We have arrived at Green Acres! All the boxes on the main floor are unpacked (thanks to my wonderful mom and her endless energy). There are still some stacked in the basement and garage, but not crucial items for daily life. From our new country home, it is four miles to Dave's job (via gravel road) and twelve miles to "town" - the closest town of size for grocery store, library, etc.
We have a chicken coop, an equipment shed and several other out-buildings of debatable use. (Granddad is going to make one into a playhouse for the grandsons when they visit.) There are two "wind rows" - rows of trees planted to shelter the house from wind - so a lifetime supply of pine cones and dead branches to burn in the chiminea. A small pond, complete with fish of an unknown variety, is just a few hundred yards from the house. So far we have spotted raccoons and skunks, but I'm hoping for some prettier wildlife. Lilacs and iris - two of my fav flowers are already established in the yard, along with many other green sprouts that I don't recognize. We'll see what blooms. And best of all, no noise. When I take my coffee out to the porch in the morning, there are no sounds but the birds.
Life is now a string of new experiences. New house where my children visit rather than live. No job - temporarily, hopefully. And no trash pick-up. There are no dumpsters in the country. No men in clanging trucks to collect all the refuse of life. I now have a "burn barrel" which is exactly what it sounds like - a barrel into which I place our trash and light it on fire. I now wear leather work gloves to take out the trash! Darling, I love you but give me a manicure!
The trick to trash burning, I discovered, is to keep the flames low, adding small amounts of trash at a time and placing a metal grate over the top of the barrel to stop burning debris from scattering across Green Acres and setting a building on fire. And just FYI - burning the previous occupant's yucky plastic shower curtain emits a cloud of black, and probably toxic, smoke.
Although I'm coping with all the newness fairly well, there are moments that I need a hit of "familiar". That's where books come in. When it all seems overwhelming, a book, a glass of Diet Coke (or wine or coffee, depending on the time of day) and my favorite corner of the couch make this spot feel like home.