2 years ago today we changed up our lives big time, for the better, and now it’s a day I celebrate every year.
About this time we were heading into Ladue to meet Kathleen Mills Lovett and Laura Parsons Donovan and Paul Turin. We sold our house in Imperial, had a drink of water and a couple of deep breaths while fighting back some tears, and then bought our new home in Fletcher. After a brief celebration we flew back to Imperial to meet the movers and started the trek to the country. We had a heat wave that week, too.
While this is all old news to everyone else, it still feels like it happened “yesterday” to us. Country life has been good for our soul, and that’s an understatement. I miss my friends, and I wish I could share this place with them more. But, that’s one of the things that comes with moving to the sticks and not leaving much. This move was about us, and what we needed most. With every sunrise, and every sunset, I’m reminded that we did the right thing, and we’re much better for it. And now, with Kathy’s fight with cancer, I’m glad she gets to come home to this quiet sanctuary to rest and heal. (#fuckcancer)
So, what am I doing out here? Well, I don’t sleep late much anymore. The sun comes up and I really want to be outside. I like taking walks with no destination, at any time of day, especially late late night. Mowing 4-5 acres of parkland lawn takes some time, it seems like we do that a lot. I’ve been doing a fair amount of tractor service and repair, because we use them a lot. I’ve gotten a good handle on the pool, opening and closing is easy and I’ve been able to keep it crystal clear for 2.5 seasons. I think Kathy enjoys the pool even more than I do. My big garage (also known as “The Shop”) is really starting to feel like “MY” space, but I still have a ways to go… I still haven’t hung up all my license plates, but my American flags are up. I saved us about $11,000 by building my own fence after getting a quote from someone in town. The dogs (all 5 of them) LOVE having all that space to run and roam out back. We’ve been working on opening up new areas of the property… there are still 10-12 acres out back that we want to get opened up and cut some trails through… that’s my ongoing project that I’ll probably be doing until I can’t do it anymore. There’s never a shortage of things to do or places to explore without ever leaving the property, and I leave the property the least amount possible. And when I’m tired and want to take a day or two off, I haven’t found a better place to relax and unwind than right here. I’ve made one new friend since we moved in… Bill the Junkman, who I affectionately call “Wild Bill,” comes over about once a week to collect my aluminum cans and tell me crazy stories. We have several walnut trees, and he’ll be coming over more often to collect them and take them to the market. That means Fall is coming, which means we will be burning leaves and brush before we know it.
Some will tell you that changing your physical location will not change your life. I say that’s true of folks that either 1) were not ready for the move or 2) didn’t move to the right place. Less traffic, less pointless commuting, less fast food, less shopping, less noise, less neighbor drama… all of these things (and more) came with our change of location, and our quality of life has improved dramatically. Yeah, I’d say this moved changed out lives for the better.
We have some friends and family that may be reading this right now and thinking “wow, he’s selfish!” Yeah, maybe at 47 years old I’m thinking about myself, my wife, and my kid a lot more than I’m thinking about anyone else. Like Reese’s… not sorry. I do miss some folks quite a bit, and I’m sorry I made it more difficult for us to spend time together. I’ve even lost a friend or two because of this move. But, I’m hoping those folks are doing everything they can to improve their quality of life. I hope they are chasing their own dreams and finding their own version of happiness. I don’t hold our lack of visitors against anyone, so I think it would be kind of fair if folks wouldn’t take our move, and our love of country solitude, personally and hold it against me.
If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn’t do anything different. Many thanks and much love to all the folks that helped us get here.