My father-in-law had run electricity to a pole for our RV hookups. A few years later, during a long spurt of us being absent from the land, someone stole everything.
Sometimes I forget about how young Stefie had been as we were wandering through the woods. The girls would go on hikes together, after they learned the land, and it was such an adventurous task for these girls to take. But, they did live with adventure, that is for sure.
Of course, if we would have allowed the girls to stay in the lake all summer, this would've worked for them. We always had some kind of boat for them to take out into the lake. Again, they had a lot of freedom while I constantly drilled them about water safety. This lake is NOT a swimming pool! But, our kids were allowed to be kids. This body of water comes from a spring, it isn't dormant water or a reservoir with stagnant water, it's moving water that stays cool and fresh due to the spring bubbling forth its goodness.
Deputy Dave would always catch our dinner at our private lake. This little beauty is about to be re-named to "Delicious."
Here I am with my girls. These were times when my health was precarious since I was in the middle of having two cardio-thoracic surgeries (one year apart) that would be brutal and with dire consequences that would require prolonged recovery. Going to our land seemed to offer huge healing benefits. There were times I couldn't make the physically demanding trek to the lake, but I always tried. Along the way, we had to cross the creek which could get deep at certain points...my girls enjoyed quite a few laughs at my expense as I fell into the creek. Then, I would start laughing so hard myself that I couldn't move a muscle to get out of the water.
On the times I couldn't attempt the hike to the lake, I'd be content to sit and to watch the beautiful birds feed off the seed I'd toss into a grove of trees.
My girls have such GREAT memories of pulling up dead roots, picking up dead branches and throwing it all into a huge pile that would later become a bon-fire. Creating the pile of branches to burn wasn't such fun, but the times we had at nightfall, while gathered around the fire, were priceless. I think it served to teach them that some of the best kind of fun will often follow hard work. Their efforts also confirmed that this land belonged to all of us, as a family. Regardless, we enjoyed a few screams and dodging action while sitting around the fire because dive-bombing bats were going after bugs drawn to the fire-light. Yes, the bats definitely provided thrilling moments.
Stefie and Heather were always so tan! I don't know if Stefie has seen her legs this tan since these days of working and playing on the acreage.
We always had scrumptious food while staying on our land. For some reason, the food always tasted better when in the country, maybe it's because our appetites were so ravenous.
The girls and a friend out on the water.
Stefie and her friend take their turn at playing a game of horse-shoe. You can see the beginning of my daughters' TEEPEE in the corner of the photo below. We always had a Teepee for them to use as a retreat. Throughout their years growing up, my girls have taken so many naps in Teepees. I hope they will teach their own children, one day, once they have children, to build Teepees.
Me and my lemon tree. It's still there, but kind of straggly looking. I hope we get moved to our property this year and get to plant many more fruit trees throughout the property. These are the days when I would dye my hair a dark brown...don't ask me why...I also tried to go with straight hair, a true battle when you have naturally curly hair...again, don't ask me why.
Stefie and her little traveling buddy, Liyla...she's still a young dog in this photo. This dog has been a beautiful member of our family.
And what's a trip to the country without shooting a few targets in the pit? My brother, a former Marine who served hard time in the Middle East is so cute while plugging his ears.
The area above, once cleared out by a bull-dozer, is now over-run with thick growth and towering trees. Nature has already reclaimed most of the land that we had worked so hard to clear about ten years ago. That's how it goes.
Once we move to our land, I'm sure it will be amazing for us to see the difference that our constant presence as residents will finally make to its landscape. I can hardly wait.
But, most of all, I can hardly wait to get our cabin built so that we can start having more wonderful family moments together in the woods.