Thursday, March 8, 2012

# 222 - The Changing Seasons of Life

Soon, we will be going to auctions to find our next RV to live in temporarily as we are building our cabin in the woods.

Putting our house up for sale last week has shown us that the transition from city living to country living will be rather scary and challenging, but we can do it. It's funny how you plan to make things happen, but as they actually start happening, the reality of it all sets in.

We've owned our acreage for well over ten years and have spent extended time periods in an RV out there. We've spent weeks at a time living on our land in that RV, with the kids (when they were younger), so Deputy Dave would drive to and from work as we lived on our acreage for spurts of time.

Our house in the Greater Houston area is close to the bay with good fishing.
I would love hearing Deputy Dave talk about the difference and the peacefulness of the drive between his job in Downtown Houston and the acreage compared to the house in Greater Houston because...

there's no longer a Houston Channel Bridge to drive over daily;

there's no longer a landscape of refineries and chemical plants filling his view in every direction as he drives home;

there's no longer the stench of putrid smells from the paper mill mixed with God-knows what else being released into our air as he drives through the pollution to get home;

there's no longer a need to drive down Hazmat Highway (225) which leads directly to our city-house; Hazmat Highway is dangerously jam-packed with big rigs carrying hazardous material loads to and from those mentioned refineries and plants and if you don't feel comfortable driving around 18-wheelers, then this highway would be your worst nightmare.

Pre-Chicken Garden --- We're ready to live in the country
and have MUCH MORE of this goodness all around us!
However, I wanted to take some time to express the importance that Houston has for most of us around this city...opportunities and lots of open doors.

Let me remind everyone that Deputy Dave and I are finished with the rat-pace phase of life. We're ready to move on down the road. However, ever since we were first married, I cannot express how strongly the two of us have wanted to move away from this area...we've had so many "pulls" to keep us here, but it's time to go.

Deputy Dave and I are still "relatively" young...we're in our 40's and we'd like to enjoy the next phase of life tucked in the forest and enjoying country living instead of being stuck around industrial scenes and smells every day of our life. We grew up on this side of Houston, but we'd like to give our kids and grandkids more reasons to NOT come to this side of town much. Except for some family visits and some salt-water fishing.

My youngest daughter, Stefanie, is a die-hard Houston gal. She's born and raised in the Houston area...Texas through and through. She appreciates the city for all the ups and downs it has to offer. I love Houston as well, and that's why our place in the country is rural, yet still only a relatively short drive to Houston.

Our Acreage
I am VERY thankful to not have to give up Houston completely. I'd be devastated if I had to live my life without Houston being an integral part of my world. However, I cannot wait to live OUT of the Harris County / Houston area. I'll enjoy being close enough to make a drive into town and far enough away for the drive home to take me into the heart of The Piney Woods and The Big Thicket.

However, as for Stefie, she's getting close to graduation from college and for those who are starting their careers, Houston is truly a place for a great career jump-start, for just about any field. This is exactly the reason people flock to metropolitan areas to boost their career options, to make more income, to be surrounded by scores of like-minded people who become your networking power-house. In a professional sense; there is power in numbers.

Some people talk about their place of study being their networking strength, well, the truth is that has limitations that a metropolitan city can smoother with its own strength. If you embrace Houston as the place of your career, especially early in your career, you are likely to develop powerful networking circles. Rising to the top of your field is much easier once you are surrounded by others who are also going places.

I speak of this first-hand...for many years I was a business person in Houston and one client would lead to the next, all through networking. The point is...Houston is condensed enough for the networking to be dense enough to offer huge break-throughs in a budding career or even in a long-standing career that needs that extra boost to go to the next level. The fact is, it takes less effort to network when working in a metropolitan area than if you lived in a sparsely populated area. It comes down to numbers. Houston's power is in its ability to lay connections at your feet.

So, I have to make my pros and cons of living in the country vs. living in the city. Again, our country place does not make Houston unreachable, it's farther away, but will still be a big part of our lives. However, both of us are ready to kiss city living goodbye. We've worked long and hard to get to this point in our lives...the point to where we can sell our house and most things inside of it and start all over again in the country. I know networking in the country will be different, it's accomplished more through social events, church and local activities than it is through the business world. I'm ready to make some country buddies near our future farm.

Houston is fun, I'll give it that...the food, the shopping, the's an exciting place of dreams-come-true for smart young adults who are ready to grasp their chance at living "big." So many people choose to live and work in Houston after graduation for a good reason...opportunity. It will be interesting to watch these kids evolve in their professional kiddos. I'm sure they will go far, pretty fast.

We're not called the "Rocket City" for nothing. Shooting for the stars is an exciting time in a young person's life. Being determined, focused and surrounded by opportunity sure does help a person attain their life-long dreams. I must admit, as I've always known, Houston is THE land of opportunity within our great land of opportunity, America. I watch this new generation of young adults grab their chances and I am happy for them.

Grab it baby; grab it while you can and while your grasp is still firm.

With that said, I'd not advise living on the side of Houston that is surrounded by production and refinement of chemicals and products. That's our side of town, more to the Southeast. Of course, if you're getting your bread and butter from this industry, then you might want to live around the corner and that's why there are so many beautiful homes in the area. If there are jobs, people will develop settlements and dig in their heels. And our area of town has jobs. The oil industry still beats most others.

However, if you take up residence on the North side of Houston, you might actually be able to live in a wooded neighborhood and be far enough away from the industrial side of Houston to enjoy an environment that is more country in appearance.

The Woodlands of Houston
As for Deputy Dave and myself, we'll miss this house. We'll miss the hard-working people in this area, good people, but we won't miss the chemical releases and the "Shelter in Place" scares that we've had over the years.

I'm thankful that we had been blessed to find our land many years ago and that we held onto it, even during the worst of times. I'm thankful we are finally getting closer to living on that land and toward building new dreams that suit this changing season of our lives.


Michelle said...

Your post sounds like a beautiful goodby to the Houston area. My husband is envies over all the fish your husband caught.

Rama's Mama said...

What a lovely plot of land. This, too, has always been my dream. My husband and I are moving to Italy when the kids are old enough. We have things tht keep us where we are for now, but I hear you...the next phase of life calls...

I look forward to reading more! Nice to meet you and your pups!