|David walking along the frontage of our property.|
On this part of I-45, we get to drive past by the hospital where I was born. St. Joseph's Hospital is still going strong. We see metropolitan high-rise living quarters, and I won't lie, I always feel the sting of jealousy. There's always been a part of me that would've loved to live in the downtown area, near the theater district. Here, I could leisurely stroll to a nearby cafe or go see a Broadway production...such awesome diversity. I would suddenly be propelled into the world of "you are so cool." Living in suburbia means you are a practical person, not necessarily cool. If you live downtown, age doesn't matter, you are ultra-cool. That's how it works.
|David walking with his daughters in the heart of downtown. He's|
taking us three ladies to lunch for Tai food. Yum.
|Mono-Rail speeds past my girls.|
|Still walking a few blocks. Too many choices! But, David knows where|
he's taking us for lunch!
|My husband and daughters - we all know the city life so well. |
It's a part of our culture; it's in our blood, but I've found the COUNTRY!
If I don't get to be on my land frequently, I actually get depressed and have "nature" withdrawals that people around me can't really understand. Our land feels sacred to me, as if it helps to nourish my soul.
I know that people downtown don't want the ball and chain of yards to manicure, they might have their little patio and that's good enough for them. They treasure their limited, private outdoor space, if they have it at all. As for me, give me dirt! Lots of dirt! And, I must have trees. Large trees, small trees, and trees of all kinds. I have got to have my garden area where I can go pull off a fresh bell pepper to cook with dinner, and where we have ample room for the dogs to be dogs so I can laugh and play like a kid while throwing the ball as far as I can and watch Howdy sprint with his bunny hops to catch the ball. I get to sit back and enjoy the greenery. Sometimes, I throw out a bird seed mix, then I relax and watch all the different, beautiful breeds of birds fly down for a snack. Other times, I sit in my lawn chair outdoors and write in my journal. I've been doing this for as long as I can remember.
My soul craves wide open space, it allows me to take in a deep breath of air and be grateful that the air is not "cluttered."
|David and the dogs headed into a part of|
our land that is more dense with forest.
|Area of land where Howdy loves to play ball.|
|My husband and his partner leading the convicted Cop Killer|
out of a Harris County Courtroom. Bittersweet moment of great emotion.
More than life at work, my husband's daily driving routine requires him to drive past refinery-land where explosions and dangerous chemical releases are a "normal" part of our world, then he drives over the intimidating 610 ship channel bridge that is under constant high surveillance to avoid a terrorist attack and all this is in combination with Houston's daily bumper to bumper traffic that can get snarly. My husband has made these drives more times than he can count. He knows Greater Houston so well that his "GPS" is the back of his hand!
The great part is...David is less than two years from retirement, so we are barely able to contain our excitement about leaving the Greater Houston area to live full-time on our near ten acres of land that we've been partially living on for about ten years.
On the weekends that we drive to our land, the towering buildings in Houston become tiny and tinier in our rear view mirror. As Houston shrinks from view, it seems as if invisible weights are peeling off of us. The further away from Houston we get, the less oppressed we feel. Maybe it's because the real world of bills, crowds, jam-packed neighborhood streets, and a world where people think success is reflected in what you wear, drive and where you lay your head at night is not our concern, at least for the weekend. Still we hold so much of Houston dear to our hearts, but I think we've seen everything, done everything and now it's time for us to move on. At least we are trying to do just that.
The sense of relaxation continues as we get closer to the Piney Woods. The highways are tree-lined with heavy forests of pines and it feels as if we are insulated from the rest of the world. Getting closer to our land, the roads narrow to two lanes with densely packed forest on either side; we are becoming more and more relaxed, feeling as if we could take a nap. Our muscles have jelled. Our breathing is slower. The world is at peace and our surroundings seem to be enfolding us into its resting arms.
For years, we'd travel every weekend to our property and my high-energy daughters would fall asleep once we arrived and they would sleep very hard, like babies. Both of them would tell me, "Mom, I don't know what happens, but when we come out here, I sleep better than ever."
Yep, there is a sedative quality to our land. I think it's just a typical sign that our life in Greater Houston is often too fast-paced and too stressful. Our culture has created a lifestyle that barely gives us time to sit back and we feel guilty about about taking a quick break. Convenience comes with added pressure for you to get out there and take advantage of everything at your fingertips. If we sit at home too much, we feel like a loser. The truth is, in the country, you might have less around you at your convenience, but there is still a lot to do. When you own a lot of land, it demands your attention, especially if a nice farm routine develops. You might have a large garden to tend and animals to care for; you probably will not find a day without chores needing attention, inside and out. On the other hand, when it's time to rest, you go sit on the porch and enjoy the view and take a break without the outside world screaming at you for more attention.
We are looking at a few considerations for the house we'll have built on our land. From various cabin-styles, to a rustic looking cedar cabin, we are still keeping our eyes open. But, we will have a metal roof. That is a non-negotiable, sure-fire requirement. I want to hear the pitter patter sounds of rain. I no longer want to insulate myself so much from the outside world that I can't even hear a rain drop. So my friends, I continue to look forward to the day when I can again hear the rain drops and not worry about a nearby chemical plant explosion or the trauma my husband must face after working with gruesome criminal cases. Our crowded city life is proving that I am needing to GET OUT OF HERE!
Until the day we can settle on our land full-time, I will enjoy my life in the Greater Houston area and be grateful. There's too much appreciation within me for Houston that can never be erased. But, I am a woman who has experienced great change over the past ten years. Since falling very ill in 2001, my perspective about life has changed and my idea of "home" has slowly evolved. I crave a more simple and natural lifestyle. And, I am learning that our land has the power to beckon me. It does, and I will one day sit back and enjoy it's embracing nature, every day of the week.
|I love the rustic, inviting look of this cabin.|
|This is the kind of style that is appealing to me. Far from my|
sticks and bricks huge home that I currently enjoy.
|Gotta love that front porch. I will have lots of outdoor areas to enjoy.|
|I like the rustic feel all the way through.|
|The floorplan and ceiling is a start.|