Today, I thought we’d go for a walk and I’d show you around the place where I live in Northern Indiana. My husband and I bought this unruly piece of land, 30 acres in all, ten years ago and built our house about seven years ago. This is the view from the window over my kitchen sink. You can see my soon to be veggie garden, the barn for hubby’s toys and the moon in the mist…
First we’ll walk down the hill to look at the wildflowers/weeds:) and head to the river. My husband plants food plots here for the wildlife. We have whitetail deer, possums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, hawks, vultures, coyotes and best of all, we’ve been fortunate enough to see American Bald Eagles.
Let’s take the path closest to the river. Isn’t the wild phlox beautiful? It smells good too.
This is my bench by the Wabash River. I like to sit here and read and write but I’m often distracted by all the bird and small animal activity. My son saw river otters playing here last fall. I’d love to see one! They’re so darn cute.
There’s a bird in the tree next to my bench who keeps himself hidden but likes to flop his wings and make a lot of racket as soon as I sit down. Either he doesn’t like my choice of reading material or he doesn’t care for me sitting so close to his favorite perch. I tell him tough luck, I’ll only be here a while. Eventually he settles in because I never see him fly away. I wonder if it’s an owl? My imagination says, “baby dragon.” Just think, I could be toasted sitting here on my bench reading The Hunger Games!. Late last summer I found two totally demolished corn cobs on my bench. Can you say, “raccoon party?” Wonder how my big bird friend enjoyed their company? At least I’m not messy.
A few steps away from my bench is one of the prettiest views of the Wabash.
We’ll walk the riverbank, circle back and walk back up the driveway to my house. See the landscaping out front? I call that “the hill” but I often spell it H-E-L-L. There are two downsides to owning this acreage; the weeds, and the rocky soil. The “hill” became hell-like when the nice stuff the “professional” landscaper planted would NOT grow no matter what we did. Next thing we knew the weeds took over and the soil began to erode.
My husband said we could rip-rock it. Do you know what rip-rock is? It’s that ugly grey manufactured concrete stuff that they use to fill in slopes on highway overpasses. I told him to give me five years. Five years to learn, grow and transform it into something pretty. I’m on year three. It’s a lot of work finding things that grow on a windy, rocky hillside but I’m winning. Hubby is very proud of my progress!
I’ll tell you a story as we walk up the hill because the bend you can’t see in this picture is a
killer uh, a challenge.
The first time we showed this property to my husband’s family and said we wanted to live here they were stunned silent. This is a chatty bunch so it was a little surprising. No one said, “oh yeah, this is cool” or “this is pretty” or “this is anything.” Of course, back then it was weeds, rocks, trees and gnarly undergrowth. We had to fight thorns, dead trees and spice berry bushes to even get to a spot where we could all stand together. Hubby and I didn’t mind that they were stunned, this place is a lot of work and clearly not for everyone. Plus, we knew they didn’t have our vision. How could they? Not everyone wants to live out in the sticks in a weedy, rocky place.
Once we started clearing things out and building the house our stunned family began to see… but my point here is if you have a vision for your life, your book, your dreams, your creative endeavors, hold that vision firm in your heart and mind. Delight yourself in your visions and you’ll delight others as well. Our house is the go-to place for fun and relaxation.
We found out two fun things about this property after we bought it. Miami Indian Chief Le Gris once held the deed to this property— it says on our documents that he was allowed as much land as he could walk from sun up to sun down and this acreage was included. Now don’t you feel bad about huffing around the bend in the driveway? I do. Chief Le Gris had to be in great shape!
Another fun thing is that fifteen years ago Purdue University mapped an underground river through this property, an underground river that parallels the Wabash River where my bench sits. It’s kind of cool to think we’re walking on water and in the steps of Chief Le Gris.
My daughter is getting married in the fall and her fiance asked if he could carve their initials and wedding date in the old tree by the path in the woods. Yes, yes and yes. There is history here but there’s always room for new beginnings and new history. I hope this old tree lives on long after we’re gone.
So, here’s the take-away from our walk —
1) get up early (hey, you have dreams to pursue!)
2) enjoy beauty in whatever form it comes in, weeds or flowers —
3) don’t let big birds intimidate you
4) when you don’t know what you’re doing make a five-year plan to figure it out:)
5) hold true to your visions and dreams even when others stand in stunned silence
Every home has a story. Where are you most comfortable? Where is your “place”? Is it a place you visit or a place you live?
If you’ve ever dreamed of living on a boat, catch my blogging buddy, Nancy J Nicholson’s blog Flying With The Phoenix where she writes about her adventures living on the high seas.
Thanks for letting me share my “place.” I hope you enjoyed your walk! I’d love to hear about your “place” too!
Have a great weekend!