926 East Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Living in the Country

I think I know now why people always have such a serious expression on their faces in old pictures. It's hard work to live out in the country! Along with that panicky feeling that whenever you pass a grocery store, you should stop and buy everything because it might be your last chance, there is a great sense of responsibility that comes with this land. There is just so much that needs to be done. Yesterday I spent the day trimming trees. Not with a little pruning shears but on top of a ladder with a chainsaw. When we stopped, there was a pile of brush 14 feet high and a chance for a bonfire with friends in the not so distant future I surmise. I think I had almost forgotten that sense of accomplishment combined with every muscle in my body aching that makes me feel alive again and happy to be living in the country. Once you experience country life, It can always draw you back with it's windy days and the smell of soil. I'm beginning to believe that I am a lifer.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I don't love you, I always will.

Well, it's been a week since our lives were turned upside down. My life looks like the back of this pickup truck. We loaded for two days and when it was all over, we had filled two 26 foot trucks, a pickup, a mini-van and my Jeep. There was not even a square inch of room. With the dogs in one car and the cats in the other and a host of volunteer drivers we started the caravan. It was a clear and sunny Tennessee Sunday morning. It was still hazy but warm. I put my sunglasses on and drove out of Nashville hearing the words from the Civil Wars "I don't love you, I always will. I have no choice, I still chose you". As I pulled around the curve that gave me one last look at the skyline, I lost it. One cat meowing in my ear, the other sitting on my shoulder, I sobbed. Nashville was a wonderful, horrible, necessary, trying, rewarding experience for us. A lot of life happened. We lost our house in GR, we created a new home in Nashville. We lost our credit and we learned what it meant to humbly live within our means. We learned to love dinner around our table and how to buy day old bread (it's just as good but 77 cents!!!). We learned to thrift for clothes and things for the house and found that having a good eye transcends where you bought it. I started an antiquing business with $130.00 of Christmas money and that investment has made this new store a reality. We lost a lot and gained everything. So, a week later, as I look back on this tsunami of a week, I am grateful and humbled by the richness of our life. We have an amazing family who came in and helped us even though they are so sick of moving our crap. We have an overwhelmingly supportive network of friends. We have an opportunity of a lifetime. To the people and experiences that have made it all possible: I don't love you, I always will. -dann