Pray, dear reader, bear with me as I try to sum up the greatest whirlwind adventure of our family’s recent history. In the past month, we’ve picked up and moved a state away and found ourselves in a house twice as big as our previous one with six times the land!
And we had no idea this was coming until shortly before Christmas.
Friends, we are home now in Misselthwaite. I began to call it thus about four days after our arrival. We relocated to a huge empty house in the country, a house that had been left to itself for around 18 months and whose grounds had been basically overgrown. Because it was the perfect time of year to listen to “The Secret Garden” on Audible (or read it in actual book format), we had it playing as we unpacked and I realized that we had landed in our own Secret Garden of sorts. A house left alone had become a HOME again, and we were waking up along with it. So I determined one rainy Monday that this house is our own Misselthwaite Farm (not Manor, it’s not THAT grand; we don’t have a “hundred rooms”.
But it is a farmette, of sorts, because we have an overgrown grapevine, and we have chickens.
That’s right, dear readers, seven years from the time we were building the “Poulet Chalet” in the backyard of the Old Haus–which had to be abandoned because we moved to an absolutely wonderful neighborhood in every respect except not chicken friendly–we quickly made good on a promise to the older kids that they could have their chickens at last… by acquiring four Buff Orpington chicks, five Barred Rocks, two Rhode Island Reds, and an Easter Egger from the local True Value even before the rest of our furniture arrived.
Because we are crazy like that. And you know, it is not a bad thing. Did you know that chickens are hilarious and sort of calming to watch? No, I’m not insane, just hie thee to the nearest “Chick Days” location and watch the little ones scurry about the brooder.
Besides, we acquired a CAT a week before we moved to help Sunshine cope with the transition. And he did. He’s Patrol Cat in the evenings now, but he lets her cuddle him when she needs the extra comfort. We sadly lost Pippin, last of the corgyn, in September when his back broke after jumping out of a bathtub, and I had sworn then that nary a pet would we have until Bright Eyes was at least of kindergarten age… We make plans, and God chuckles.
We have twelve chickens and we are on the waiting list for RABBITS, but when God gives you six acres, why not?
So, why are we here? Because Haus Meister was offered a new position in his company. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Do we miss our old home? We miss our family members and the friends we had to leave behind. You can’t have fifteen + years of roots and not feel the pangs when uprooted.
We look at each other every day and wonder at the generosity of a Providence that remembered our dreams and granted them when we least expected.
There’s a mountain view at the end of my driveway. Our house is nestled in a valley. I counted twenty deer in the clearing across from my kitchen window on Holy Thursday, and after Easter all of a sudden some wild turkeys showed up. The wild birds have discovered our bird feeders at last (there’s a downy woodpecker couple that think we put up that suet block just for them).
We mourned leaving our wonderful parish Church, and then found ourselves in a little stone church in the country (and when I say “little” I mean it could fit in a quarter of our dear old minor basilica) who welcomed us with open arms.
We mourned leaving our friends, and were greeted by neighbors who brought over fresh eggs from THEIR backyard coop (!), flowers from their garden, goodies from their kitchen, and wine from the local area. As a thank you, I tried to make a lemon pound cake loaf for them but forgot to add the eggs so fell back on my very favorite chocolate-chip cookie receipt.
And for the first time in three years, the kids had a good snow to enjoy. And they, themselves, even as they write notes to the friends they left, can’t help but tell me how happy they are. Rascal himself came up to me on his own and said, “I feel like I’m getting stronger here. Like Colin in ‘The Secret Garden’!”
Stay tuned, dear reader, for more “Misselthwaite Matters.” Or in regular parlance, the antics of our family as we adjust to life in the country!
And I will post pictures…once our internet catches up…because we are in the COUNTRY!