I have had no idea how to write this post. First I was waiting until our kind investor approved our plan. Then I was waiting because we both seemed to be handling the overwhelming tasks ahead of us in our own way, and I didn’t want to share that with the world yet. Then I just felt stuck.
I just watched a TEDx talk with Glennon Doyle Melton about, surprise, feelings (anyone that knows me knows I am big on feeling my feelings and not being scared to be the sensitive person I am) and showing up in your life.
She opens this talk up with a quote from Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite speakers/authors. Brene’, she reminds us, says that “courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
Ok. Here goes.
We have decided NOT to flip the farm. We are going to sell our house in Halsey, effectively making it our “flip.” However, I don’t think it’s really a “flip” if you lived in it with intent to stay, like we did. We plan to list our sweet little house in Halsey right after the July 4th holidays end and we’ve been working very hard on BOTH the farm house to prepare to move in to its 750 square feet while we build an addition AND our house in Halsey to prepare it to put on the market in just a few weeks.
All of this was happening while we were sending off two high school graduates into the world to spread their wings. The gravity of the situation was not lost on either of us.
It has been an incredibly emotional month for me. It was hard to watch my youngest child graduate, knowing I wasn’t with him every day the last year and a half of his high school education. I was always the consummate mom, being there to do the things. It was hard that I never knew any of his friends in four years. He wanted the privacy and freedom and autonomy of his own journey and experience. The gradual release and separation that comes with being a parent and letting your child go, well, that hurts a lot. I thought I was totally doing fine, and then a metaphorical sack of bricks hit me in the head and heart and I cried for a week. I had to remind myself of Kahil Gibran’s poem “On Children,” that I used as the art on Liam’s birth announcement, almost 18 years ago, July 5, 1999. I knew then. I just have to remind myself daily.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
So yeah. I’ve been emotional.
Home is very very personal to me. I went back to Montana last summer and for the first time in 27 years, someone lives in my childhood home. Before that it was just a super over-priced vacation rental, on a property that is stunning but has changed, and now surrounded by several multi-million dollar log homes. The lesson and gift I received from that visit was that home is not a house, it’s a feeling. (I’m still learning that lesson.) When I got home from Montana, Tom and I went to see the house in Halsey, put an offer on it two days later, and owned it two weeks later. Buying this house in Halsey with Tom was very emotional due to feeling that I was moving into a community that truly accepted me and we both got to be a part of it.
I found that I had started having this persona in my head, a story I was creating about the “right people” to live at the farm. We had talked about it once before, “is it for us?” but we decided, no, it wasn’t possible. But it kept nagging at us that this was a pretty special place, and that finding a property like this was rare and that this opportunity couldn’t be overlooked. But it still means a giving up for both of us. For me, the chance to see my students in the neighborhood and close proximity for all school and community related events. For Tom it means losing the opportunity to volunteer for the fire department, something very near and dear to him. For both of us it means being further away from the friends we love and have made as a couple in our new little town. We have loved it here. These are big losses for both of us.
But the joy of the birds and the trees more than compensates us for the pain of saying goodbye. In reality, we are moving only 20 miles away into a different county, and I will obviously still be at Central Linn SD, because it is my school home.
The farm in Junction City is definitely the right place to land, but it is going to take a significant financial, personal, and time commitment to make the house fit our needs. Tom has put in an incredible amount of work on researching permits, applying for new permits, and inspecting the house. He’s hired people to do things they can accomplish more quickly due to the fact that he’s already working full time every day as an electrical contractor. He’s collaborated with multiple trade professionals to get us the best deals on cabinets, site/home addition plans, septic work, tree work, dry wall texture, financing, and the list goes on. The things he knows how to do has enabled us to even be here, making these choices. I just watch him do what he does and smile and say thanks and hand him food and attempt to not get in the way.
We plan to do a real flip sometime in the future, sooner than later, likely. But for now, we’re turning our Halsey Home into the house of your dreams. I know it was for us, and it will be for the right people! This house has some lovely local history, and I’ll share that more in a future blog post. Below you can peruse the FB pictures of our renovations to this almost 1600 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 2 bath house.
Be well. Be you. Do the best you can and show up.