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Saturday, February 9, 2013

New Beginnings...

I have been yearning...yearning for chickens and ducks...tomatoes and artichokes....I am still driving around out here in the oilfields...my Honey and I...driving...the landscape is beautiful...and wild....and we see and experience a ton of new things every week...it has taught us to appreciate the small things in life even more than we had in the past...we are very appreciated by the company that we work for and they treat us very well! but life...life is passing us by and our hearts yearn for green...

Last September...September 14th to be exact...we finally got married! It was a joyous occasion and it is wonderful to have a ring on my finger and to be joined with the love of my life...forever...being out here in the oilfields has been great...the money flies into your pocket by the fist full and we have taken advantage of it but once you get into the life style...it is so hard to get out!  We started making plans for a larger homestead...a bigger American Dream than we had as that is always how Americans think when money is plentiful...the bigger the better...MORE MORE MORE!  The very thing that I personally abhor and goes against everything I stand for...being caught up in this...we decided to stay for another year and "rented" out our little hut to a wonderful girl with two small children....I was so afraid to let it stand empty and unheated for the harsh winter in UP....we all know how it ended up after someone else left it empty and neglected...I say "rented" because no money exchanged hands...we decided to find someone to house sit really and the lady who answered our prayers needed to apply for school, was only working part time and was having a terrible time of it with two small children to care for...it was a perfect situation for both parties...my Hut would be heated and cared for thru the winter and she could catch her breath and live rent free for a year!
We made plans to outfit our little hut with new windows, roof and miscellaneous accoutrements while we were making money hand over fist...I went to the UP and did some work on it myself in late September last year....we had new windows installed, painted the doors, the house, and finally finished the back porch...the house sitting situation accommodated me....




It has lights....the back porch...the bane of my existence the whole time I was living in this house! the only lighting back there for 3 years was a string of Christmas bulbs....it is bright...and shiny...and WARM...the new window and door was an amazing blessing! Can you believe this little house has 26 steps? 3 floors of tiny...with 26 steps....it was a wonderful feeling finally finishing this part of the house...AND A PORCH LIGHT...let me tell ya....going down those steps and out that door at night? was like walking  right up a bears arse! not that I have ever had that experience...but you understand...lol!

One story I have never told my readers is the story of my first "fridge"...we didn't have one at first...we couldn't afford one and no one seemed to be leaving perfectly good refrigerators on the curb! Well...when we first moved in...there was a shed on the back of this hut...right thru that window....I hung all my frozen meat and veggies out that window on a hook...and in addition...there was a small storage space under the stairs...that is where I kept milk, cheese, butter...all winter long...it kept a perfect 38 degrees under those stairs!



First Fridge


When I got home in September...I was flabbergasted...the man that we actually paid to mow and weed decided to skip out...my yard and garden were a mess! BUT......inside my chicken coop....was a complete garden with pumpkins, tomatoes, squash and and sunflowers...everything I had fed my chickens...grew...on it's own! HOW did those seeds survive the 7 feet of snow and below zero temperatures?

 Compost....the heat from the compost kept them warm and dry and they flourished with no help from ANYONE!





In addition...the Tomatogeddon Garden...was once again...TOMATOGEDDON! All by itself....the neighbors and I harvested 150 pounds of tomatoes out of there in 1 day...we just couldn't get them all...the power of sheet mulch...I can't say it enough....









My Veggie Garden? Same thing...there was Rhubarb, Acorn Squash, Lemon Balm, Strawberries, Peas and Chives...and this is all after 2 frosts...


No one will ever starve here....

After my excursion to the UP to get it ready for the winter and finish up some of the inside details....I went to Georgia for a week and visited with my Daughter and my Grandkids...OH!...the Grandkids...how lovely to be a Grandma!
It was hard being in the UP in my Hut....people were asking me for jobs and advice as to where they could go to find one...we actually took a few with us back to the oilfields...one friend had a three bedroom house on 5 acres of heavily timbered land right up the road from us....he wanted 5000 for it....5000 dollars for 5 ACRES and a HOUSE!  It is absolutely gorgeous...



And we truly thought about it...in fact we thought about it all the way up until last week....










The house is very cool...old fashioned and has been empty for 6 years but it has a new metal roof on it...



Living room, Kitchen, Dining Room, 3 Bedrooms, beautiful Entry way with Covered Porch and Staircase....and it is just as dirty and full of stuff as my Hut was when I bought it....AND...it has the same green nasty siding...UGH!


We went up to the UP ...to move some stuff of ours out so our little Lady living in the Hut would have some room to live...it was -32...14 inches of snow fell and the wind howled like crazy...we went to see the house again...and decided...NO!


In fact? we decided NO on the UP all together...it is beautiful...but it is sooooo remote...removed from everything...we are the only ones in our area that feel the need to keep the old fashioned ways going...to live on the land...In this area of the UP of Michigan...the government plays a big role...things are incredibly expensive...there is only a handful of places to buy the things we needed and it is an enormous monopoly of small lumber stores and such that gouge the daylights out of you because they can...because there is no other choice but to drive 100 miles to find something more competitive and have more of a selection...I believe this area of Michigan keeps it's people poor...the biggest employer in the area is Walmart with their 30 hour max rule...so they don't have to pay health insurance...I love my neighbors...they are my family...I love the fact that all the good stuff is thrown out on curbs free for the picking...I love the area's penchant for barter because they are poor...but the biggest thing that got me was the weather...the HAVING to move tons of snow every year...and that is where I drew the line...I am getting older...and with my lifestyle..I will have to pay someone to move it...the gas prices are still $4.00 a gallon up there and where I am at they are $2.79...even to pay for gas for equipment to move it costs a fortune...the land prices are cheap, yes...but the cost of living is outrageous...even if you own your home out right....


My Honey and I discussed and discussed our options...our little house sitting Lady wanted the hut so bad...she has asked several times to buy it...she loves the gardens...takes excellent care of the house and has already amassed small livestock including rabbits...her ties run deep there...her Mom lives there...her Sister...right down the road...we asked a Realtor to do a drive by and give us an estimate of value...based on comps that had just sold in the area...we were flabbergasted! Our little $600.00 hut was worth $30,000 big ones! mainly due to the amount of property and how desirable the area is....not bad for 3 years of hard labor and scouting out free items!


We hashed and rehashed on a price...taking into consideration the circumstance of our precious occupant...she would like to go to school...raise her boys...supplement her circumstances with gardening and livestock....that precious Lady is one hard worker!


No price seemed right...we wishy washed around for two weeks...and finally...driving around one day..we came to a decision...we drove up to the UP...found our precious girl at Wal mart....


AND WE GAVE HER THE HUT...lock, stock and barrel...


The outcome is so sweet...she was very excited to see us...she asked about buying the house again...over a cart full of vegetables...and we told her no...her face fell...and she said she understood but was sagging by the moment...and then...we told her "we will not sell it to you...we have decided to gift it to you..."  her face read no comprehension...for the moment she just stared at us...her eyes filled up with tears and she squeaked "you are crazy".... and she turned around and I really thought she was going to fall before she caught herself and swept us into a huge hug... the joy I felt was so complete...so utterly overwhelming...it still brings tears to my eyes....


I really feel that the reason that we wishy washed around about a price is because we were being led by the Lord to pay forward what we had begotten...

 
Acts 20:35  

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’


Luke 6:38  

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

The Lord Jesus has blessed us...there is no doubt at all in my heart...and He has steered us on to a new adventure....we have chosen Tennessee...20 acres with a hand built house....minimal snow and a LOOOOOONG growing season.... 4 hours from our beautiful Daughter and Grandkids....can't wait to share it with you all.....


14 comments:

  1. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I'm SO happy for you! And when we move to NC, maybe we will finally get to meet! SO, SO, SO happy for you!!!!! Can't wait to hear more! Continued blessings, Lisa!

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  2. WE WILL DEFINITELY meet! I can't wait to be your neighbor Daisy!

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  3. What a lovely, loving, generous gesture! Sometimes our hearts know what is right and this is something you'll never regret, I know.

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  4. Oh Wow! What a tremendous gift you've been given...and to be able to pass that on, what a blessing!
    I'm crying just reading this wonderful story.

    Can't wait to hear more! So glad to see you post. Pat

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  5. You are right pogonip...the Lord knows exactly what to put in there! No regrets...

    I am so glad to see you Pat! think of you often!

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  6. What a blessing you are to that woman, and to all of us who get to share your journey. Can't wait to hear about your new adventures, and thanks so much for your inspiration.

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  7. It is all of you that have inspired me, Gayle! and seeing all of you just makes me want to work all the harder and faster, lol!

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  8. I never cry--but of course I'm sobbing as I read this. What an amazing thing to do for that family.

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  9. Oh, Lisa, what an amazing story. I had to wait until I stopped crying to be able to see to type a comment. Congratulations to you and your Honey! I wish you many years of joy together. It sounds like you've made the perfect decision for the two of you, and how wonderful it will be to be so near your daughter and grandchildren. Meanwhile, your generosity will have changed the lives of your Lady and her two children forever. You are an inspiration and I look forward to following your new journey. God bless you!
    Love, Lee

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  10. All the Glory goes to God...He is the one...that calms my heart and helps me make the right decisions!

    I cry too when I feel the joy this has instilled in me...it is an amazing feeling...

    The inspiration, advice...time... that you have all given me has instilled a greater strength in me and I hope you all know how grateful I am for each and every one of you!

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  11. Wow. The emotion your generosity brought to you seeps right out on the screen. That's a beautiful story and a blessed action with a rightness about it. So your adventure continues. I look forward to checking in here and reading about what your ingenuity and can-do spirit do in Tennessee. (Is that "20 acres and a mule"? :) )

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  12. Beautiful story. Welcome to Tennessee. You'll love it here. :)

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  13. Lisa, I followed you at the beginning of your story and then lost track after a while - you know how life gets busy. Today, I found my way back to your blog and I am SO amazed and inspired by your wonderful gesture. You and your husband poured your love and your life into that beautiful little place in the UP and in the end, you were able to let it go for a larger purpose - a blessing for someone in need. May you find your own blessings as you travel through life - wishing you only good things as you start your new adventure!

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