Sunday, June 9, 2013

#447 - Our New Hometown, Here or There

Sgt. Dave and I are loving our new lifestyle in the country. Right now, it's more difficult and physically challenging because we are in the midst of rural property. However, with stormy weather, such as today, there's not much else to do in a small space besides lounging around. No set of stairs to climb with extra bedrooms that need cleaning, no extra bathrooms that need attention...just the pitter-patter of the rain on the RV roof and an occasion thunderclap.


And, we've gone from having a large home in the city with every amenity you can think of to personally coordinating every single detail for connection to the acreage.

It's a challenge, but I LOVE IT! I guess I realize that there will be days when I am tuckered out, like today, and that will have to be okay. Last night, I was on the land working until dark...searching for a place to situate my vegetable garden and shed. After finding the perfect spot, I got the hoe and began working the ground to prepare it for planting. Compared to Sgt. Dave, my efforts are piddle-paddle, but I keep trying! Then today, the rains hit. Hard. And this week, I have Houston-happenings that will keep me busy, so my garden will have to wait...again. That's the difficult part, wanting to do EVERYTHING right now!

Patience, always a lesson in patience.

It's the reason we have such appreciation and admiration for people with properties in the country who have already gone through the expense and hassle to have utilities, culverts and extensive fencing put into place. Each step is important.

Compared to our home in Greater Houston, we are delighted to have made the move to the resort/recreational area of Lake Livingston Texas.

Since our daughters are in their twenties, this was the perfect time for us to finally make the long-awaited move to the country. Our country cabin will require a lot of time and expense to construct, but we are thrilled at our opportunity to build a LIFE in the country...board by board.

For some reason, when our children were young, I wanted the primary lifestyle to be weekday busy with city-links, and with weekend country visits to various places so the girls would learn about both city life and country life. It worked. We were committed to giving the best of both worlds to our children, a familiarity with city life while instilling respect for nature and a love for the country.

Heather and Stefanie have a love for both lifestyles. But, throughout their years of growing up, I mainly connected my daughters to all of the wonderful parts of city life...Broadway plays, musicals, exhibits, downtown lunches, exotic foods, festivals, competitive dancing, big-city-sporting events, and boutique shopping on the strand in Galveston...we've enjoyed a bit of both sides!

Then, we made very frequent trips, for years on end, to our properties in the country and to state parks throughout Texas. My daughters grew up knowing the sound of a coyote pack in the distance, they saw alligators close up, they stood in the wilderness within a few feet of raccoons, porcupine, skunk, armadillo, deer, snakes and have an understanding of the country that goes beyond scenes on television. They lived in close connection to nature. They experienced nature.

Now, we are out of the city and smack in the middle of the country and the difference between the two is pretty stark. I thought I'd share some of those differences.

Internet Shot
We moved to the country about three weeks ago and after doing some research, here is a snippet of what I've found to compare our last home in the Greater Houston area to the acreage build-site we now live on, according to the United States Census Bureau.
COUNTY LAND MASS COMPARISON... Polk County Land Mass: 1,057 square miles
Harris County Land Mass: 1,703 square miles
Downtown Livingston, Texas.
So much different than Downtown Houston!

COUNTY POPULATION COMPARISON... Polk County Population estimate: 45,656
Harris County Population estimate: 4,253,700
Gazebo sits at back of Polk County Courthouse.
Downtown Livingston - Newer section in keeping with historic section.
Downtown Livingston - part of historic section.

Polk County - Population per Square Mile: 43
Harris County - Population per Square Mile: 2,402 ----- CRACKS ME UP!!!
Polk County Courthouse

La Porte Population: 34,469

It is staggering for me to realize, per square mile, our new county home has, on average, two-thousand three-hundred fifty-seven LESS people PER square mile than we had in Harris County. I was BORN in the heart of downtown HOUSTON, so I'm a Native Houstonian, and I have been raised in Greater Houston, but I must confess that it is magical to step away from city congestion and breathe fresh country air.
And yes, the air IS cleaner, but that's an entirely new set of research stats I won't subject you to...well, not today.

Part of our acreage.
Geez, no wonder I can hear the crickets out here in the country! In the Country, the crickets have taken over people!


Horst in Edmonton said...

Nice isn't it, to be able to make as much noise as you want and no one will complain. Except maybe the Crickets. ;-)

Carolyn said...

So glad that you're living your country dream AND realize how much hard, but well-worth-it, work it will be.

Dreaming said...

I am really enjoying your posts, post-move! What fun to explore and 'homestead'!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Good for you! You guys are living your dream. Lots of people "talk" about doing something like that, but you guys are DOING it. said...

Horst - You are right about that! The crickets don't seem to be bothered by us! Perhaps the chickens are giving them some trouble, but it doesn't seem to be affecting their numbers...

Carolyn - I saw the word switch, but yes, it is DEFINITELY a lot of hard work and it IS well worth it. Every day we're out here is a day of glorious beauty with nature!

Dreaming - Thanks -- we sometimes feel so overwhelmed, so we take it moment by moment.

Susan - We are definitely living a dream that we talked about for over fifteen years, but NOW WE'RE REALLY HERE~~~it still seems like it is not soaking in that it's not just another trip here, but is PERMANENT! Time will sink it in!