I can’t believe we moved out of our small suburban neighborhood only 5 months ago. I feel like it’s been 6 months at least. Probably closer to 8. But nope. Mr. Sexy confirmed that 5 months and 5 days ago was moving day.
Now we live in a town that doesn’t have it’s own grocery store although we did recently discover (two months ago) that there is actually a post office here! We had mail that had been sitting for months by the time we made it there during business hours. The post office is a little bigger than the kid’s bathroom and looks like it’s connected to someone’s house. There is so much that is different here.
We basically live in the woods on 78 acres of property. It’s stunningly beautiful during all seasons. We have no neighbors nearby so we can be as loud as we want as late as we want. We see deer and elk roaming through the hills regularly and there is even a moose who visits us frequently. It has been our dream to own property one day so this is like practice. I’m so glad for that because living far out here has had it’s many challenges!
First it was the extraordinary amount of bees outside. At dusk I would look out the window and see a haze. Only it wasn’t a haze but millions of bees looking for humans to chase. Okay they didn’t really want to chase me but you would think they did when you saw me running and screaming from the car to the house. No joke. Generally there are just lots of bugs. Mites. Stink bugs. Black bugs that look like stink bugs but smell like cinnamon sometimes. The winter has also brought spiders. ::shivers:: CODE BLACK is how I let Mr. Sexy know there is something big and nasty for him to kill. He treats me so well.
The cost to heat the house is INSANE and we simply can’t afford it. So now we have discovered the use of fire. It’s amazing. The stove in the basement and the upstairs fireplace do a much better job than any of the wall heaters AND IT’S FREE!!!! And comforting. And pretty. And good smelling. ::sighs contentedly::
Heating our house with firewood has had its own list of challenges. Mainly we need firewood. And lots of it. We were such losers when we first started to use the stove as our main source of heat. We thought the amount of wood already cut for us would last us through the winter with no problem. HA! What a laugh. I think it lasted two weeks. So we bought a chainsaw and cut down a tree. This is when we learned about seasoned firewood. Apparently freshly cut wood is NOT the way to go. Awesome. Luckily the guy who used to live here spent a huge amount of time cutting trees and gathering piles of wood in the woods. It’s strange and we can’t figure out what he was doing. But thank the Lord! Scavenging for wood is getting us through our cold snowy days! And now this brings me to the heart of this blog.
This weekend was the first time we went scavenging as family. Well, minus one. Michael was at his dad’s this weekend. I don’t like being cold or wet. I don’t like scary, bumpy rides. I don’t like bugs and I don’t like hard work. But when you gotta do it, you gotta do it. I put my game face on and pretty soon I was screaming and grabbing onto Marie as if my life depended on it.
|The ride wasn’t life threatening.
There is an old Ford on the property we use for things like snow plowing and hauling firewood from the woods to our back door. The ride is amazing. And by that I mean colorful words get squealed while I grab onto whatever is around me and try to keep my butt in my seat and my head from the roof. It’s quite the adventure.
“Marie are you scared?” I asked.
“No,” as she looked away with a huge grin. She was embarrassed. Probably because we don’t sit and cuddle that often and on that ride we did more than sit and cuddle. I latched on and squeezed! Sometimes it’s that forced intimacy that can bring on real intimacy.
I always find that the woods are a refreshing place to be. Even if it’s cold and wet. Mr. Sexy loves the adventure of where we live so he immediately wanted to hike up the hill. It was nice…
This was our view once we got to the top. Our house is somewhere down there with sleeping Denai in her crib. Marie was climbing up too and Winnie was running around like a kid who’s high from too much candy and mountain dew. No joke. That dog is crazy out in the woods.
|This was her only smile during our hiking/wood
scavenging that day.
Marie likes the woods and cold and hiking and adventure less than I do. A lot less. Our first snow this season caught us off guard and we had to hike up our mile long driveway to get home. Five feet from the car Marie wanted to turn around and go back. Silly girl. Hard work is not her strong suit but she will learn.
|The scary descent.|
We scavenged wood Saturday and Sunday. Saturday included the hike and Sunday was a quick trip because we were all so tired. Saturday was a hard day for Marie. By the time the above picture was taken Mr. Sexy and I were halfway down the hill and she was halfway up the hill at which point she immediately stopped and began the slow journey down. Hiking up was breath taking. I really need to work out. Going down was plain scary. Mr. Sexy enjoyed racing down the hill – it was pretty steep – and allowed the trees to stop his momentum. But sometimes he hit a small rotting tree. That was interesting. I preferred a more safe approach to the descent. Marie quickly followed my actions. It was awesome.
Hauling wood was next. Marie was not happy about this. Not one bit. At one point I walked over and saw that what I thought was just a runny nose were actually tears.
“Are you crying?”
“Well zip up your coat you goof and wear your hood!”
She smiled and did just that. Don’t worry, I made sure to give her encouragement and comment on her brute strength. Although Mr. Sexy laughed at me because he thought I sounded more like a drill sergeant telling military dudes they are awesome.
“GREAT JOB MARIE!”
“YOU GO GIRL!”
“YOU ARE SO STRONG!”
(Remember all those lines are said – well, yelling – with the gusto of a drill sergeant.)
Our Sunday haul was loads better for Marie. I would say she was better prepared for what we were doing and we didn’t start out with a hike. She actually did amazing. We had a pretty good system where Mr. Sexy would throw the good logs in a pile for me to carry to Marie who would then throw (okay so she doesn’t really throw) them in the truck bed. She had a constant flow of snot (we all did) and she even hurt herself a few times. But she kept going with a smile and together we all made a great team.
My appreciation for Marie comes when I’m not expecting it. It seems when I’m not trying to force her to fit into the mold of what I think my 12-year old daughter should look like I can see the 12-year old she actually is. I really don’t like that she is still wetting her bed. I get frustrated daily by how poorly she listens and doesn’t follow simple directions. I’m constantly annoyed by how slow she is at – well everything. Except for eating. That she can be very quick at.
So I guess I’m holding onto the random moments of clarity where I think, Wow, look at her mind work while she tries to figure this out. I knew our move to the woods had the potential to make or break our struggling family. Some were concerned about me being up here all alone with no one to talk to. I’m known as a very social person. Instead, I would venture to say that this move has been the best decision we have made for our family yet. Out in the woods, looking out our backyard or sitting by the fire is where my soul finds peace and even a little bit of clarity.
|The Sexy family’s backyard.|