Friday, January 27, 2012

# 185 - Change in Scenery

Deputy Dave took this photo from his office building window last week at the Harris County Criminal Courthouse. It's always amazing to me to be in the city and to marvel for a moment or two at man's great efforts to make this life bigger and better in many ways.

I guess I'm just tired of living in the city on a day to day basis. I feel the need to clarify my feelings on H-Town...Houston.

There's no doubt that I could easily live in the heart of the city, preferably in the theater district so that I could walk to everything...Broadway-style shows, musical performances, coffee shops, and I'd be able to browse through the most awesome boutiques and then find a five-star restaurant within a few steps.

I know that city living can be amazing. I've grown up living in Greater Houston; I've always lived a short distance from Houston and Deputy Dave works in the heart of downtown. We understand city life.

However, it is not easy to find solitude in the city. The congestion, the noise, the crammed-in proximity of one thing to the next, the city smells that are sometimes less than life can be wondrous, but it can also bring unnatural conditions to our world that are too synthetic. The city is less likely to offer nature other than remnants in the form of city parks, tidy bits of cultivated nature. Although, I will admit that Houston does indeed have some amazing parks and gardens that will knock your socks off.

As for entertainment, dining and city adventure in general...I don't think Houston can be beat. In these areas, I love Houston and it will always be a part of my life.

Our land is actually within a hour's drive into Houston. There's no way I could move any farther away than that distance from Houston. This distance allows me to live a rural life because of the open freeways closing the gap between us. I don't think I would ever want to completely forgo the advantages that being near Houston affords, especially with the Medical Center. It definitely has its advantages, such as when my cervical spine needed to be reconstructed in 2009.

But, when we're on our acreage, I feel such a sense of stillness and awareness. Being on the land heightens the senses. There's a focus on nature that is intense, yet soothing. I'm allowed to be adventurous when hiking our land. I never know if I'll make it across the creek without falling in because of my clumsy nature. Some of us just don't have great balance...and that "some of us" is expressly "me."

The frontage of our property.
It is never boring to weave yourself among the ever changing landscape, through a forest of towering trees and savor the feeling of being incredible small in the scheme of things, yet also simultaneously feeling larger than life as you breathe in the fresh woodsy air.

Some people do not want to venture into the woods. They can only think about the scary things that scamper around and the predators that could be lurking nearby. However, since I was a child, I have felt comfortable in the forest. But, I'm usually prepared. First of all, I never walk without a large, sturdy stick. Deputy Dave carries a knife and a gun, always.

The stick is important for hiking in Texas, mainly due to snakes crossing your path. Deputy Dave and I have definitely had a few snakes cross our paths. A large stick can give you a definite edge in a situation with a wild animal or a snake. You can even use the stick to fling the snake away from you.

I've even killed an aggressive Cottonmouth one time that didn't want to let me pass by; I won the right-of-way. I've been within five feet of raccoons, skunks, porcupines, deer, snakes and have seen coyotes, foxes and bobcats. I've never come across wild boar while hiking, but I do know that these animals would probably scare me the most, out of all of them combined. Being a Texas gal, I know a lot about these animals and they're definitely in the zone of our land, but we've yet to come across one on our property. I can tell you that Deputy Dave would be thrilled to come across one of these...he'd love to have a Louisiana-style roast.

It's difficult to explain because I've grown up in the Greater Houston area, yet I've spend much of my life in The Piney Woods because my family had always owned land deep within its confines; my grandparents owned a country place out there and my parents (my dad) still has land that I grew up going to very often...these properties are within a few short miles to the land we now own. The area of The Piney Woods and The Big Thicket feel like home to me. I'm very happy to be moving out there full-time.

Deputy Dave will definitely be in his element because he's raised steer, swine and rabbits...and now chickens. Some of his happiest memories are during the times that he was raising his livestock, and I know he'll be very good at it as we prepare to raise some together.

This weekend, we have our kids at the house for a nice visit. Tonight, we're eating etouffe and tomorrow we're having more family over to join all of us for a taco fest. It's already been an exciting visit with more surely to come.

However, I still eagerly look forward to our change in scenery. Each day, we're closer and closer to making that important, pivotal change in our lives.


Mike said...

I could never live IN a large city. I like and need MY space. I feel squeezed where I'm at right now, even. But, we're looking. Matters not how far out in the sticks I live (my job isn't a fixed location) But, the whoa-man's is and we are trying to find somewhere out but, still close for her commute. One day.

LindaG said...

I've never lived in a large city. Gone through a few.
Visited one. (Meaning Raleigh, which is nothing like Houston.)

I know what you mean about the country. Have a great weekend and enjoy your family. :)

Patrice said...

I saw the first picture on this post and thought "no thank you". I saw the later ones and felt at peace. No more city for this girl!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I love the excitement and fast pulse of a big city, but my husband can barely stand to visit one. The biggest negative (besides the fact that my better half HATES cities) is there's no room in a city to hear yourself think, or to contemplate your navel, if you're into such a thing. Noplace is better for that than the woods. On THAT, my husband and I agree. (Of course, when we DO go to the woods, half the time we shatter the peace and quiet by getting in a little target practice.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Lana, I faithfully read your posts everyday and I have never commented. I am not as well versed as you! You can put things into words that I can see. Literally! I cannot wait till you take your family to the big thicket or is it the piney woods? All I know is that I am rootin tootin for you and the adventures you will have. Just keep postin, sister!! You are truly blessed and so am I to have found your blog. Thank you for letting me dream and live through you!
Love ya sister!
Deb in Viola, Ks

Poppy said...

I am so happy to find your blog for multiple reasons! You are closer to my dream than I am so I'm looking forward to being inspired by watching you! Also, I lived in Texas for about 4 years and really miss being there! I grew up in Kansas but I've got a part of my heart that will always be Texan! I have a dear family friend that lives in Houston as well.

I'm very much looking forward to following your adventures! Keep 'em coming!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Karen said...

Oh, Lana, living in a city as large as Houston would scare the bajeebas out of me! The biggest city I've ever been through was Chicago and that's way too big for this country bumpkin. Even the little town of 3000 people where our post office is located is too confined for me. I go there to buy groceries and I'm so glad to get back home where I belong. I'm spoiled, lol! I'm thankful there are people who want to live in the cities (otherwise they'd all be looking for land in the country and there wouldn't be any wide open spaces anymore.)

Oh, snakes and boars, now those would scare me, too. The closest we have to snakes are snow snakes (they fall out of tree branches when you unsuspectingly walk under them!) Always a treat to visit, Lana, thank you!