Seven

Be bold in your actions. All life is an experiment.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
~Alan Watts
Last night before my daughter drifted off to sleep, she said, “It’s our one week anniversary here. I’ve had a great week at our new farm…”
!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!
YAY! I have too. And so has my husband. But what a gift my daughter’s words were to me.  Sure does make this move easier for the young-un to be happy too.
Yep, we’ve officially been here for a week. We pulled in the driveway late last Sunday evening in the midst of an awesome lightning storm.
The 3 dogs, cat, and child were eager to get out of the car. The parents (us!) more so. But we all had to just sit there in the gravel driveway beside the old farmhouse and wait on the storm to let up enough for us to make a mad dash for the door. Poor Gracie, the kitty cat. She was the most traumatized by both the long car trip and the run in my arms through the pouring rain. Soaked.
Thirty minutes prior to that, I had silently brushed away tears away from my eyes. James Taylor (who never fails to speak to me profoundly with his music and as you might remember, is my imaginary friend) came on the radio singing “Carolina in My Mind.” OMG.
“In my mind I’m gone to Carolina, can’t you see the sunshine, can’t you just feel the moonshine, ain’t it like a friend of mine….”
Carolina is where I was at that very moment. Carolina is the place we dreamed of living. The mountains of Carolina is where we wanted a farm. And here I am!
So this particular time when I hear JT sing that song, when my car is packed with some of my worldly belongings to move there, I can’t help myself: tears. I wonder if I deserve this, to have my dreams come true. I think, “Not in my mind JT, not ANYMORE…it’s for real. And just maybe for life.”
And so I am here. And Carolina is not JUST in my mind anymore.
And now I have been here a week. Seven days in the country. Okay, here we go, Seven Things for my Seven Days here.
Thing One.
Pack an over-night bag when you move.
I didn’t think about this. We just assumed we’d get there early enough on moving day to unload. Nope! So we didn’t have pajamas that first night. Much less a comb and a toothbrush. And my poor daughter didn’t even have shoes. She had packed every single pair up in a moving box marked “My Shoes.”
Actually, I tell you this for you. Because I hope to never ever ever ever ever move again. Ever.
Thing Two.
I don’t thrive on technology after all.
My computer was down for days (almost all seven) and I did NOT wither up and die. As it turns out, I loved it. I felt free. I was not going crazy to join the “real” world. I was a-okay with it. La-La land, head in the sand, I-have-no-idea-what’s-going-on-in-the-world ain’t so bad.
Our phone wasn’t hooked up yet, we don’t have TV (still), the computer wasn’t ready to go, and I was okay. Really. It was fine being “unplugged.”
When everything finally got working enough for me to pull out my laptop, I read enough news to want to be “unplugged” again. I mean, really. Randy Travis? Drunker than Cooter Brown, butt nekid, lying in the middle of the road after he crashed his car is bad enough. But he’s arrested for the felony of threatening the police officers who responded? (Allegedly, of course.) Is the earth tilting funny or something?
However. There is one thing I missed without technology and missed it terribly: YOU! I did indeed miss my sweet steady Farmgirl friends! (PS I still can’t get into my emails, so if you’ve sent me one I haven’t gotten it yet.) And I’ve missed visiting with you on facebook. I’ll be back soon. I can’t wait to catch up with everything going on in your corner of the world!
Number Three.
I’d rather be outside than inside.

wildflowers by the creek

Not news to me; I knew this already. But I just haven’t been in a place conducive to living it. This farm, MY FARM(!!!!!!), just begs to be breathed, admired, loved, groomed, and touched outside.
As a result, I have been outside more in these past seven days than I have in the preceding seven weeks put together. It’s just so pleasant and pretty here.
Sure, there is TONS to be done inside the house. And I’m doing plenty. But the outside is unbelievable. How could I not be out rather than in? And hey, winter is coming, right? Plenty of time for inside taking care of the house.
I am OUT right this very minute. Sitting with my computer under MY maple tree in the front yard. Oh my. This is living.
Number Four.
My daughter is amazing.
We got here Sunday night; she started a new school on Wednesday morning. She was fine. She’s already made friends. She likes her teachers. She’s happy.
Kids are so resilient and flexible. Adults are less so. I wonder why we lose that when we grow up. Maybe we know too much? Maybe we are spoiled and demand too much?  
Okay, story alert….
When she got home from school her first day, we took the long walk out to the mailbox on our gravel drive. (My mail man drives a red Jeep Wrangler, by the way, how fabulous is that?) On the way back, she commented on how clear the creek was. The day before it had been muddy and murky and I had said that I wouldn’t step a foot in it looking so cloudy and creepy.
“Would you get in it today?” she asked.
“Yep, I would. Nice and clear. I could see exactly where to step,” I said, adding in my head, “and any snakes swimming by!”
“Well, you want to?” she asked me.
 “Yep,” I said, “As a matter of fact, I sure do.”

this is our creek at a different spot. this particular place is far more inviting (less snakey!) than the place where we were the day I’m telling you about.

“Wait, do you have any cuts on your feet, legs or hands?” I asked, thinking about the flesh eating bacteria that we now all know live in streams and waters.
Then I looked at the path to the creek. You know what I thought? “Snakey.”
(“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this…” I chanted in my brain.)
“Well, let me walk first and you take my steps behind me, okay?”
“Okay!” she said, “Scaredy cat.”
(She was right. Her Mama is a scaredy cat around snakey areas. BIG time!)
Anyway, we got to about six feet from the water and I realized that the creek bank was all mud and horse manure. Bleh.
Here is Bunny, one of the sources of the manure in question. (Not my horse, btw, she just lives in our pasture.)

My brain again, thinking but not saying it out loud, “Animal manure? That carries all kinds of bacteria. Maybe even worms?”
But I decided that kids have probably sloshed through all kinds of muck to get to a creek. That we’d be fine.
So we sloshed through the dark-brown-whatever-it-was to get to the creek. My daughter wore her flip flops to the edge of the water; I parked my socks and sneakers up on the bank.
And we had a blast. We walked around in the water, almost fell a dozen times on the slippery rocks. We found all kinds of beautiful stones, caught the leaves floating by to make wishes on, and enjoyed the fast rushing, COLD water.
Now, about those flip flops she left on the water’s edge. On Sunday they were mine. But when we moved, as I mentioned, she accidentally packed ALL her shoes in the moving box. That box was now in the front of the trailer and impossible to get to. So, she wore my orange leopard flip flops in the car as we drove to our new home six hours away.
When we went to the school the next day to meet the new teacher, we still had not come to her shoe box in the trailer. So, I took a pair of scissors and cut off the back of my flip flops so they would fit her better. Those were the shoes at the edge of the water now. Orange, leopard print adult flip-flops cut to fit an 11 year old. She loves them.
Anyway, when we were ready to get out of the creek and go back to the house, I looked at the path we had to take to get out of the creek thought (once again), “SNAKEY!” So, I told her that we should RUN out of the creek, grab her flip-flops and run up the muddy/manure bank. Once up there, the grass was lower and I felt safer. So we did. But as soon as my foot stepped on the muddy bank outside the creek, my feet sank down at least 12 inches into the muck. So that got her giggling; and me too. Then I slipped and fell in it. By the time I got to the top of the bank, my jeans were covered in mud and she had lost a flip flop in the soft muddy mess.
What a blast!
We came in and tossed out clothes in the washer. Then we had to take showers because we were covered in that mud/manure mixture. I don’t know when we’d had so much fun.
I love living on this farm.
And.
Good news! My husband just went out to the muddy creek bank with a shovel. He dug down and found the shoe!

Number Five.
I still have too much stuff.
I have a new goal of becoming unencumbered by stuff. Physically and also emotionally. I have purged the easy stuff, the things I didn’t mind so much parting with. Now comes the more difficult. The things I like and use. Some of it must go! This house is just too small to hold all our stuff! My mantra is detach.
Number Six.
Always hope in the future.
There is a saying here that for every foggy morning in August there will be a snowy day in winter. The “ritual” that accompanies that is to put a dried bean in a jar for every foggy morning. Guess how many foggy mornings we’ve had so far? SEVEN! Whoopee!
I hope, I hope, I hope!
Winter weather is one of the reasons we moved here. Snow dreaming!!
Number Seven.
Dogs were made for farms. Farms were made for dogs.
This is “dog tired.”

Oreo

Strudel

Blue

I look like that too, I just don’t have a picture of myself to show you. (thank goodness!)

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Oh, wait, wait, wait. Can I add Number Eight?
Here it is: You were right. Thank you for your comments and emails of support and love and laughs. Every word brought me encouragement and strength. I have no idea what I’m doing in this farm, and neither does my husband, but we’ll be fine. I can tell that already after just 7 days. I am indeed dancing with this change, just like that quote says!

Leave a comment 0 Comments

  1. Maureen says:

    You see why I called it a mud room? Best and handiest place in the house some times!

  2. Donna R. says:

    Congratulations! My Carolina "farm" will be a house near the ocean in OBX and I have about 5 years to wait! Sounds lovely and I wish you all the best. Good for you for following your heart.

  3. Teri Schneider says:

    Thanks for the wonderful laugh your adorable dogs provided! I soooooo have felt that way at the end of some days. What I like best about dogs is that they just don’t care if someone sees them pooped out laying on the couch snoring!

  4. Lu Ann says:

    What a wonderful story! Oh, I so envy you and your family -getting back to the "simpler" way of life! Isn’t it funny how we were young we couldn’t wait to leave it, and as we get older we can’t wait to get back there!

    Congratulations! Make lots of wonderful memories with your family!

  5. i am in joyful & hopeful tears after reading your 7 things in 7 days about your move to carolinas.
    this is a dream for me as well but for us it is in pemaquid,me by the ocean. and a home in west wareham by the pond.you have inspired me and hopefully we can brave out our dreams.thank you and your husband,in His provision,raquel (marion,ma)

  6. Linda Petersen says:

    Super~cool post! See, it’s all good. Even the fur people are content already!

    Linda

  7. Bev says:

    Loved this post, Rebekah!!! Thank you so much for the 7 things in 7 days!!! Now that is the stuff of memories!!!And thank you’s for the great quotes!!!

  8. Gaynell Tooley says:

    My 3,800 sq. ft. house is scheduled to be auctioned in 6 weeks, & I haven’t yet found the next place to call home, I’m still looking! I have given away close to 1/2 of what I own, because I intend the next place to be considerably smaller & easier to manage. I can identify with your musings a lot! I know I haven’t dispersed nearly enough, but the further decisions are waiting for when I find "it" & know what I have to work with. My mother referred to me earlier today as "middle-aged", but I have a 43 yr old child, so……. I have come to understand the folly of thinking that life would ever "settle down" into sameness! Wish me luck!!

  9. Oh Rebekah, how happy I am for you and your family. I love love love the pics of the dogs, and I guess I am probably just as happy for them to have such a nice large farm to roam on. They looked very content. lol. Be Blessed and happy days to you and yours on the homestead. Neta

  10. Kiki says:

    I love this…I feel so connected to the words you just wrote! We moved to a rural community to what is now our little family farm on 5 acres from the city 6 years ago and I felt just like you did/do. I am not sure how old your daughter is but have her watch the movie "The Greening of Whitney Brown". My 10 year old loves this movie and it shows how the things we think are important really are not. What’s important is family! Enjoy Rebecca~ Thanks for all your inspiration.

  11. Carol in NC says:

    Yay! And welcome! I was a move in from another state (in the really deep south) and though I sometimes miss the lazy Mississippi River delta and all that goes with it, you know, linen napkins, antique silver, wide verandas, perfect manners, cicadas, and all things Southern both real and imagined, I have embraced this unique mountain heritage as my own. I love (and claim!) the music, the stories, the pure art of the crafts and quilts, their deep knowledge of the healing herbs. If you’ve never read The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter you must!!

    My latest endeavor is spinning. Now that I don’t have horses I have so much more free time and I’ve become addicted to my spinning wheel. On my latest trip down south I asked an elderly aunt if she had any memory of a grandmother or great-grandmother spinning. She looked at me blankly then replied, "Well my heavens no. Of course we didn’t spin." Haha.

    Enjoy your new farm, pace yourself and keep us posted!

  12. bonnie ellis says:

    Rebecah: I just start to giggle when you talk about creepy, crawly things. It’s just part of farm life. Have fun girl and enjoy the outdoors, your daughter and your new farm. Bonnie

  13. carol branum says:

    Hi Becka,You have water in your creek,we have no water in ours here in MO.It did rain today for the first time in months,and was cool all day today.Enjoy your farm,creepy crawlys and all,it is still worth it!We had our hay baled this past week,it looks beautiful out in the field,looking at fresh new hay is one of my favorite things.The air smelled wonderful after the rain,the mixture of the newly cut hay,and smell of the rain was wonderful!Have a nice week,carol branum,lamar MO.

  14. Joan says:

    HOOOT HOOOT RAY!!!! and CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Like most anything new in ones life, if one starts the experience with and open mind and heart, one will make it the best experience EVER. Thanks for the sniggers and grins – oh yes the mucky along the stream and having to watch for the snakes – oh no, I used to have a big ole plank I would take with when I went walking to go to the stream – Granddaddy drilled a hole in one end strung with a sturdy rope – so I could pull the plank along – when I found THE spot I’d lay the plank down to walk on and not get in the muck. I am so proud of you though and what a love you have for your daughter that you wouldn’t let a little muck stop your experience – ahhhh memories. God Bless

  15. sharon says:

    Welcome Home! It’s sounds like this is the adventure you were dreaming of. I look forward to hearing how things progress.

    I had to take a moment to say thank you for the list. I am moving in just a few weeks and I honestly hadn’t even thought about #1. I had thought about packing a box with my bedding to go over with me before the move, but I never thought about including a few essentials for myself. Great idea.

    I have been struggling with # 5 myself. No matter how many times I purge my posessions and belongings I still find I have too much stuff. I am an avid reader and collector of books, authors, etc. 11 years ago when I moved from California back home to Maine I reduced my books from 6 books cases to 4. 3 years ago I reduced it from 4 to 3 book cases and with this move I am going from 3 to 2. I have reached the point where I am now culling books from my shelves that I have allowed to define me. I brought them to a book store that buys back used books and the clerks were raving about my books and wanted to save them for themselves. As they crowed over each one, I was wishing I could bring it back home to live on my shelves, but I realized it wasn’t fair to the books. Yes, I loved them but to be honest some of them have not been read or used in 10 to 20 years. It was time they found new homes with people who would use them. Looking at the empty holes on my book cases as I get ready to pack I find myself missing them, but know that I made the right choice. Hopefully you can find a way to give new life to the things you love and no longer need or have room for.

    I know I am looking forward to this new phase of my life.

  16. What a great post 😉 :) I remember when my dad and I moved, we got rid of so much stuff…and I still have a lot, so I"m actually going to have a yard sale this weekend :) :)

    OH, and the night before we officially moved from Oregon to California, we had everything packed. We were antsy to get out, so we literally just left our apartment…got in the truck and drove to a motel and stayed there for the night before moving. That was awesome…and it was really nice to be out of our old place.

    I’m so happy for you that you have this great new farm to live on. What a blessing :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  17. Tana Lewis says:

    So glad you are where you have always longed for. Sounds like it is going well and will only get better.
    So very happy for you.

  18. Debbie says:

    Happy many blessed FARM days to you and your little family including the fur kids! I’m overjoyed for the whole gang. It’s gonna be awesome to watch life unfold for all of you… Do I hear JT playing in the background? I thought so….Dry those tears girl… You are finally HOME!!!
    XOXOX
    Deb ( your beach bloggin sis )

  19. Diane Van Horn says:

    I am so happy for you and your family! Sounds like heaven. Isn’t it amazing to unplug for awhile, very cleansing. The same goes for uncluttering and simplifying. Enjoy your new farm life. I look forward to more posts about your adventures.

  20. Judy in ME says:

    My husband an I moved over the border to ME about 10 years ago now. When we moved ,just from NH, we too purged lots of things. (actually an amazing amount of stuff). Our mantra for our new way of living was…"a pound in, a pound out". Moving is tough, and we never wanted to have to sort through, give up the stuff we wanted, so now we are just very careful about what comes into our possession … A pound in a pound out makes one think before they acquire. Is it working? I’ll never tell.

  21. I have lived in Western North Carolina a year now and I sure do envy your creek. I love following your move and I agree with all the post numbers you spoke of. I used to always put my bed linens and some clothing in my dryer but we sold that before we moved here. Our rental house has one for us.

    I wish I owned the property but I am a lot older than you . My daughter is grown but you are living your dream in a good time.
    Thanks for sharing, I adore your adventures! Smiles, Cyndi

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