What Kind of Home do I Want?

sandy bank

Raising 7 kids in a home with 1200-1300 sq ft has been a challenge. When we moved here we only had 4 children and had no idea how long we’d live here.

At one time I imagined as the kids moved out, my home would no longer be so cramped, it’d become the right size, except for the kitchen. I think anyone designing a home should have experience cooking for a family before they put the thing together. My kitchen is only practical for those who live from freezer to microwave. You can’t even put the dishes away with the dishwasher open. And there is little counter space or cupboards.

Trees grow with time and those cute little pine trees behind the back fence have grown into monsters. We have always wanted fruit trees, imagine if we’d planted some when we first moved in. Of course there is too much shade from those overgrown pine trees. I love trees, but I need some sunlight for my garden!

Last Christmas cinched it. This home just won’t do. 3 of my children are married and I had 3 grandkids at the time, one on the way. I love having my kids visit along with their spouses and kids, but talk about wall to wall people. Of course you have to add suitcases, places to sleep, change diapers etc. Imagine how big the crew will be in another 10 years.

It had always been our plan to buy some land in the country after retirement (not there yet, but it is getting closer). Course our bodies start falling apart before then.

Why not take some of that equity in our home and buy some land? We could start the fruit trees etc and have a nice place by the time we move over. Having a limited budget (part of the retirement plan is having everything paid off including our home by then) I went land shopping. Not such an easy thing to do. Eventually I was delighted when we bought 4 acres close by with the most beautiful trees and and a spring fed creek. And those Beech trees. . . 🙂

We are building a 30×40 metal shop out there, something my husband always wanted. He is making half of it living quarters. That will give us a place to sleep over, stash visiting kids/spouses/grandkids, esp those who are allergic to our pets. Then when we sell this place we can live there while building our new home. It doesn’t have to be bigger (except the kitchen) cause our visitors can sleep in the shop apartment.

What will my home look like? A work in progress. It will have decks and gorgeous views, paid for, energy efficient. Much will depend on what we can afford at the time and how much work we are willing to do ourselves. Check out our progress, ups and downs, learning experiences at My Land.

Question to ask yourself, do you want your retirement depending on Social Security, or your 401K? Me, I’d rather have the bulk of it in land. Guess I’ll always be land shopping.  Share what kind of place you’d like to live.


Helping Hands

Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities.    -Wikipedia

Each of us are gifted with amazing abilities. Each of us are unique. Problem is, we aren’t born with owner’s manuals, telling us what we are capable of doing, nor how to use such talents. Self discovery is part of the process. What fun is a puzzle if you already know the answer?

Back in high school, which as a babyboomer was a looong time ago, I had a conversation with a friend which I still remember today. It went something like this:

“What are you going to do after high school?”

“I don’t know, I suppose I’ll have to find a job”

“What would you like to do?”

“I really don’t have any skills. I’ll probably find some minimum wage job, flipping hamburgers or something.  If I’m really lucky I’ll be able to get a spot at the blue jean factory. Pays better.”

“Isn’t there anything else you’d like to do? What kind of a life would you like to have?”

“It doesn’t matter, no use dreaming, I’m not like you, you can do anything, be anything.”

“So can you.”

“No I can’t!  The best I could ever expect to do is something like a job at the factory.”

I tried, but I could not get her dreaming, what would she really like to do.   She didn’t sound too happy with the idea of sewing blue jeans, yet that was her highest hope.   Your hopes should be exciting, not something that you settle for.

One of our local schools had an irrate mother in their office.  Her complaint?  The school was teaching her son that he could be a somebody.  How dare his teachers set him up for a big fall.  He’d never be a somebody.

Thank goodness for teachers that care.   And I’m betting that boy turned into a somebody.

This blog will be a way for me to share my journey as I try new things, gain confidence, build my dreams. Just as I’m inspired by others, I hope my journey empowers others.

Photo by Antonella Beccari