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. 

Summer Home!

Summer Home!

Twenty shades of Green!

For a gal who has lived in Arizona, Nevada, or thereabouts, for the last 26 years, the views here are a delight to the eye! Now, don’t misunderstand, Arizona has green too, and even the desert has a barren beauty of its own.  All that rock and sand, has it’s own call to the senses, that can surprise you. 

Kentucky, though, Kentucky in the spring, has a brilliance, a glowing beauty, that I have missed more than I knew!

Grass! Rolling hills of grass.

Green, lush, thick, grass underfoot, everywhere, with just that hint of blue, in the early morning dew, that lets you know, you are not only in Kentucky, but in the heart of Kentucky, the Bluegrass section of the state. Grass that just grows. No sprinklers here, except those provided by the good Lord! Water in extraordinary abundance. Water in the air. Humidity, and it will take some adjusting, but I can breathe here. In fact, the lower altitude seems to give me more energy. All that oxygen. Well, until it got hot! Oh my! Poor Charles, he is struggling with the heat! I probably am too, but I feel so much better in other ways, that it just does not seem so bad.

Rain!

Sprinkles, showers, storms. Water everywhere. Brooks, creeks, streams, rivers! Springs, ponds, lakes. All different sizes and varieties. 

Birds!

Songbirds, and we can stop right there for a moment. Waking up to the sounds of so many different singers, each morning, has been such a joy! There are also woodpeckers, heron, quail, raptors, snipe, (yes, they really exist) sandpipers, ducks, geese, swans, pelicans, gulls, cranes, and so many more. Dagnabbit! I almost caught a picture of one of the locals. Even though this photograph is one I took elsewhere in Kentucky, I could hear geese, down river, this morning, so I feel justified in adding it here!

Oh! Did I happen to capture a picture of The Boy at work? Lol. This was taken at the Millstone Library not far from our previous camp site. Very uptown compared to here. Miniature golf, a swimming pool, all kinds of perks, plus this lovely area, but the campgrounds had campers packed in like cord wood! Two nights there was enough, they were starting to roll in, even on Thursday. Very grateful for the “two nights for one”, special, that came at just the right time.  It answered our needs at that moment, but I am so much happier here!

Trees!

So many different types of trees! Ash, Oak, Pine, Pawpaw. Beech, Maple, Hickory, Hawthorne. Pecan, Persimmon, Sweetgum, Magnolia. Even a Coffeetree, and more.

This is looking out past our camp site. You can just see a couple of old boats and some other odds and ends at the far end of the campgrounds. Yes, the sky really looked like that!

Kentucky. Back home in Kentucky. I was born in Kentucky, but I didn’t think I would ever be back to stay. Even so, after years away, Kentucky has always been Home.

Now. About my Summer Home.  We are at a campgrounds on the Kentucky River! I had a dream about living on the banks of the Kentucky River. Now it has come true.  I still can’t believe it. Good Lord willing, we will be staying here until we find a piece of dirt, land, property. A piece of dirt I can call my own. Maybe even a house to go with it, hopefully, before winter. This campgrounds closes in November. But until then, they have monthly rates, that make it financially possible for, Charlie and I, to stay for the summer.  Although, I have warned him.  We will be spoiled.  Even though we are still dry camping, in their primitive area, this is a lovely little campgrounds. Nothing fancy, and it is definitely off the beaten path, but it has showers, (a blessing) ice, (my son’s prerequisite, to get us through the summer!) even a locally made ginger ale, (It was my first soda in over 15 years, but oh my! It was good!) and all the necessities to get chores done. Water, trash, dump. It is what some might call, a quaint little place.  To me, it feels very down home.  A big porch along the front of the building, and even an old wood stove in the camp office.

Here you can see the main campgrounds, where all the regular sites are at, with water, electric, and so forth. You can’t even see the office from here,  it is around the bend to the left, past the boats. It will take time, to build up to it, but walking to the office is a new goal! 

I made it! Today! I walked to the office! Amazing! I was even able to kind of jog a bit, a couple times, on the way back Little Gypsy, to try and beat the rain. Incredible! First time I could do that in 20 years or more!

We are in an overflow section at the end of the campgrounds, which gives us lots of space, and as you can see, it keeps us safe from the chemicals others use, so often.  There is Wi-Fi, so Charles can keep his web page up to date, but just when you’re close to the office, so it won’t bother me. Plus, we are right on the Kentucky River. 
Perfect!

The Kentucky River! Have I mentioned the river? I can just see the river from my campsite.

Can’t quite see it? Well let me get you a little closer.

Go about one hundred feet from camp and you can see down by the bank.

See the little table and benches? They are scattered along the bank for campers to enjoy the view.  Tent campers love those little areas! 

Yes, there are ticks, I’m sure, and chiggers, and snakes, and it will get cold this winter, but it is gorgeous! Haven’t had any problems with mosquitoes, yet, but they need still waters to be a real issue.  A dear friend sent me a picture of the cactus in bloom, in case I was missing Arizona.  Nope. There was much to admire and enjoy about Arizona, but Kentucky is home! Besides, it is so much better for me here!

The Kentucky River starts in Beattyville, Ky, and wanders through the forest, flowing Northwest, for the most part, until it joins the Ohio river at Carollton, Ky. We are not far from Versailles, Ky, much more than halfway down river from the three forks. About 260 miles of water, wandering and winding, its way through mountains, meadows, marshes, and incredible gorges. Gorges, with solid, vast, walls of rock, often hidden by the trees, and little valleys, or dells, like this along the way.

Best of all, I am better here.  Charles is concerned that it is too soon to be certain. But of course, Charles and I have had to move so often, trying to find the right place to camp, that we are both a little gun shy, and we are close to a cell tower here. But I have been able to walk.  I even got my guitar out last night and sang a little. It felt so good! I was able to get my stove out today!

The best part, is knowing we don’t have to move. For at least two weeks! They have you pay two weeks at a time here.  But the way this all happened, the page kept popping up for this campgrounds.  I just know the good Lord has His hand on this and it will work out. I am certain we have found our Summer Home. The difference a few days make!

Home, on the banks, of the Kentucky River.

Now that sounds like a song, doesn’t it? I will have to work on that! 🙂