and let them do their nit-picking all over again. We will most likely not hear anything for another three weeks, putting us very close to what we hoped would be our closing date.
On the selling end of things, my house also did not appraise. But, at least the actual appraisal was accepted - for $4000 LESS than our agreed upon amount. So, I have had little choice but to drop the agreed upon price and eat 4k. This is super fucking irritating to me given all of the work (and money) I've put into it in the past year and a half. But, given the next fact that the farm may not appraise out either and we'll be looking at another battle with the seller on that end, I don't feel like being the dick in this situation would be advised. The house appraised for X amount, drop it and move the eff on.
It has not been a good couple of weeks all in all. Add to these things the fact that the closing for my current house is on the 27th and the closing for the farm was to be the 29th. Our whole reasoning for trying to wrap things up early at the farm was that we were going to request an earlier closing date to spare me the major turmoil of not having a place for me, my stuff and three animals for a week. So much for that plan.
So, I've scheduled movers for Monday the 25th. I have no idea where they are even taking all this shit. Plus, I have to call my vet and see if I can board cats for a week. This will be extremely stressful Obi, as well as the clinic staff and I feel horrible about it. And that is IF the farm is even still a viable option by that time. If it doesn't appraise the second time, the owner could walk away, or say I need to make up the difference out of pocket, which I cannot afford (and won't) do.
This is why I always say - don't even crack a smile until you are sitting in some attorney's office, the papers are signed, checks have been exchanged and they slide a key across the table to you. Then at that point, head for the door and run as fast as you can away from the fucked up world of buying and selling homes.
HA HA HA seriously I don't watch Nascar. Can't stand it. But, that shit is funny, no?
I am, however, CLOSE ENOUGH FOR A TENTATIVE HIGH FIVE! And, I'm collecting moving boxes, so news must be good.
An agreement was finally reached with missing Seller, my inspections at my current residence have gone well so far (except for the fact that my dishwasher blew up during the inspection but, thankfully, that was the only thing that happened). The appraisals were done. The farm appraised out (score!) and the bank just has to accept it...WE.ARE.SO.CLOSE....
Ugggghhhhhh....packing. Still purging. Because of crappy weather I still haven't taken my original pile of stuff to Goodwill and the like so it keeps growing almost daily. Perhaps when the time comes I will only have enough to fit in my truck. No way. Furniture presents an issue...
So, it looks like that when I vacate this hill in late April I actually WILL have someplace to go. Someplace that will be a labor of love and dreams. For me AND for the creatures that reside there. SO.MUCH.WORK. to be done. I can't even think about that part right now I just have to embrace it and flow with it. I'm not expecting to walk into anything as clean as I'm gonna leave this place so the first task will be some serious elbow grease and probably bleach, frankly.
Little Farm That Could...wait for me. I'll be home soon.
In the world of buying and selling there are very few things that are certain until the day that you are sitting in some attorney's office signing papers and writing checks. Things progress quickly in the beginning with negotiating prices, getting information together for lenders, scheduling inspections and such and then....
Then there are the daily ups and downs and the never-ending waiting. Waiting for answers on reports, lender requirements, further negotiations based on inspections, etc.
At this point nothing is for certain on where I will be living in two months. The farm seller has been getting a bit hinky about fixing what is his responsibility to fix (and there is a lot of it because his sister has let it go to hell, frankly) and I had thought there may be things that we wouldn't be able to agree on. Now he has missed the deadline for counter on the inspection demands and seems to have dropped off the sanity map, so to speak. By all rights, I could walk away as of 12:01AM this morning. By all reality, I most likely will anyway if he remains dead set on not taking ownership of the leaky roof, the electrical components that are not within code and a structural inspection. It is a foreign concept to me, this attitude of oh, I know it is mine but you deal with it. Yet, I guess lots of people have it. This place has been on the market on and off for the past four years so I would hedge to say that I'm your only hope Obi Wan....GET.A.CLUE.
Whatever. Anyway, one thing seems clear. I won't be living here as of the end of April. My house is under contract, the inspection is on Tuesday and I don't foresee any major issues, the loan process for the young couple purchasing appears to be going along fine and my house passed the other required inspections a year and a half ago so... Farm or not, I am 99% sure that I will no longer be occupying this humble abode as of April 27th.
LOL. It has been so nerve-wrenching it is comical really. I asked our business manager yesterday to start saving me cardboard boxes because, well, if I have to buy a hippy van and live out of it I will need to get a storage unit for all my stuff. One way or another, this shit is traveling off this hill and to somewhere in April. I don't really have many options and the ones I do have are less than ideal. If there ever was a time where someone who is hell-bent on being in control of her life has absolutely no control, this is it. The daily roller-coaster of emotions that I've described in other entries has given way to a monotonous hum. It puts the lotion in the basket. That's where I am. Truly, it is a shrug of the shoulders kind of feeling and then I say fuck it, I'll figure it out.
This weekend will be spent finishing up some minor projects to prep for the inspection on Tuesday. Next week and weekend are going to be spent doing some super serious purging. It is time to pay some stuff forward and minimize like I never have before. I'll be giving the Marie Kondo method a serious shot in the weeks ahead in an effort to not only make moving things easier but to free my mind from the trappings of uncertainty and stress caused by stttttuuuuuuffffffff....
Now, to be clear, I don't have a ton of stuff piled up and stuffed into closets, etc. People already consider me a minimalist of sorts and compared to the societal norm, I probably am. Some friends commented when my house was for sale that it was so "neat and tidy" it almost looked staged. I do however, have things, like everyone does, that no longer serve me (meaning they don't bring me particular joy and/or I haven't touched them or worn them in years, etc.). Clothes, books, things like that. They are good things, meaning they aren't junk. But, I do not need them. And if I do not need them, maybe that is the way of the Universe reminding me that someone else does.
There are then those things that I simply can't purge. I understand the concept - that material things do not hold value in our souls, memories do. But, if I took my mam-maw's china (which I never use) to Goodwill I would feel such a tremendous guilt that I...well, I just can't that's all. And I have not one set but two sets plus a set of china that my mom got me at some estate sale one time. THREE sets of unused china. Do I strike anyone as a china using person?????? But, alas, it will all be boxed up and put somewhere because that stuff I simply cannot purge.
My animals are a whole other issue I can't even think about right now. Rowdy and I could sleep in a tent if we needed to but the cats? How am I going to move Obi to a transition space and THEN move him again? It will be bad enough moving once, let alone twice. He'll be completely out of his mind and he's already on antipsychotic meds so it isn't like they are a new option we can go to. Lilly? Mehhhhhh, she'll do fine with whatever so I guess I only have one freak child to worry about. Then I think again - whatever, shrug.
My best friend was saying last night that this is the reason he will probably never sell. Such a crazy up and down emotional process and there are always so many things that need taken care of just TO sell... I said....whatever. LOL. Given that I truly may be a gypsy within a matter of weeks I am at least thankful that Takoda still has a home for the time being. I don't know that a pet deposit would cover a horse sleeping in the spare bedroom.
You have to get up and walk. Everyday. You have to just put one foot in front of the other and sometimes that's all you can think about doing. Then just keep walking, step by step, over and over and eventually...
I told someone this last night. They needed a serious lift, shoulder, friend. I tell it to myself at various times too. I go back and forth between this little self saver and another one I recite about time. That one goes to just concentrate on the next minute. Just get through the next minute and then you can worry about the minute after that...
I'm on a mission right now. It is a bit of the above, a bit of some serious motivation/planning and a bit of autopilot all squished together.
I MUST get this house sold. In order to get my farm my house has to sell. It has been on the market for 8 full days now and six people have looked at it. There have been some follow-up questions that have given me hope, but, no offers yet. I know 8 days doesn't seem like a lot but in this market and in the price range I'm selling, stuff goes fast.
On auto-pilot I get up at 4:30, do some work related stuff, spot clean for the day, just in case. Everyday I do this. Spot cleaning to me is probably like real cleaning to a number of people but I want it inviting and immaculate because that's how it was promoted by my realtor. Then I go to work and sometimes at lunch I come home and make sure my cats haven't used the litter boxes, again....just in case. I'm obsessed with selling this house within a certain time frame because I have to be...
The friend I spoke to last night...we are intent on hitching up a trailer with two fucking horses in it by May. We are intent on having them somewhere that I can make sure they are safe daily, that they have quality hay to eat, that they have water to drink and that it isn't frozen solid for days on end. We are intent on them being somewhere without barbed wire fence, running around in a rock quarry, eating briers and god knows what else.
For them, I must sell this house. Like NOW. I must sell this house so that my worries about them can be lessoned or confirmed by walking to my barn and checking on them one last time tonight.
I am so obsessed with my mission at this point that I think of little else when I'm not at work and focused on work. Isn't it funny when work becomes a break for the stress of life? LOL. And I have a stressful job so gosh, talk about mixed up! I wake up at various hours during the night and my first thought is about selling this house. Before I go to sleep, as I drive past the realtor's sign in the front yard, whenever I get a text I jump because maybe it is an offer on this house...
Mission, Planning, Autopilot. That's my life right now. I have time for little else. I am undeniably tired but my focus cannot fade. I've gotta get this fucking ring to the top of the mountain dammit. I've gotta toss it in the pit and move the fuck on. Mission, Planning, Autopilot...
When I was a child, I constantly explored my world and made up adventurous stories that involved changing my dog into a dragon, pretending there were Fae in the woods (there probably were). We explored constantly and I fantasized that I could climb to the top of every mountain I could see in the distance. I never concerned myself with adult stuff like the attitudes or beliefs of the people around me, the economy of my home state or town. Those were grown-up things and I didn't understand them or care to.
As I moved into my rebellious years, I started to notice how the beliefs of those around me differed so much from my own. I ran into the language of bigotry and chosen ignorance and so I began to dream about leaving my world in search of somewhere better. I was obsessed with getting out and never coming back. I went to college far away but eventually, I guess after getting a dose of The South and realizing that all the things I was seeking to escape were everywhere else I would consider being as well, I returned home.
If I wanted to pursue opportunities elsewhere at this point in my life I could. I've got a decent career history and specialization. I am of the right age where employers would see me as "experienced" but not "too close to retirement". I was talking with my best friend the other night about his contemplation of leaving the State. We are both public servants so there is an understanding of the difficulties with dwindling budgets, the failing coal industry and the trickle-down impact that has on the public sector bottom line. Then, there are the people. They don't understand big pictures or care to. They are like children all over again, the chosen ignorant, still, it seems, the best bitchers, moaners and complainers in the universe...
It makes a person tired. Plus there are the winters! LOL don't even get me started on the winters.
But, as I said to him - I won't leave again. More than the whole "I don't want to leave" there is the very, very intuitive need to stay. I can't explain it. I'm stubborn I guess. I left once and found that things (as far as people go) were not so much different elsewhere and given the fact that I'm unwilling to live in a city I don't think that has changed. I've traveled, not extensively but enough to see some beautiful places in our country. In my soul not one of them has compared to my little State of West Virginia. Well, maybe Alaska....yes, most certainly Alaska LOL...
I won't leave because of the land. Because when I am lucky enough to find my way to the top of a mountain and I look out over the edge all I see for miles and miles are more mountains full of tall trees. Not just full, but overflowing with them. I know they aren't old growth but to me they are just as beautiful because they are the soldiers that sprouted from destruction. Our forests were raped and trampled upon (I always think of that conversation in Lord of the Rings between the Orc and Saruman: The trees are strong, my lord. Their roots go deep. Rip them all down). When I walk in them I can almost feel the loss, still there even after so many years. Once while in Nevada I met a woman that had family in WV. We talked about things for a bit and she said that she didn't like driving here because the trees were so dense along the highway and she always felt claustrophobic. I found that interesting because I always feel cradled by them.
There are limestone crags and caves, huge groves of laurel, streams and fast running creeks that stretch for miles. There are fields upon fields, farms and pathways through forests that twist and turn endlessly into a world where most of my worthwhile childhood memories live. I can't leave these things because there is the knowledge that leaving at this point would mean that I probably wouldn't return. People remain homesick for places for extended periods of time in their lives. They marry and move, or careers take them elsewhere and some of them end up falling in love with where they are but I think that there would be a void for me that can only be filled by this land. This little oddly etched out State, the only one that resides 100% within the Appalachian Mountain Range, is my home.
I can’t lie and say that sometimes I still don’t dream of packing up and heading somewhere far away. I have a gypsy soul and a dreamer’s heart. I hear little snippets of “so and so moved to Arizona” or someplace else incredibly different than here. I always envy that person a little, maybe not for the exact place that they are headed but for their boldness. Am I simply too afraid to go anywhere else? I don’t really think so when I work through it. For instance, I absolutely abhor winter but not enough to give up mountains and woodlands. There was a time in my life where I would have, but that time has passed and age has given me the insight that those tall trees and rocky crags and mountains that stretch for miles come with a price and that price is called winter.
I could go elsewhere and be amongst people with more similar goals and life outlooks. Magical folk are hard to find here, although I’m convinced they do exist. People with open, progressive minds are even harder to find and not having them leads to a certain amount of self-imposed isolation for me, which is sad but better than having to fight and argue at every conversation.
As I work through it in my mind, over and over, it becomes clear again and again that it isn’t my mind that holds me here but my soul. My soul was born here. She has explored these woods, climbed to the highest points in all directions, she has looked out over the Appalachian range again and again. She talks to trees and the Fae and they tell her all the secrets I have longed to know since the beginning of my wanderings upon the land that is my home. I could go somewhere warmer, more hospitable and definitely more progressive. But I would long for these mountains and I would mourn the loss of them.
So, I am here, with sometimes seemingly impossible dreams. I won’t give up on the land, my State, my mountains. I won’t give up on my soul’s home.
I hesitated to even speak of this because I have always been a huge believer in the karmic Universe. Only my karmic Universe includes things like - don't speak of anything good until you are 100% standing in the middle of whatever it is your are speaking with who/whatever you are speaking about because if you do you will ruin it.
Not a very good attitude to be certain. But, I'm cautious. Well, I'm WAY more than cautious. I'm a cynical pragmatist who has been taught (and taught very well) that in this world you must claw and fight and defend what you have and what you want and you must never, ever trust that there is any reason you should have it, other than your sheer will, determination and ability to muster brute force when needed. My Viking ancestors would be proud. LOL. However, it is not a very positive outlook I am aware.
In the spirit of Yoga Camp, which I've just completed, I keep remembering Adriene's comment one day that the Universe is for me. Not that everything in the Universe is for my consumption mind you but that to look at it as an extension of one's hopes and dreams, to believe that the pursuit of one's goals and happiness is not a bad thing and that the Universe is actually pulling for you. I'm not sure if I'll ever get "there" but I'm trying.
So, I made an offer on a farm. To my amazement, it was accepted (again, I had fully prepped myself for a walk-away immediately). And so begins the long and stressful journey of actually purchasing said farm, selling my own house, etc. There are TONS of opposing forces against a set of stars that need to align exactly right at precisely the right moments. There are inspections and such and more importantly, as with most house switches these days, my house MUST sell in order for me to purchase the farm. Hence, I have what is known as a "wipe-out clause", which simply means I can get out of the deal if my house doesn't sell. A wipe-out clause protects me but also allows for others to still look at and make offers on the farm.
It is sure to be a prickly few months, this upcoming spring, full of probable daily ups and downs. I am trying to only think good thoughts and as my daddy says "keep your eye on the ball, girl" - which is amazing since he is one of the people who taught me that the Universe is most definitely NOT for me, but alas, age and wisdom I guess.
So, for now, for just a few moments, I am letting myself drift into thinking about waking up every day and looking out my bedroom window to see my horse (and my friend's horse, who will be living there too), watching the sun come up over this amazing field behind the house, tending to chickens, knitting sweaters for rescued baby goats.... Maybe I should ask friends that actually CAN knit to make sweaters for baby goats... I'm allowing myself to hope and dream, which is something that I have not done for a long, long time.
And land is relentless in its pursuit of entropy. For instance, there is an area in between two lovely fields that was once usable to keep horses (the original owner bred and often had as many as 20 head on the property), but it has since been reclaimed by soppy, wet, woodland due to not being actively maintained for the last 13 or so years. The barn need roof repairs on one side. The house roof will likely reach its maximum age in the next few years. There is a chicken coop that has been ignored for a long, long time...
But, the place has good bones and on the inside of the house it seems that besides a few minor maintenance things are needed all that might be necessary is a good scrubbing and fresh paint. There is a basement with an honest to gods mud room. Someone that has animals and/or finds herself outside a good bit can see why I'd be so super excited about this. A basement. With.A.Mud.Room. A place for cat boxes and boots. All hail the gods of order and cleanliness.
I'm waiting on other details to some questions I sent. In the meantime, I keep looking. It is an awful time of year to house search here. Even worse to farm search...