Comparisons are …

… invidious, insidious, often incomprehensible, and yet, inevitable!

Arizona! A land of incredible sunsets! Huge ranches in vast grassy plains. Tall pine trees on high mountain plateaus. Warm in the winter, desert lowlands filled with giant rocks and sagebrush. All of which has its own call to the senses. It is supposed to be the “Mecca” for those who are Allergic to the 21st Century, like me, yet, I was running out of safe places to stay.

Kentucky!
 It’s a beautiful, green, lush, land. Filled with streams, springs, ponds, rivers, waterfalls, and rain! Early morning mists to delight the eye. Birds of endless variety chirping sweetly outside your door.  

But then… 

There is the Creature Feature!

…there are the tics! Rude, nasty, disease carrying, blood sucking, creatures! However, my son said they did make him appreciate spiders. You will have to ask him. Yes, tics are in Arizona too, but I lived in the desert for over 25 years, and for the last, what, almost four years? Yes darn close to four years of living in the rough, and I was never bitten there. Now?  I have found those nasty things attached to me, at least a half dozen times, since we’ve been here.  Charles and Macha too!  Ugh! 

…there are the chiggers, which actually make the tics seem not quite so bad. At least you can see the tics!

…there are the mosquitoes, well, we already had those, although, perhaps not quite so abundantly!

…there are the snakes, over four feet long, coiled up under your van! It turned out to be a black snake, which is actually a good snake, because they eat rats and mice, but at that size, small dogs can also become prey! Okay, yes, Arizona has rattlers and sidewinders, but they have a large variety of poisonous snakes here in Kentucky, too. I would call that a draw.

…and Yet! When you are working on what may turn out to be your own place, so much of this gets insignificant.  

But then, it got downright interesting!

 Who said that?

I’m glad you asked! 

This is a quote from Charles, which seems to be repeated, lately, with startling regularity. He always has a half smile on his face, and a gleam of humor in his eye, as he says, with an ever so slightly sarcastic tone,  “Go to Kentucky, She Said. It’ll be Fun, She Said!” I am quite certain, you have already figured out by now, that I am the She, who Said! 

After that, he will make other amusing pronouncements, often producing hysterical laughter, which correlates with what is happening at the time, or just after another minor disaster has been survived.  “See the Country, She Said.”, “Meet new people, She Said!”, “Find the Right Piece of Dirt, She Said!” Oh my! It keeps us laughing. 

Now this is not the same exact look.  This is his, “Mom, you’ve got to be kidding me!” look, but, upon consideration, for the purposes of this post, it is darn close! 😉

This is a classic.  Face to Palm. There are times, I am certain, when he wonders why (or If?) he loves me at all!  

Ah yes. About the dirt.  

Remember that beautiful place? Five or six acres? An old Barn and shed? Charlie’s pond? That creek flowing beside my trailer? Well.  

As you can see, after nearly two weeks without rain, the creek had almost entirely dried up. There were still a few puddles and pools, but the water had gone stagnant and it was making Charlie and I sick. What’s worse, is everything started to dry out.  Even the dirt around the barn, and the shed, and the straw on the ground inside the shed. This meant the land itself was putting off thousands of spores of mold into the air.  Now I think this should be a concern for most people, although, for some, it has no apparent ill effect at all, but for me? Ever since I lived in a mold filled house, I have become extremely sensitive to mold of any kind.  Even Mother Natures mold is very dangerous for me to be around.  You would think that it would be the other way around. The more wet everything got, the more moldy every thing would get. Which is true, but a friend told us, that here, because it’s wet so much of the time, (46 inches of rain a year!) that it actually helps to contain the mold. It’s when it dries out, that things get down right interesting! When it is dry, so much of the time, it means less mold to start with. That’s another point for Arizona. 

Its so funny. Well, funny strange. It never ceases to amaze me, how the Lord answers our prayers. He gave us exactly what we wanted. In many ways. Even though there were some inherit issues with that particular piece of property, it seemed too good to be true. Too good to be true, indeed! You will notice that everything, about the property, is in the past tense. There’s a reason. That property is in our past as well. We got an address while we were there. We did receive some much needed mail there. We were able to get our licenses, registrations, and insurance changed over to that address, there in Owingsville, Kentucky, and we can’t live there.  But. Praise the Lord that He gave us a gentleman who was willing to rent it to us for a little while. We were there for a month. Just over a month. A  month and 5 days. Which is exactly two weeks and 5 days longer than I had stayed any where, for over a year now. When we realized what was happening, I was still hoping, and I think Charles was too, that maybe a good rain would fix everything, and we wouldn’t have to move. Again. It did rain, that afternoon, and I got a little better, which showed our friend’s theory was correct.  But it was a good long rain, and the stream was still just puddles and pools. The algae was wet, the ground was wet, which made it easier to breathe, but there was no doubt now.  We couldn’t stay.  Charles helped me pack, that next morning, which is a story by itself, praying it would stay overcast, until he could get me off the property. So I left, horribly ill, desperately trying to keep from crying, because I had to drive, and I had to drive my van, with a U-Joint that was clunking badly.  Ready to go out anytime. That sound we were going to get checked out, eventually. That was a tough drive.  Praise the Lord! My van made it one more time.  Praise the Lord again, for good people.  I have been blessed with so many in my life! I called, and despite being totally booked, she created a spot for us. 

 You may recognize this view!  

Yes, we are back at the beautiful campgrounds on the Kentucky River. But we are on the side next to the river this time. So we have a little afternoon shade, and a lot of rain! Can you see us? The van is barely visible way down past the end of the boat. Beautiful, but unfortunately, their prices have increased, dramatically! Actually, they are now charging almost as much as what other campgrounds in the area charge. They have finally caught up with the standard. Which means that it’s not better to stay here, than it is at any other campgrounds in the area. But that makes the other unfortunate thing not so bad. They are improving their Wi-Fi, so that even where we are, out at the very end of the property, there will be Wi-Fi access, which means this is a very temporary home. We paid through the end of the month, we will see if I can stay that long.  Its not working right now, because they are still tweaking it, and, Yes, I got sleep last night! It is so incredibly beautiful here, and we are tucked away in a little private spot at the very end of the campgrounds. It is not a regular spot, the sweet manager here, knew we needed to be away from people, so she made a little place just for us.  I wish we could stay, but regardless of the Wi-Fi issues, this campgrounds is only open for the summer season. They close in October, so we would still have to find someplace else.

I would rather find some place I know we can stay. Just stay. A place, a piece of dirt, to call home.  A house? A barn? Even just plain dirt? I was already working on a design, to build a board and baton shed out of green wood. A good, continuous, independant, (Not City) water supply, is now on our absolutely necessary list.  Which means either a good well, or a good spring. A spring that turns into a creek might be really wonderful, but I think we need to leave that in the good Lord’s hands. How will I get through the winter here? Maybe we won’t, maybe we will have to head south. That’s now in the Lord’s hands, as well. My ideas on that are few, questionable, and none, of my ideas, are an option for this year.  Not in time for winter in Kentucky. Thoughts of an old house with a wood stove furnace still sounds so incredibly appealing, but I don’t know how to do that either. Except to make phone calls, once I get out where there is signal.  I am simply trusting the Lord to provide what we need and where we need it. That’s all I can do, and, after all, it is the best place to be. 

Right now?  I still want to go to the reunion tomorrow.  I know that we have to go to Fort Knox to get groceries, on Tuesday, to see if there’s financial help there. Depending on the base, you can sometimes get significant savings on grocery costs. If so, we may want to look for places to live, that are closer to the base. I know that we have to get the van work done, or at least identified, and we have to try to find someplace else to live.  All in the next six days. Sounds impossible? Not for our Lord!  We just need to knock on doors, and see which one He opens.  

We have learned a lot from this adventure. Charles said the first thing that we’ve learned, is that we want to rent some place for at least a year, preferably two, before we decide to buy. That way, we can see how I do, with all the different seasons, and with everything else in the area. We are both open to the possibility that we may need to rent a place here, and then rent someplace further south, for the winter, until we can find the right place to own, but we still both believe that the good Lord has a home in mind, for both of us.  There are many other things that we have learned as well. Important things like; Easy access to the property is necessary, not a nicety. Fun things like; Having a horse in the yard is a cool thing. One of the important things, is that we don’t want to jump at a place, simply because it’s available, and something we can afford to do.  I do know that my music, and a story that I need to write, have become very important to me.  The Lord has laid that on my heart, during this time, but the only thing I need, to answer that call, is to have working computer. The most important one? We want to keep our hearts and our minds open to what the good Lord has in mind, for both Charles and I.

 A friend of mine, who is also Allergic to the 21st Century, asked me today, if I was truly better here.  She said that she looks back over the last year and tries to remember where she was a year ago, to determine whether or not she is better in a new place. It’s kind of an interesting time for her to be asking that question, because I am so terribly tired, and still fighting the mold issues.  I am better, since we’ve been here at the campgrounds for just over a week. Despite the fact that I am terribly tired, so tired still, that I don’t know if I’m going to be able to go to that family reunion. Despite the fact, that I’m still recovering, from two things that hit me so hard.  Even with going through all of these different problems, I am better here. What’s the other thing? During this whole period, I had a fungal infection and didn’t realize it. An internal fungal infection, which is very serious for me. That’s serious for anybody, but I was, and am, actually doing better here, with all that was wrong, than I have been, for a long time, in Arizona. I know that I’ve had my son helping me, and perhaps you may think I am just deluding myself, that I am doing better here, but I don’t think so. I am still able to do for myself, and that’s huge! Charles was helping me in Arizona too, and I just double checked with him to be sure. He said “Yes Mom, you are doing much better, here in Kentucky.”

Add to that, the fact that the problems that I have with electromagnetic fields have been greatly reduced here. That is an added bonus of immense proportions!  Now I’ve come to realize, that being too close to a cellular tower, or a cell phone, is still a problem for me. Even though the effects are not as obvious, or painful, now that I’m back here in Kentucky, I’ve come to realize that it is still affecting me.  I think I am going to keep that margin of safety, with cell towers, up to at least 3 miles away, preferably four miles, away from where we end up living, because I do so much better, when I’m farther away from that kind of electromagnetic field. Which I just realized, as I was typing this paragraph, that means going to the reunion, is probably not a good idea. We couldn’t stay long, at all, because of the location. I just wonder if that is one of those doors I need to knock on?   Charles has been doing all of the running around for us.  Going out, anywhere, is pretty tough on this ole gal right now.  Well.  We will see how tomorrow goes. 

To answer my friends question and the questions I have myself? Yes, despite all the issues, Kentucky is the better place. Not just because of her beauty, which is extraordinary, it’s not the fact that Kentucky is home, it’s not even because I am so much better here. Ultimately, Kentucky is the best place for me, because this is where I feel the Lord wants me to be.

Please do keep us in your prayers, as we continue to search for the Lord’s leading. I know the good Lord has something wonderful in store, in His timing!  That’s all I really want, is to follow His Perfect Plan for my life. When I am doing that, even the tough times in life, and there are always tough times, they just get easier. 

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From Nuisance, to Project!

From Nuisance, to Project!

 It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.

― Theodore Roosevelt 

Finally, after a very challenging trip across country, then weeks of wandering around Kentucky, we were finally looking at Dirt. Finally. Yup said it three times.  Made me laugh. Because the only thing that is “Final” in this journey called life, is when we get to go to our true home some day.  But I am hoping that the good Lord has brought me to a place where we can own our own piece of Dirt! Perhaps, more commonly known as, Land.  Specifically, land with a barn, and there is an entire story about why not a house, and the Lord’s timing behind that!  At this point, we just want something that we could turn into a shelter for the winter. Then later, I can talk about “Finally” getting, whatever the latest project is, done. 😉

Hopefully, for now, we can find a barn large enough to park my Little Gypsy inside, then, block off a stall, or one corner of the barn for Charlie, and one part for our main living quarters.  Actually, Shelter, from the rain would not be a bad idea either, since I have hardly been able to cook, without getting soaked, since I’ve been back in Kentucky. It is still raining!  Living in the desert for the last 25 plus years, makes all this rain, seem unreal!  

We had looked at literally, hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of places on line, but Monday, just this last Monday, we were out looking at possibilities in real life. There was that new Amish pole barn. The one we heard about before we ever left Arizona. It even had an outdoor privy and a couple of rooms, they had started to add on to the building, with 25 lovely acres, but they were asking a lot for it. Quite a bit more than I felt it was worth. Plus, it would be a nuisance, and such hard work, to clear all the brush. The two houses on one piece of land? Interesting! But, wait, right in town.  Nope. No good. What about that 2 and 1/2 acre piece that was cleared and mowed, yeah, but right on the highway, no barn, and still too close to town, which means people and cell towers would both be a nuisance. There was the house the sheriff told us about.  He showed us the board that had all the listings for the upcoming auction, homes that were now bank owned.  Sad.  The one that might have worked, had lots of old vehicles and trailers parked every which way, and the house looked as though it had been unloved and neglected for years on end.  How did we find out about all these gems? 

You see, one of my sisters, knew a gentleman, who worked with the Amish. She knew, Charles and I, wanted to settle in, or near, an Amish community, so we could have good, clean, organic sources of food. She knew that I wanted, and needed, to be in an area like that for so many reasons.  The Amish are a community of people who allowed the Industrial Age, to simply pass them by, and the Information Highway, is something others use.  They have quietly resisted any efforts from others, to bring them into the 21st Century.  Others, outsiders, people they refer to as The English, (that would be you and me) have tried to impose, enforce, or even occasionally, endorse, our new ways upon them, to little, or no, avail. 

I digress.  

Suffice it to say, these communities offer me the possibility of sanctuary, at least in part, from a world gone mad. Too many electronic gadgets and gizmos, and yes, I am working on one of those electronic devices now, to bring this story to you.  But as I can, I too, have been escaping from the 21st Century. Sometimes, literally running from more virulent pesticides and herbicides. Avoiding genetically modified and engineered crops and animals. I could go on and on, but let me get back to the heart of the matter.  

We may have found the right piece of Dirt! This gentleman, that my sister knew, from a church she was invited to sing at. Well!  That certainly sounds very southern, doesn’t it. He took us on a whirlwind tour of a little section of one of the Amish communities, in Bath County, Kentucky.  He introduced us to some of the Amish, while asking about land for sale.  But it was later, when we were asking the neighbors about the unloved house. Yes, I had hoped to find an old home built before 1960 or so, but kept getting blocked, one way or another, whenever I knocked on that door. 

Anyway, when one of the neighbors, who just came out to get his mail, asked what we were looking for, I said a barn, with a few acres of land, would work. He pointed to the barn, just down the road and said he was selling that. Six acres or so, a big old barn, a shed, a pond, a little creek, more like a brook, and a well, that might be a spring! I asked the good Lord for just one of those waterways. This one has them all. More importantly, he was willing to do an Owner Will Carry loan. That is the only way, Charles and I, can make this happen, without going into debt in a big way.  Someday, I may tell you our thoughts about The Better Mousetrap. Forgive me. I am wandering all over the place tonight! So. Anyway, he took us down to see it.

And…

Yes! We want it! When Charles and I compared notes later, he told me, “Mom, everything we looked at before, had something that would be a nuisance, to take care of, but when we looked at this property, that nuisance, turned into a project!” The gentleman who was driving us around, was also impressed.  So.  We will see.  We don’t even know the terms yet.  But, hey, it could happen!  Then? Surveys? Wood stoves?  A way to set it up? We already know of one way to get wood pretty cheap. Will all this happen before winter?  Oh my! But, Charles was so right about things happening fast. We are both excited about this piece of Dirt! We are here! The owner suggested the idea of renting the property to us, for a while, very cheaply.  We can live here for a while, to make sure it’s a place that we’re going to like. A place where I will do Well.  If we do, then we’ll talk about the terms later.   We’ll see how it goes, but I think this is the place. I pray it is so, but only if it is in the Lord’s will.  It will be a lot of hard work.  Right now both of us are stuck!  Yup!  You heard me.  The owner had to get his tractor out to keep Sassy from going into the brook. 

He wound up dragging the van back by latching onto Little Gypsy and hauling me into a spot that would work until the rain settles down.  

Hopefully, I will get her a little more level, after this rain quits! I keep sliding out of bed, or squished up down by poor Macha, who also keeps sliding to the edge! 

He was able to drag Charlie’s Olde Bleu, sideways! His trailer too, so he could get lined up, to get in the main driveway.

I really can’t complain! The barn is not leaning. Olde Bleu is! Charles spent all night hugging his computer, while practically standing on his head!

 The main driveway.  Sounds impressive, doesn’t it.  But the main driveway is currently two short rows of a few big rocks laid in a ditch, which Sassy wouldn’t make it through, even in perfectly dry conditions.   I came in on the other side of the barn, and hugged the barn, to stay out of the brook, but when I tried to back the trailer in next to the shed, yeah, well, thank goodness for his tractor, and his kind heart! 

Big shed too! I saw a great place for chickens or guinea hens, Charles saw a great shower room!  That would be a more immediate need.  

A lot? Did I say a lot of hard work? That hardly describes how busy we will need to be, just to make this work for us.  But oh, the possibilities!   Charles said he had a feeling that things would happen very quickly. He was right. Our first day of actually looking, and we have a good place to stay through the winter.  

This old barn has been here for generations, it was built in the 1800’s, and it needs a lot of tender loving care. I am praying that if we wind up owning this beautiful piece of Dirt, this old barn will see many more generations to come!

By the way, gentle reader, you may think that quote at the beginning was inappropriate.  After all. We were just moving.  Just moving? Seriously, was it that hard? We were already living in our campers? But with the issues I have, moving across country this way, was extraordinarily difficult.  If you read an earlier post of mine, a Possible Post, you know we were constantly moving into areas and situations that had me in such pain, and confusion, that I would wind up in tears. Charles would become my one man comic, my court jester, anything it took to help me find a smile. He took over most of my chores, so I could rest. In fact, he got very bossy! I would try, so hard, to maintain my equanimity, but all too often, I would fail.  Personally, I think Charles had the hardest job, knowing someone you love, so much, is in such pain, and not being able to fix it.  I cannot imagine anything worse.  But we can smile now.  My health is improving. What a joy it is to feel better! Plus, now that we can stay in one spot, Charles will be able to do our running around. By the Lord’s grace, we have found a place where I can heal.  A place that will be good for The Boy too.  

A place, I pray, if it is in His will, it will be a place, we can call Home.